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Activity Heatmap Dashboard

Intended Audience: Collaborative Instructors
This article pertains to courses taught by local teachers as part of a collaborative partnership.  


The Activity Heatmap dashboard is an interactive tool that provides an overview of students' activities in a course. This dashboard allows instructors to track the busiest times in the course and the type of activities students are engaged in. This process outlines the steps to follow in order to (1) find the Activity Heatmap Dashboard, (2) apply filters to display the desired term, course, and/or students, and (3) interact with the different cards.


Locate the Dashboard

  1. To access the dashboard, start by selecting Data and Insights from the Brightspace Navbar and then choose Insights Portal.
    The Brightspace homepage is shown with arrows pointing to the Data and Insights menu in the navbar and to the Insights Portal option within.
  2. From there, select Insights Report Builder at the top of the page.
  3. Once the new tab opens, go to the menu at the top left of the page, expand "Instructor Dashboards - CI", and select Activity Heatmap. You can then filter the dashboard by selecting the term, course, and/or student of interest.
    A screenshot of the Overview page is layered to show the menu icon and the Activity Heatmap Dashboard within. Arrows point to both of these selections.

Filter the Dashboard

By utilizing the following filters, both the "HM - C - Most Active Course Items" and "HM - C - Student Activity Heatmap" cards will be updated. It is possible to apply one or all three filters.

  • To filter by term, tap the "HM - C - Term Filter" dropdown and select a term by placing a checkmark in the box next to the term name, then hit Apply. 
  • To filter by course, tap the "HM - C - Course Filter" dropdown and select the course of interest.
  • To filter by student, place a check in the checkbox next to the student's name in the "HM - C - Student Filter" section.

Interacting with the Dashboard

Using the Activity Heatmap dashboard, instructors can gain insights into student activity and use this information to adjust their teaching strategies and provide more effective support. There are two main cards on the dashboard: "HM - C - Most Active Course Items" and Student Course Activity - Collaborative. 

  • To view activity counts for the course or activity, scroll using the bar on the right side of the HM - C - Most Active Course Items card. 
  • To view a list of activities by date, tap the number within the day on the HM - C - Student Activity Heatmap card. The results will appear on the HM - C - Most Active Course Items card.

Helpful Tips for the Detailed Activity View

  • Last Visited Content: this is the most recent time the student has visited this item, Brightspace only saves a timestamp for the most recent visit. However, we can get an approximation of their total visits to that page during their time in the course, this is shared in the Activity Details column.
  • For Quizzes, Assignments, and Discussion Boards: if this item is graded, the current value in the gradebook will appear in the Activity Details column, this grade will display on all interactions with the item, and will update if the gradebook is updated. This will not record historical updates to grades, only the current value of the item.
  • External Tools: Due to the way Brightspace stores data it is not possible to connect the current grades of these items.
  • Activity is sorted chronologically to give an idea of the student's journey through the course.

Card Options

Hovering over each card will reveal a Card options icon (wrench) on the top right corner. The available options can be selected from this icon. 

  • The "Details" option opens a separate page containing only specific information, such as outliers and averages.
  • With the "Schedule as Report" option, mentors can distribute reports to themselves or others on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
  • Mentors can also adjust the reports they distribute by selecting the "Edit Scheduled Report" option.
  • To send a report immediately, "Mentors" can choose the "Send Now" option.
  • The "Send/Export" option provides various choices for sending or saving card information.
  • By selecting "Add to Favorites," the card will be added to the Favorites page.

    Mentors can create an alert based on real-time data straight to their inbox by selecting the "Alert Me" option.
    The Activity Heatmap Dashboard card is shown with an arrow pointing to the card options menu.

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