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Add a Learning Record Store (LRS) to Canvas

Add a Learning Record Store (LRS) to Canvas

(4)

An LRS is a database where each learner's xAPI activity statements/learning records are stored.

The Experience API is significantly different from SCORM. Unlike SCORM, the xAPI is not limited to eLearning courses or learning management systems. As a standard, it describes how you can interface any software application with a system that stores and reports on learning data, such as a learning management system.

:smileyplus:Many LMSs already produce xAPI data or have plug-ins that allow you to connect data from your LMS directly to an LRS. This will allow you to see more granular insights and specific activity data from your LMS, like repeated attempts, changed answers, media interaction, and branching choices. That way, as your people are working through a course or content journey in the LMS you can see their patterns of activity in the LRS’s data dashboards in real time. You’ll then be able to analyze how that activity relates to and impacts their performance in LMS assessments. Connecting your LMS to an LRS will provide you with in depth resolution data about your learners’ individual experiences, analysis of trends shared by your learners across the team, and an auditable data log of all the activity of your learners for compliance documentation. 

The feature(s) I'm requesting are that Canvas has a built-in LRS therefore supporting the xAPI tracking & reporting.

15 Comments
Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

Greetings  @esapienza  

I did some checking on this idea and it is not a current product strategy, nor is it really a strategy that a partner could help with (so I took the partner category off).  I know I'll be interested to gauge the interest of our general users on this feature.  Thanks for submitting it.

mbassuk
New Member

My understanding is that Canvas has integrated Rustici Software's Scorm Engine, which does have xAPI / cmi5 capabilities built in, including the LRS. The problem is that Scorm Engine is kind of a blank slate that requires some development to use many of the features. I'd like to re-raise the suggestion that Canvas add building this out as part of it's roadmap. It would open up a lot of ability to track learning events that occur outside of the LMS. 

pmiller6
New Member

If they have integrated the Rustici Engine that is a great step forward.  Now if we can get it to support running xAPI modules like Storyline and Captivate and sending xAPI events that would be great.  We have our own LRS so all we need is to get those modules to send us xAPI events!!   Blackboard supports this capability.  

dearne_willing
Community Participant

Hi Patrick  @millerpc 

Would you mind sharing how you went about having your own LRS, please?

Do you export as xAPI and find results in your LRS?

Many thanks

Dearne

pmiller6
New Member

Sorry for this late reply.   Our school has gotten very interested in learning analytics and we found out there was an open source Learning Record Warehouse from the Apereo Foundation.  This LRW is compatible with both Caliper (IMS Global standard-same org that established LTI as integration standard)  and with xAPI.  With help of Unicon (higher ed consulting company), we built this LRW in our Amazon AWS instance.  We have successfully captured both types of data into our LRW which is essentially an LRS which can combine both types of data.  We wanted a repository that could store data not just from the LMS, but also other learning tools like Articulate Storyline, Captivate, H5P, etc.   I just heard at the last IMS Global meeting that Adobe (Captivate) will start supporting Caliper, but there are still many tools that emit xAPI or SCORM based data.  That is why we would like to see xAPI tools be natively supported in Canvas which we are now implementing on our campus.  Canvas supports Caliper directly for direct LMS events, but when you use a tool like Articulate Storyline to create a module, the activity in the tool has to be captured separately and right now Storyline only supports xAPI or SCORM.  Moodle supports xAPI modules directly through a plugin.  

michael_rosenbe
New Member

Wish this would be added to Canvas directly. With so much open source and template work already done it should be simple. Or at least make it an install package option. Aside from issue with the current Canvas SCORM LTI, it just has no real data for analytics that most folks would like.

melissanikolic
New Member

I came here specifically to ask about xAPI implementation in Canvas.  If there is interest in data analytics there will be interest in using APIs that allow more robust data collection.  

