The following are important areas that JISC should pursue.
It is recommended that JISC should fund work to develop (or reuse and integrate existing open source tools) to visualise activity data
Tools of this kind could support at least
  • The exploration activity data before designing for its use
  • The display the outputs of analysis of activity data, eg to display learning analytics
JISC might do this by encouraging and funding projects that
  • Incorporate useful reusable visualisation components
  • Develop general purpose activity data visualisation toolkits (and demonstrate their use)
It is recommended that JISC continue work on open activity data
In particular fund projects that
  • Develop one or more repositories for open activity data, including APIs to store and access the activity data. These repositories should be capable of accommodating the diversity of activity data formats.
    Suitable noSQL databases could be used for this purpose.
With repository use, the project(s) should
  • Identify common and variant activity data in different kinds of activity data
  • If possible, formulate common formats that might become standards
It is recommended that one or more projects in year 2 should investigate the value of a mixed activity data approach in connection with noSQL databases in order to maximise flexibility in the accumulation, aggregation and analysis of activity data and supporting data sets; the US Learning Registry project may be relevant.
This is distinct in aim from noSQL’s potential use in Recommendation 6, there the intent is storage and retrieval, here it is leveraging greater effect from using multiple datasets.
It is recommended that JISC should continue to fund work on of the discovery and use of ontologies in the analysis and interpretation of activity data.
It is recommended that JISC ask appropriate experts (such as Naomi Korn / Charles Oppenheim or JISC Legal) to provide advice on the legal aspects such as privacy and data sharing, similar to Licensing Open Data: A Practical Guide (written for the Discovery project).