The Instructor Dashboard

The Instructor Dashboard

The VitalSource Instructor Dashboard is a learning analytics dashboard designed for instructors to monitor students' engagement. Instructors can use the dashboard to ensure that students are reading early and often. The dashboard allows for timely intervention with potential at-risk students and can help lead to improved outcomes and inform content decisions. 

Key Features

  • Aggregate data on how long students spend in a study session and how many pages have been read
  • Data availability at the student, book, or institution level
  • Smart filters for deeper dives where needed

How to access the Instructor Dashboard is accessible via Course Dashboard through the LMS for seamless instructor access.

  • Launch the VitalSource Tool in the LMS.
  • Click the Instructor Portal tab in Course Dashboard.

Instructor Portal in Course Dash.png

  • Click Launch Instructor Analytics.


The Instructor Dashboard provides an overview of all the courses you instruct, including a summary of key student engagement metrics. Upon initial access, instructors can opt to utilize our self-guided tour of the Instructor Dashboard, highlighting the features and functionality. To view or revisit the tour at another time, simply select Guided Tour from the user menu on the top right of the screen. 

Instructor Dasbhoard Home Page.png

Use the institution filter to view the data from one or more institutions. Institutions are often organized into parent and child companies where the parent company represents the institution overall and the child company represents a school or campus.

Instructor Dasbhoard Choose company Filter.png

Instructor Dashboard provides high-level statistics for each course. The summary metrics section at the top of the page is designed to provide quick insights into the active, inactive, or overall courses. 

Summary metrics are aggregated from the courses listed below. 

Summary Metrics.png

Total Students The total students metric displays the number of unique students in the courses given the current course filters. If a roster integration is not present, the course detail page will only report students who have accessed the book via the link inside the course.

Total Book Access The total book access metric displays the percentage of students who have opened at least one of the course materials included in their courses given current course filters. If a roster integration is not present, the course detail page will only report students who have accessed the book via the link inside the course.

Average Session Length The average session length metric displays the overall average session length for all students given course filters. Data is formatted to display hours, minutes, and seconds.

Search & Sort

Search The search field allows instructors to search for a course using the course’s name or identifier. Searches are performed based on the text only, irrespective of letter capitalization.

Sort The sort option allows instructors to order the courses in a specific tab by course name or course start date.

Display The display option allows instructors to toggle the course listing into either a grid of cards or a list view.

Instructor Dashboard Sort.png

Course Status

Courses are organized based on their status on the current day.

Active courses instructor dashboard.png

Active The active courses tab contains courses that are currently in progress. If the current day is between a course’s start and end date, the course is considered active.

Inactive The inactive courses tab contains courses that are not currently in progress. If the current date is either before or after the course start and end dates, the course is considered inactive.

All The all courses tab contains all the courses, irrespective of whether or not the course is active.

Course Metrics

Each course list item or card displays information about the course. Course names and course labels are gathered directly from the LMS. Each course section is represented as a different card, allowing instructors to quickly compare courses.


image-20240212-234016 (1).png

Select the ellipses to find a quick summary of this course.

Clicking on a course card will open the course details page for a specific course. When instructors click on a course card they’re brought to the Course Summary page. This page provides metrics about a specific course section. If a roster integration with the LMS is configured, this page will display all students registered in that course section, highlighting the students who have not opened the book. If a school does not have a roster integration, they will only be able to access data from students who have accessed the book.

Summary Tab


Summary Tab.png

By default, the course details page displays aggregate metrics from all books in the course. To view metrics for only one of the adopted books, select the book in the book filter.


choose book.jpeg


Click on the course name in the secondary menu to quickly navigate to another course. Instructors can also click on the Instructor Dashboard link to navigate back to the My Courses page.

Instructor Dashboard link to my courses.png

Use the student search field to search for a student in the context of the current course. Clicking on a student in the search results will navigate you to the student detail page.


Instructor dashboard search all student.png

Open Rate

Students tend to perform better the earlier they start reading in a course. You can click on this chart to see who has or hasn't opened the book.

Within each course, the open rate donut chart allows instructors to quickly see how many students have accessed at least one of the books in the course. Clicking on a section of the donut chart or the chart legend will display the corresponding students in the course roster: either those who have opened the book or those who have not opened the book. This metric is only available to those courses that have roster integration.*


Instructor Dasbhoard Accessed Book.png


Student Usage

Reading consistently throughout the course can help improve outcomes. Use this graph to monitor overall course engagement by week in the current course.

The student usage chart allows instructors to ensure students read consistently throughout the semester. Engagement is displayed in week-level groups relative to the course start date, and several course-level metrics are included beside this chart. Clicking on these metrics will plot the selected metric on the chart by week in course.


Insructor Dasbhoard Student Usage.png

Avg. Session Length The average session length metric displays the overall average session length for all students in the current course.

Avg. Pages/Session The average pages per session metric displays the average number of pages students read in a single study session for the current course.

Avg. Total Sessions The average total sessions metric displays the average number of study sessions per student in the current course.

Avg. Annotations/Session The average annotations per session metric displays the average number of annotations created in a single study session for the current course.

