A lot of data are created in an LMS instance, and much of this can be analyzed for insight. In 2016, Instructure, the makers of Canvas, made their LMS data available to their customers through a data portal (updated monthly). This portal enables access to a number of flat files related to that particular instance. This presentation showcases how this big data was analyzed on a regular laptop with basic office software, to summarize Kansas State University’s use of the LMS. Methods for analysis include the following: basic descriptive statistics, survival analysis, computational linguistic analysis, and others.
The results are reported out with both numbers and data visualizations, including classic pie charts, line graphs, bar charts, mixed-charts, word clouds, and others. The findings provide some insights about how to approach the data, how to use a data dictionary, and other methods for extracting the data for awareness and practical decision-making. This work also is suggestive of next steps for more advanced analysis (using the flat files in a SQL database).
More information about this may be accessed at http://scalar.usc.edu/works/c2c-digital-magazine-spring--summer-2017/wrangling-big-data-in-a-small-tech-ecosystem.