UMED

UMED is a generic, universal data model for educational data. UMED will be the data basis for the oncoming LEMO2 learning analytics tool. And UMED could serve as a specification to exchange educational data between different learning environments (platforms) and learning contexts. UMED has been used to model activity data from the Moodle learning management system, and Iversity’s MOOC platform. As for data exchange, educational data in the MOOCdb data model, as well as data from the PSLC data shop, can be mapped onto the UMED data model.

Entity Relationship Model

Educational data can be represent by four entities: LearningActivity, LearningContext, Person, and LearningObject. A learning activity can be derived from log data of any learning management system, or social media platform. A learning activity refers to a person (in most cases: the learner), to a learning context, and to a learning object. Learning activities occur within a learning context. A learning context my be a class, a learning group, a MOOC, an online encyclopedia, or a session in a Web-based learning application. Persons have a defined role within a learning context. The basic role is learner, other important roles are instructor and tutor. There is a variety of learning objects, depending on the different platforms. Examples are learning materials like documents, presentations, Web-based trainings, suggested readings, videos, but also a forum on a collaboration platform, tests, and (self) assessments. There are also “container” objects, containing other learning objects, e.g. a chapter of a course, a topic with a set of videos, a list of suggested readings, a forum with a list of discussion threads, an assessment with a list of tasks, or a test with a set of questions.

Core Data Model

From the ERM above, a core data model can be derived. LearningContext, LearningObject and LearningActivity are hierarchical data structures: a context (learning group) may be contained in another context (course),  an object (forum) may be contained in another object (chapter), and an activity may refer to a previous activity. LearningActivity has an action attribute (view, submit, post), and an info attribute, which could hold a learner’s contribution (submission). The core data model does not depend on a specific data model (learning context), but allows for a wide range of platform-independent analyses.

Extensions to the Core Data Model

To model features of educational data which cannot be represented by the core data model, UMED allows for generic extensions, i.e. without changing the data model. This is done by four Tables LearningContextExt, PersonExt, LearningActivityExt, and LearningObjectExt. The complete UMED data model:

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