Melissa

mcheung_wested
New Member

Extremely interested in xAPI capabilities to send statements into Canvas from an external LRS.

hztasker07
New Member

Commenting to say, yes! Very interested in Canvas-native LRS

alexbailey1993
New Member

I'm not too savvy with the language being used in this thread, but I think this might be where I need to be - if the things you are discussing in this thread were to be implemented, would it enable me to view item level data for my students' attempts at a SCORM package? I'd love to be able to see exactly what they got wrong, but I can only see a total score in gradebook at the moment.

patfm
New Member

I think asking Instructure to add LRS to Canvas is like asking the company to build a record store of Caliper events within Canvas.  NO -- what we want Instructure to do is to provide better xAPI event support into Live Events so that when modules like Articulate Storyline are added to a course, you can use the xAPI version of the module (sometimes called the TinCan version) rather than the SCORM version.   Then have Canvas send those xAPI events as Live Events to an LRS or Caliper store.   The LRS is a repository of those events so schools should have their own repository separate from the LMS to capture xAPi or Caliper events from multiple sources. 

mathnot
New Member

I would love to have xApi support directly in Canvas too. So we can record statements from Storyline and other rapid authoring tools directly to Canvas.

RyanCloyd
New Member

I agree with those above, xAPI would be a nice addition to Canvas. I had to go through a series of hoops just to get access to the SCORM integration at my institution, and then I found out that it wasn't that great (is pretty old, doesn't accommodate well with mobile devices and is probably going to be turned back off when our LMS gets migrated to another server), but so far it looks like the only option in Canvas. To say the least it's frustrating that in the last hour I was only able to find support that was 4+ years old for getting engaging content created with eLearning Authoring tools into Canvas.

englishskills50
Community Participant

@patfm What you say makes sense to me but I'm not really clear on "Live Events." What is that?  Is that just the nature of any xAPI learning, whether it be synchronous or not? 

I understand generally what xAPI is and it's what I think we need, but I'm familiar with Canvas as something that is never really "live."  Is this just the terminology of xAPI statements?

Anyway, are there examples of schools (in higher ed) who use an LRS apart from Canvas as a repository to store xAPI learning data?  I would like to bring this up with my administration, but it would be good to have some examples to refer to.

patfm
New Member

Canvas 'Live Events' can be configured either to be captured by an HTTPS endpoint or as SQS files:
https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Admin-Guide/How-do-I-configure-and-test-Canvas-Live-Events-using-...

These events are in Caliper format ( I believe Caliper 1.1) which is different from xAPI format.  We currently have an LRS that converts xAPI data to Caliper and those are stored in a MongoDB database, however, we are moving that data to our Snowflake SaaS/cloud database.  Our xAPI feed has been coming from the Sakai LMS plugin for xAPI before Caliper became the IMS Global standard for event data.  Now that we are on Canvas we do not need that 'intermediary' MongoDB database since Snowflake supports sem-structured Json files.  There are several LRS services for xAPI data including Learning Locker and Watershed.    I don't know if those services also support translating xAPI to Caliper like our LRS (Apereo Open Source LRW).  However, with our move to Canvas and Caliper,  for future xAPI data streams, we would likely just capture them directly in Snowflake and do the ETL from there into our Enterprise Data Warehouse which is also in Snowflake.  At the present time our school does not use xAPI data other than with our Sakai LMS which will no longer be used at the end of this term.  We have very few users of tools like Articulate Storyline and other xAPI sources, hence our decision to stop investing in our LRS solution--the Apereo LRW.

I am not sure if the Unizin UDP supports xAPI feeds as well as Caliper directly.  There is currently some movement toward merging the two analytics standards:https://www.imsglobal.org/initial-xapicaliper-comparison

xAPI  is now under the auspices of IEEE and there is a SIG to discuss the merging of the standards.  https://sagroups.ieee.org/ltsc/event/xapi-and-learning-analytics-icicle-sig/

For now, if you need to merge feeds you will have to do some programmatic transformation or ETL.