Faculty and administrators can request learning data from instructional tools for different reasons: course improvement projects, Scholarship of Teaching of Learning (SoTL) projects, educational research, grant reporting, and more. Research involving identifiable student data will generally require an approved IRB application prior to the data being release.

The core mission of the Learning Analytics Service is to serve faculty and students at the level of individual courses, providing tools and data that directly support teaching and learning. In order to gather community needs around learning analytics, NYU community members can submit requests for new analytics or data that support critical teaching and learning functions. New Analytics requests fit into three categories, based on attributes for the request. If your request includes the integration of a learning analytics tool into NYU Brightspace, please refer to Emerging Technologies: Tool Review Process.

On this page: Data Requests Basics | Example Request Types | Reviews for Data Requests | Personally Identifiable Information | Collaborative Agreement


Data Request Basics

When an NYU community member needs data from the learning data domain, they should complete the data request form. Data requests do not include data that instructional tool users can download via the user interface of the tool itself, but users should read the Learning Data Request Service Terms of Use (Google Doc—NYU NetID and password may be required) before downloading and using data outside of the NYU digital environment.

Example Request Types

Internal Research

  • Exploration or analysis for course improvements
  • Course design evaluation studies
  • Grant or Accreditation reporting

External Research

  • Research project meant for publication or presentation that includes data on student learning

Reviews for Data Requests

When submitting a request for Learning Data, there will be some key elements that you will need to specify. These include:

  • Who you are: Are you a Faculty member or Administrator?
  • Course owner: Is the data being requested from a course that you are teaching or is someone else the owner/instructor?
  • Allowance: If you are not the owner/instructor of the course, do you have consent to get access to the Course Data from the owner/instructor?
  • Purpose: Will this request be for Internal or External research? (See above for examples)
  • Approval: If this is for External Research then you will need to complete an IRB approval request
  • Request Action: Submit the Data Request Form

Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

Personally identifiable information (PII) is any data that can be used to identify a specific individual. Social Security numbers, School ID numbers, mailing or email addresses, and phone numbers are common examples of PII.

Depending on what you are trying to do, you may not need PII, and should not request identifiable data unless you need it.

 A common case for requesting data with PII is when you are trying to combine an outside data set with data from the learning data domain. If this is the case, a good plan is to have a third party (including the Learning Analytics Service Team) combine data sets and replace PII with anonymous identifiers before you access it. This helps protect student privacy and potential risks if a data breach occurs.

Collaborative Agreement

Projects that are adopted by the Learning Analytics Service rely on collaborations between project requesters and LA Service Team members to complete. The Learning Analytics Service Team may ask for a Collaborative Agreement from project requesters to balance aspects of design, testing, and release to the community. These agreements help ensure: (a) project goals and objectives are explicitly stated, (b) design is approached collaboratively, and reviewed by project requesters as well as other relevant user groups, and (c) user-acceptance testing and release can be planned for at the outset of the project.