Study data & learning analytics
Analysis of study data can help to support students more effectively and efficiently. How do you use this study data in a safe and reliable way to improve education? With learning analytics, study data can be converted into valuable reports, for both teachers and students.
Studiedata Battle of concepts
Germaine Poot

Germaine Poot


Keywords learning analytics

Core concepts around student data and learning analytics helps institutions speak the same language.

Learning analytics

Learning analytics is the collection, analysis and reporting of data from learning environments to improve student learning. This information can then be made available to students, teachers or programme management.

Learning analytics architecture

Architecture showing how the different layers within a learning analytics system - input, data storage, analysis and presentation - are connected.

Learning analytics processor

The learning analytics processor (LAP) is the software programme that organises and analyses the learning analytics data from the LRS....

Learning record store

A learning record store (LRS) is a system where all data are stored from the various online (learning) environments that students use.

Alternative name: Learning Record Warehouse

Personal data locker

A personal data locker (PDL) is a service that enables a learner (or any other user) to manage, maintain and, if desired, share their personal information with others in a sustainable way.

Authentication and authorisation infrastructure

The infrastructure that regulates access to digital systems, e.g. access to the digital learning environment. This access is organised through identification (who are you), authentication (are you who you say you are) and authorisation (what information are you allowed to see).

Enterprise service bus

An enterprise service bus (ESB) is a software programme that handles the exchange, transformation and routing of data between applications. The ESB simplifies communication between sending and receiving applications and contributes to system integration.

Higher Education Reference Architecture (HORA)

The Higher Education Reference Architecture (HORA) is a collection of tools for setting up the organisation and information management of universities and colleges of higher education. The HORA consists of three parts: architectural vision, reference models and implementation tools.

Identity management

Identity management (also called user management) comprises the processes that focus on administering and managing users of a system, including access control and access rights. Based on identity, group or role, (groups of) individuals are granted access to and rights in certain parts of the learning or collaboration environment.

IMS Caliper

The IMS Caliper is a standard and provides an ecosystem to capture and present learning activities. It includes a common language for labelling learning data and provides a standard way of measuring learning activities.

Alternative names: IMS Caliper Analytics, Caliper Framework

Integration infrastructure

An integration infrastructure is the information assets (data, processes, tools and services) that allow data to be exchanged between applications. An integration infrastructure can allow a collection of separate systems to function as a single system. Here, we distinguish between visual integration (does the digital learning environment look like a single entity in terms of design), data integration and system integration.


Interoperability means that different applications and ICT systems connect and work together. This is very important within the digital learning environment, which combines different components (e.g. testing, communicating and timetabling). Interoperability requires common standards, protocols and procedures.

Open Education API

The Open Education API is a set of definitions that ensures that educational data from different applications are standardised and can therefore be reused in other (mobile) applications. The Open Education API is an initiative of SURF and a number of higher education institutions.

LTI: Learning Tools Interoperability

LTI is a standard for integrating tools and exchanging data. Tools are integrated into a so-called 'tool consumer', such as an LMS. An LMS can thus extend its functionalities in a uniform way with the functionalities of different tools (from other providers). It also exchanges data between the LMS and the tool to share context, e.g. personal data and/or course information, between the LMS and the integrated tool.

SAML: Security Assertion Markup Language

SAML is an XML-based framework for communicating user authentication, rights, and attribute information. SAML allows organisations to securely release the identity, attributes and rights of its users to applications that the organisation's users want to use. The applications redirect users who want to log in to the organisation to verify their identity there and then get back attributes of the organisation's logged-in users, such as name and e-mail address. Users are thus authenticated in the same way for different applications, thus providing a secure and unified login method.

VOOT: Virtual Organisation Orthogonal Technology

VOOT is a protocol for exchanging group and authorisation data. Where SAML is used for authentication, VOOT can be used for authorisation. Applications that users are logged into can use the VOOT protocol to retrieve group-related information, such as the groups a user is a member of or the members of a group. This group information is typically used for determining a user's rights or for user-to-user collaboration in the groups provided.


xAPI, also known as the Experience API, is an education technology standard that enables the collection of data on a variety of types of learning activities and experiences.

Alternative names: Experience API, Tin Can

For more information on this and other education standards, see the SURF standards website