Canvas Data provides insight into teaching and learning data for institutions

canvas-dataInstructure, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company and creator of the Canvas learning management system (LMS), has released Canvas Data, a hosted data solution providing fully optimized data to K-12 and higher education institutions capturing online teaching and learning activity.

As a tool for education improvement, the basic version of the service will be made available to Canvas clients at no additional cost, with premium versions available for purchase.

“Education data transforms the way we teach and learn by making the invisible — visible,” said Jared Stein, vice president of research and education at Instructure. “However, its impact relies on how the data is analyzed and applied, and how the underlying platform is used. The Canvas platform has consistently higher adoption rates than legacy learning management systems, making its data more complete and valuable than other solutions.”

Next page: How Canvas Data aims to help users

Canvas clients generate more than 35 million education-related participation events every day, and with the addition of Canvas Data, Instructure’s aim is to make it easier for those clients to better assess, analyze and understand complex online teaching and learning phenomena, covering everything from course design to student engagement.

At its core, Canvas Data is a native-cloud service, delivered on Amazon Web Services through Redshift. Canvas Data provides clients access to their data, including course design features, course activity, assessment and evaluation, user and device characteristics and more. It delivers results in a streamlined format, optimized for queries and reports.

This updated process enables clients to work quickly off of the data, making it a more efficient alternative to traditional database access and analyses. In contrast to many analytics reporting engines, Canvas Data enables institutions to discover insights without sacrificing the thoroughness of the results.

Currently, more than 30 client institutions, including University of Central Florida and Utah State University, have had early access to the tool.

They are leveraging the data to develop strategies that improve programs and offerings. For example, Unizin, a consortium of progress-minded higher education institutions, has been developing custom services for its members by leveraging Canvas Data’s premium features, including real-time data stream capability based on the IMS Caliper RAM standard.

Canvas emphasizes the importance of open standards and interoperability, as both are central to community-driven innovation. Canvas Data is supported by partnerships with Civitas Learning (predictive analytics) and Intellify (learning intelligence) to provide clients with the most comprehensive access to new information.

In addition to being fully committed to supporting institutions in adhering to FERPA, Canvas is a signatory of the SIIA Student Privacy Pledge, which details Instructure’s commitment to protecting users’ personally identifiable data.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura