Unizin October 2020 Hackathon

October 29-30, 2020

Previous Unizin Hackathons laid the groundwork and provided ample opportunities for involvement. Since the last hackathon in February, the entire landscape of higher education has been disrupted due to COVID, and it’s more important than ever to leverage our teaching and learning data. The October 2020 Hackathon serves to bring the entire Unizin consortium together during this unprecedented time to collaborate on ways we can use the UDP to best serve our universities and students. Even though this hackathon will be virtual, we are excited to connect with everyone and get hands-on with UDP data!  

Three sessions will be offered this hackathon. Unlike previous hackathons, you can attend all three sessions if you like! No need to pick just one. Each session has been optimized for a half-day block and will run in sequence. One registration grants access to all three sessions; attend as much as you like! Here are overviews of the three sessions:


Session 1: UDP Bootcamp 

This track will cover all things UDP. Fresh UDP users and experienced analysts alike will dive right into the heart of the UDP and uncover the richness of the data inside. No previous experience with the UDP is required! We’ll use tools like BigQuery, Data Studio, RStudio, and more to query real UDP data. At the end of this track, everyone should understand exactly how the UDP is built, how to access data, and how to construct analyses on this data. This is an essential track to join when starting out with the UDP!


Session 2: Data reporting during the pandemic: Current state, and lessons learned

As the pandemic hit our institutions many of us were tasked with providing data to assist with the process. The data requested varied from institution to institution based upon the strategies the institution was employing, and based upon the perceived areas of weakness. We ended up with dashboards, reports, and new capabilities as part of this response.

This session is a forum for us to share with our colleagues from other institutions the result of our efforts, as well as discuss the deficiencies we uncovered in our ability to report out the data that was being requested of us.

The presentations will not be recorded as there may be sensitive data in the presentations. We leave the presenters to decide how they would want to present their reporting. It could just be reports, with a flowchart of the process involved; or it could be a Jupyter Notebook with code. This totally depends on how the data was collated and presented.


Session 3: Analyze learning event data using BigQuery, Data Studio, Jupyter Notebooks

The Unizin Data Platform (UDP) uses Google BigQuery to store learning events emitted from the learning management system (Canvas) and other ed tech tools (Kaltura, iClicker, etc.)

The track will introduce the Caliper format of learning event data, and how to query those event data using various tools (BigQuery, Data Studio, iPython notebooks). No prior knowledge of BigQuery and Data Studio is required since we will provide an introduction at the beginning. However, familiarity with basic SQL and/or Python/Pandas syntax would be helpful.

Registration is now closed

Our event is now at capacity. Thank you all who registered for the event and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Why attend?

  • You will learn about the Unizin Data Platform. New to the UDP? Learn about the teaching and learning data integrated with the UDP and ready for use. Get to know the UDP’s data ontology and the range of data available to use in it.
  • Every track is hands-on. You’ll roll your sleeves up and use data, tools, and services throughout the hackathon experience. You’ll go home with tangible new skills that you can use to continue using the UDP at your institution.
  • You’ll go home with something to show. Every hackathon track ends with producing something that you can take home to your institution – an application, a dashboard, and analyzes on real data.
  • Network and connect. We’re like-minded institutions! Come meet your peers motivated by the same problems and opportunities as you are.
  • It’s free! It’s from your home! Adapting to these times to make a virtual hackathon has been challenging, but one benefit is that there are no costs or travel barriers! Anyone and everyone interested in the UDP can register to attend, free of charge!
  • What happens at the hackathon, doesn’t stay at the hackathon.  The innovative things accomplished at the hackathon are often incorporated into projects outside of the hackathon. This is a great opportunity to network with other analysts and researchers across the biggest universities in the country!

Who Should Attend?

The diversity of participants with different expertise and interests contributes to the success of hackathon outcomes. No one individual can supply all pieces of the puzzle when hacking/innovating on complex situations and systems. The tracks will be hands-on and technical in nature, so analysts, data scientists, researchers, and data engineers are natural fits. We also love having faculty, instructional designers, and administrators join to paint larger pictures about the landscape of UDP data.

What if I have no prior hackathon experience?

You’ve found the perfect place and time to learn! Whether you’re a researcher, coder, analyst, designer or otherwise gifted, there will be experiences and others present to ease your way through your first hackathon experience.

“The Hackathon was a great opportunity to share and problem solve some of the challenges that we encounter across all of our universities. I was introduced to a tool that one of our peers has been developing that fills a large need for us. I was able to learn about the tool, ask questions, install it on my machine and bring back that knowledge to my campus. Everyone was open to discussion, jumped in to assist when possible and made sure that we all left with something valuable.”  Luke from Minnesota, 1st time hackathon attendee

What tech do I need to participate in the hackathon?

The primary tools you will need are a laptop/computer, internet access, web browser, and Zoom video conferencing. The tracks may have other specific tools, but the track leaders will communicate that with you if needed!

Do I have to decide on what track I want to be involved in before I arrive?

No! You can attend all tracks if you like! Upon registration, you will receive calendar invites with Zoom video conferencing links for all of the tracks.