HackUBC: Learning Analytics + Canvas API Hackathon

Are you interested in exploring educational data and thinking of ways you can visualize or act on that data? Do you like the sound of designing or building a Canvas app that improves your own learning?

If yes — or if you just want find out more about learning analytics, data analysis, or visualization — then we’re looking for you to join us for HackUBC – UBC’s Learning Analytics + Canvas API Hackathon taking place on March 29–30. Total beginners and experienced programmers welcome!

Projects from past hackathons have included an app that sends you Canvas assignment deadline reminders and a tool that uses neural networks to help you evaluate the quality of your discussion contributions.

This will be our fifth learning analytics hackathon! As always, participating is free, but you do need to register. This event usually has a waitlist, so we recommend RSVP-ing as soon as you know you can make it.

How this works

During this two-day Hackathon, participants will form teams and work towards planning, designing, and building applications and dashboards aimed at improving student learning and experiences. At the end of the hackathon, you and your team will show off what you’ve come up with. Innovative proposals or designs could become part of UBC’s Learning Analytics Project.

We’ll provide data, space, mentoring, coffee, meals, and snacks.

RSVP for one of two tracks

This event offers two streams — please see the descriptions below and register:

Beginner track: You don’t need to have any previous programming experience for the beginner track, but you’re eager to learn something new. Participants in the beginner workshop series will use a mix of programming and tools to get data, clean it up, and visualize it.

Advanced track: You don’t need to know Python for the advanced track, but you should have some experience programming. In the advanced workshop series, you’ll be learning how to use Python for data-science type activities, like getting data from the web, cleaning data, and visualizing data. You should at least know what an API is and be interested in getting some hands-on experience. (If you know all of these things already, you’re welcome to just show up and “hack”!)

Event schedule

On day 1, join us for a welcome, an Ideation Workshop, and the HackUBC social event. On day 2, we’re offering optional workshops aimed at beginners and advanced students. Attend any or all workshops, or just get together with your team and start hacking! Team presentations wrap up the event.

Friday, March 29

4:00 to 4:15 PM – HackUBC begins: Welcome to the Hackathon!

4:15 to 5:00 PM – Ideation Workshop

5:15 to 7:00 PM – HackUBC Social Event (pizza)

Saturday, March 30

8:30 AM – doors open (coffee and pastries)

9:00 to 9:30 AM — Intro + Ground Rules.

  • This session provides information about how the hackathon will run. We’ll also provide an overview of the Canvas REST API and best practices and policies you need to know to work with it.

9:30 to 10:45 AM — Workshop: Access Your Data

  • Beginner stream
  • Advanced steam

10:45 to noon — Workshop: Clean Your Data.

  • Beginner stream: Cleaning your data using Excel or Google Sheets.
  • Advanced Stream: Cleaning and anonymizing your data using Python.

Noon to 1:00 PM — Lunch (provided)

  • Learn more about opportunities to get involved with data at UBC and beyond.

1:00 to 2:45 PM – Workshop: Visualize Your Data

  • Beginner stream: Visualizing data in Tableau
  • Advanced Stream: Visualizing data in Jupyter Notebooks

2:45 to 3:00 PM — Workshop: Selling it!

  • Sharpen your presentation skills and get pointers on selling your idea! Open to students in the beginner and advanced track.

3:00 to 5:00 PM — Hacking!

5:00 to 7:00 PM — Presentations (and dinner)

  • Present your ideas and what you’ve done. Wrap up and go home!

Preparing for the Hackathon

What should I do beforehand?

  • Register for the beginner or advanced track.
  • Check out the Canvas API Community website and GitHub repo.
  • If you plan to use Tableau, you can download a free Tableau Trial. (Students! You can register for a FREE 1-year license of Tableau Desktop: Student Trial).
  • We’ve now set up a Canvas course for the Hackathon. If you’ve been added from the waitlist and have not yet received a link to the Canvas course, please contact heidi.wudrick@ubc.ca
  • Have a Facebook account? Mark yourself down as attending via the Facebook event.

What should I bring?

  • A coffee mug and/or water bottle
  • Laptop and power cables.

Where’s the hackathon taking place?

DL009, Sauder Learning Labs, David Lam Building, UBC Point Grey Campus

Want to learn more?

You can read more about our last hackathon hereStill have questions? Feel free to contact Alison Myers (alison.myers@sauder.ubc.ca) or Will Engle (will.engle@ubc.ca).

HackUBC is sponsored by the Learning Analytics ProjectLAVA, CAPICO, and Sauder Learning Services.