Michael de Raadt has published a follow up to his post about learning analytics and Moodle, this time diving into the various locations of data with the Moodle system and discussing the future of these sources. Its well worth the read if you’re interested in how and where to find data that might help you put a pin on learning activities and gain more insight to student learning than course evaluations and grades could ever do.
Read the full post at http://salvetore.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/learning-analytics-wheres-my-data-2/.
It’s interesting to have the differences in logs and database information spelled out so clearly, the limitations with database information is,
[T]hat they are not historical – they represent the current state of the system. There is some historical data, for example Forum posts and Chat sessions, but for historical information generally you need logs or observers. One advantage of drawing from database tables rather than logs is that such data can be gathered in real-time, all the time, which is not advisable for log data.
The 10 minute read goes on to discuss changes in 2.7, additional low cost (or free) tools that can help you understand activity on your Moodle and how to move forward.
Well worth the read, even (especially?) for the most novice of Educational Data Miners.