Published December 13, 2023

Unizin members attend Hackathon in Fort Collins, CO.


Colorado State University recently hosted the fourth in-person Unizin Hackathon, a gathering of our innovative community. The event delved into new topics such as synthetic data, but the most valuable takeaway was the commitment to advancing and sharing knowledge together as a community. Attendees reveled in the opportunity to forge new connections, share ideas, and incubate projects that advance the collective around analytics in the Higher Ed context. Code was written, revised, and shared in Unizin Slack space that leverages UDP data to represent various forms of student activity in a course, from session length calculations to student-content interactions in Canvas. Attendees also began to explore Kaltura data, and how to derive specific analytics from the popular video platform.

Evolution of Hackathons and Consortium Progress
The hackathon, a cornerstone of Unizin community engagement, has come a long way since its inception. What started as a means to introduce participants to the Unizin Data Platform (UDP) and evolve the Unizin Common Data Model (UCDM) has grown into a dynamic forum. This year’s discussions ranged from data governance, tools, and processes across the consortium to synthetic data creation.

Attendees explored a synthetic dataset that was meticulously crafted to represent over 10,000 students, 20 entities from the Unizin Common Data Model (UCDM), and a whopping 9 million caliper events. However, as the hackathon attendees discovered, it isn’t just numbers and figures; it’s a powerful tool with applications ranging from supporting interview processes to testing and prototyping software, training AI models, and offering pedagogical and classroom support. The event also explored best practices for advancing the consortium and reinforced the enduring value of hackathons as catalysts for innovation.

As participants reflected on this hackathon’s success, the consensus was clear—eliminating duplicate work and collectively advancing shared goals is the key to accelerated growth! With that in mind, the community is excited to co-create a digital environment that expedites the sharing of code and applications made locally, allowing the entire consortium to accelerate learning analytics initiatives in support of student success.