Many research initiatives in learning analytics and data mining within Moodle data focus on the log records. Why are we asking for entire database copies for Project Inspire?
There is actually a lot of information about Moodle activities that is not stored directly in the log records. For example, due dates (if implemented) are stored in tables specific to the activity module.
The overall strategy is to compare expectations with achievements:
What activities are learners expected to access during time period? (At simplest, this is the activities that are contained in a given time range of the course; where available we will use due dates or "expect completed by" dates.)
What level of interaction is expected? (These include operationalized estimates of Community of Inquiry "presence" levels, E.g. number of posts, size of attachment, number of other participants interacted with. Sometimes this is defined by activity, sometimes specified in Completion Criteria, sometimes we might have to compare to median of other students.)
We will compare this expectation per activity to:
What activities did the learner access during the time period?
What level of interaction did they conduct?
Number of submissions to the activity
Volume of submissions to the activity
Number of other participants interacted with
With all this in mind, we really do need complete data sets to test these indicators in a variety of institutions and contexts. We have data from a "Learn Moodle" MOOC, and we have received some interest in contributing more data from participants in this course. Please consider whether your institution could possibly contribute data to this project.