Engagement & Student Study Habits

Understand which students engage similarly. Students are grouped into quartiles based on the total amount of time they have engaged with course materials.

The last two charts on the Student Usage page show Engagement Groups and Student Study Habits.

The engagement groups section provides insight into how course engagement is distributed across the enrolled students. Students are segmented into quartiles based on their total time on task: the total amount of time the student has interacted with the course materials during the period in which the course is active. Aggregate metrics are provided for each quartile, and clicking on a given quartile will display a list of students contained between the selected quartile and the quartile below the selected quartile. Clicking on a student in this list will open the student details page.


Enagement Groups instructor dasbhoard.png

The study patterns scatter plot provides visibility into how students are engaging relative to their classmates. Each student is represented as a dot on this graph. By juxtaposing a student’s total number of study sessions against their average session length, students are distributed by their study habits. Using this data, instructors may notice that students with relatively few study sessions that are longer and near exam dates may be cramming. Hover or select a point to see additional details for a specific student. Clicking on any of the points will open the student details page.


Instructor dashboard scatter plot.png

Roster Tab

The Course Roster allows you to see individual student engagement metrics for all of the students in a course.

Click on the Roster tab on the Student Usage page for a listing of students for the current course. Each student is represented as a separate row containing the student’s aggregate engagement statistics during the course. Using the book filter, quickly filter to students who have opened the book or those who have not opened the book. NoteThis filter is also set when you click on the open rate donut chart in the header (roster integrations only).

Student quartiles are determined by total time on task. The sparkline on each row provides a visual indication of the student’s engagement throughout the course. Clicking on a student’s row will navigate open the student details page.

Select the Not Accessed filter to see who hasn't opened the book. Click Accessed to show students who have accessed the content during the course. Click Both to see all students. This feature is available through rostered integration only.


Student Roster Tab instructor dashboard.png

Student DetailsThe Student Details page provides insights into individual student engagement for a specific course.

Use the breadcrumb links to navigate to previous screens or quickly jump to other students in the current course.

Instructor Dasbhoard search for students.png

Study Session Detail

This section provides a record of every study session that has occurred during the course. Click on a specific study session to view additional details, including the exact pages that were read.Each learning event in the selected session is detailed in this table. Take note of frequently visited pages or pages that are visited for longer periods of time.

Instructor Dashboard Session Activity.png


CoachMe Analytics

For instructors using content with CoachMe, there will be different tab labels: Content Engagement, Student Performances, and Knowledge Checks. 


Instructor Analytics CoachMe.png

The Content Engagement tab will show the familiar Student Usage Chart, Engagement Groups and Student Study Habits, each renamed Content Engagement.

The Content Engagement by student table will include two additional columns: Practices Completed, and 1st Attempt Accuracy.

Instructor Dasbhoard Content Engagement by Student.png

Student Performance Tab

The student performance tab will show aggregated student performance on the Practice Questions.

Avg. Completed Questions: Average of how may practice questions are answered.

Avg. 1st Attempt Accuracy: Average of percent of the time the first answer is correct.


Student Performance Instructor Dasbhoard.png

Knowledge Checks Tab

This tab will show student scores for the end-of-chapter Knowledge Checks.


Knowledge Checks instructor dashboard.png


Glossary and FAQ

  • Total Time The total amount of time the student engaged with course materials during the course.
  • Sessions The total number of study sessions completed by the student. Study sessions are delineated by 30-minute gaps in reading activity during the course. If a student goes idle, we will backdate that study session to when they went idle and add 90 seconds to their study time. Bookshelf® does not count idle time as study time.
  • Pages The total number of pages a student viewed during the course. Pageviews less than three seconds in length are not counted.
  • Annotations The total number of bookmarks, notes, and highlights created in the content during the course.
  • Session Date The time the study session started, localized to your time zone.
  • Week The week relative to the course start date that the session occurred.
  • Book Title The title of the book read during the study session.
  • Session Length The total time engaged with the content during the study session.

Q: How are student activities captured? 

A: When students interact with their course materials on the VitalSource platform, their learning data is captured and made available for analysis in the Instructor Dashboard. When students read online, their activity is reflected in the dashboard with the next dashboard refresh. When students read in offline mode, their events will be reflected when the student comes back online.

Q: How often is data refreshed?

A: The Instructor Dashboard organizes student engagement data using the course roster provided by your LMS via a synchronization process. Roster synchronization timing varies based on the LMS type and the number of students in a given course. In addition to synchronizing the roster, data on the dashboard is updated with new course, student, and engagement data every hour. Student engagement data is typically reflected in the dashboard within 1–2 hours.

Q: What learning activities are scoped?

A: Student learning activities are scoped to activities that occur during the course. Activities occurring prior to the course start date or after the course end date are not reflected in the dashboard.

Q: How are course dates determined? 

A: Course dates are typically gathered from your LMS as part of the course roster. When course dates are not received from your LMS, the course start date is inferred from the date when the first learning activity is recorded and the course end date is calculated at 15 weeks from the inferred course start date.

Was this article helpful?