UBC Learning Analytics Student API Hackathon

Series: Open Education

Event Date & Time

  • October 27, 2018
    9:30 am - 6:00 pm
  • October 28, 2018
    9:30 am - 6:00 pm

Event Description

Did you know that Canvas includes an API for accessing and modifying your learning data in your own programs and scripts?  Have you ever wondered if you could build a Canvas app that improves your own learning? Please join us for a UBC Learning Analytics Hackathon on October 27-28 that will seek to explore ways the Canvas API can be used to benefit students.

Participants will work towards proposing, designing, and building applications and dashboards that could be used to improve student learning and experiences. Innovative proposals or designs could become part of the UBC’s Learning Analytics pilot.

During this two-day hackathon, participants will form teams, work hands on with Canvas’s REST API, and design and build apps and dashboards and then show off what they accomplished at the end of the weekend with a brief presentation.  Prizes and awards will be given out for interesting projects.

We will work with the Canvas REST API that allows students to access their own learning data. Ever wondered what patterns can be determined how students are interacting and engaging with course materials and resources and how that information could be used to improve learning? Interested in learning what course data looks like? Do you have some ideas for analysis or applications that might give insight into this data? Can you think of a way to appropriately visualize or act upon this data?  For example:

  • Could you build an app that shows how much time you are spending online in your different courses?
  • How about an app that reminds you about course deadlines?
  • Or a tool to export all of your course data for archival?

If you have the desire to explore educational data, or to even just learn more about learning analytics, data analysis and/or visualization then we are looking for you to join us!

We will provide data, space (this event will be hosted in the Sauder Learning Labs), mentoring, breakfasts, and lunches. Students should have some programming experience, but beginners are welcome.

More Event Details

Don’t see what you’re looking for here? Feel free to contact Alison Myers (alison.myers@sauder.ubc.ca) or Will Engle (will.engle@ubc.ca)!

Organized by:

Want to learn more? Read and watch about last year’s hackathon here.


Please note: Some programming experience is required for this hackathon.

Saturday, October 27

  • 9:30am — Doors Open (coffee and pasteries)
  • 10:00am to 10:45am — Introduction and Welcome to the Hackathon! This session will provide information on how the hackathon will run as well as provide an overview of the Canvas REST API and learn about best practices and polices for working with it.
  • 10:45 to Noon — A Detailed Look at the API or Hacking. For those who want it, Hackathon organizers will provide more in-depth examples and demonstrations of working with the Canvas REST API.
  • Noon to 1pm — Lunch (provided)
  • 1:00pm to 6:00pm — Hacking!
  • 6:00pm — Wrap-up and end of day 1.

Sunday, October 28th

  • 9:30am — Doors Open (coffee and pasteries)
  • 9:30am to 9:40am — Welcome back and presentation overview
  • 9:40 to Noon — Hacking!
  • Noon to 1pm — Lunch (provided)
  • 1:00pm to 4:00pm — Hacking!
  • 4:00pm to 6:00pm — Presentations! Present your ideas and what you’ve done. A panel of teaching and learning experts will give out awards for interesting projects.
  • 6:00pm — Wrap-up and end of hackathon.

Hackathon Judges & Awards

  • Fred Cutler, Associate Professor, Political Science
  • Christina Hendricks, Professor, Philosophy; Academic Director, Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology (CTLT)
  • Max Holmes, VP Academic, AMS
  • Craig Thompson, Research Analyst, UBC Learning Analytics Project, CTLT
Awards for the top three projects will given out based on the following criteria:
  1. Potential to improve student learning experience & outcomes
  2. Technical Excellence
  3. Innovation & Novelty
  • One “Best showing” ($300 in UBC bookstore gift cards)
  • Two Runner ups ($100 UBC bookstore gift cards for each team)
  • Certificates for everyone who completes the hackathon (given out post hackathon)

Preparing for the Hackathon

What do you need to bring?
  • A coffee mug! (and/or water bottle)
  • Laptop and power cables.
Things you might want to do beforehand?
  • Check out the CAPICO website and github repo.
  • If you plan to use Tableau, you can download a trial of Tableau: Tableau Trial. (Students! You can register for a FREE 1-year license of Tableau Desktop: Student Trial ).
  • We will be setting up a Canvas course for the Hackathon – keep an eye out closer to the event for access and more details.


Venue Website:

6326 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z2