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Learning analytics tools aim to boost student retention, outcomes

“It has always been focused specifically on the learning side, making sure that we can help teachers and administrators, and students see at a glance how students are doing,” said Brian Whitmer, co-founder and chief product officer at Canvas.


Product developers used the same process to create Canvas Analytics that they used to create the larger open-source Canvas LMS. Designed with input from a dozen institutions, Canvas Analytics aims to address the major challenges experienced by students and faculty.

“I’m really proud of the fact that our analytics suite is as open as the rest of Canvas,” said Whitmer. “We think of Canvas as a learning platform. It’s the hub that brings the educational experiences together.”

Whitmer said the openness of Canvas Analytics allows administrators to harvest and control their own data. When asked about the outlook for learning analytics, he said he thinks well-organized data will lead to better decision making in higher education.

“I think there’s a great opportunity in the next couple of years to see this data-driven decision making come to the forefront,” he said. “Some of our heavier users of analytics have been students [who] are looking at their own data.”


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