Jing Qi

Leveraging RStudio Shiny for course level analytics

Blog Post created by Jing Qi on Jul 11, 2018

R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. Shiny is an open source R package that provides an elegant and powerful web framework for building web applications straight from R.


As learning management systems (LMS) become more widely and deeply adopted to support teaching and learning, a substantial amount of data about how students participate in learning activities is available. How can we analyze the data and translate it into a useful form? How can we make the LMS data accessible to faculty to inform the efficacy of the instruction and the quality of students’ learning experience? To support the effort of exploring LMS data to address teaching and learning related questions, we leveraged R Shiny and developed a number of analytical applications that graphically analyze LMS data using R.


The following examples demonstrate three Shiny applications that analyzes and visualizes three common types of LMS (Canvas) learning data, which can be harvested using Canvas APIs:

  • Quiz submission data
  1. https://dartmouth-edtech.shinyapps.io/samplequizexam/
  2. Using quiz submission data to inform quiz design
  • Discussion interaction data
  1. https://dartmouth-edtech.shinyapps.io/networkvisualizationprototype/
  2. Using social network analysis to model online interactions
  3. Role modeling in Online discussion forums/
  • LMS access data
  1. https://dartmouth-edtech.shinyapps.io/contentaccessexample/
  2. LMS course content access analytics