Aspects Overview#

What it is#

Aspects captures learning events and transforms them into data visualizations. When a learner enrolls in a course, that event is captured in a database and displayed back to the course instructor as a graph of learner enrollments over time. When an instructor adds a new problem to their course and publishes it, the course data is refreshed in the database so that it can immediately begin showing information about how learners answer the question.

Aspects is being built to help Open edX users answer questions like:

  • How many learners were active in a specified time period?

  • How many learners are participating in forum discussions?

  • How often was this problem answered correctly vs incorrectly?

  • How much of each video is watched, and which sections were re-watched most?

By default Aspects focuses on learner privacy and does not include the ability to identify learners in the reports. This type of functionality can be added via plugins if desirable, but can have negative performance and user interface issues for large courses.

How it works#

Many actions in the Open edX platform generate Tracking Logs, which are captured by the event-routing-backends plugin, transformed into xAPI statements, and either forwarded to the Ralph learning record store or sent to the Vector log statement forwarder (depending on configuration). Either option will save the xAPI statement to a ClickHouse analytic database. Once in the database, the statement can be transformed and aggregated in many different ways using different types of views or intermediate tables to generate data that is then displayed using Superset.

See the Data Flow PDF for more details.

For Instructors#

By default instructors can use their Open edX installation to single sign-on to the Superset instance. Superset will pull in the courses that you are an instructor on from the LMS and assign you appropriate permissions. It will also pull in your preferred language from the LMS and attempt to display content in that language. Once logged in you will be able to see the Instructor Dashboard. From here you can navigate to different tabs and view the different Instructor Reports made available by your site operators.

For Analysts#

Data Analysts don’t yet have specific roles that we can pull from the Open edX installation, but we hope to be able to do that soon. For now, you should be able to get appropriate permissions assigned to you by a site operator or administrator with the necessary permissions. In addition to being able to see the Instructor Reports you may get access to the Operator Reports and the ability to use the SQL Lab to run queries directly against the different ClickHouse data sources.

See the Superset. documentation for more information on how to use the advanced Superset features.

For Operators#

Site operators have full administrative access to Superset as well as a dashboard Operator Reports of metrics to monitor instance-wide health and activity. See the Superset. documentation for more information on how to use the advanced Superset features. You can also create new dashboards and charts.

For Developers#

Developers can extend Aspects in numerous ways to work with the many ways Open edX can be configured and unique reporting needs for each organization.