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Canvas Data Collection and Usage

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Canvas Data Collection

The Canvas Learning Management System gathers data about student usage and interaction in the online platform. The full extent of data gathered by the system is outlined in the Canvas Data Portal, authored by the software company that makes Canvas, Instructure. Instructure documentation states that these data are not accurate enough to be used for “high-stakes analysis involving examining single users” such as to detect academic dishonesty. These data are managed in accordance with Instructure’s Product Privacy Notice and Stanford’s Online Privacy Policy.

Some data are made available to authorized Stanford faculty and staff for the purpose of improving instruction and students’ experiences using the platform, as well as other purposes consistent with that faculty/staff member’s role and responsibilities. A subset of these data are also made available to faculty, instructors, and authorized staff through an analytics tool called New Analytics, created by Instructure and offered as a standard feature in Canvas.

As a part of a Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) integration, some data may be shared with certain providers of third-party educational tools so that those tools can be used in Canvas courses.  Anonymized data may be used in educational research or for other purposes (e.g., Google Analytics) aimed at enhancing the learning experience.

Canvas Data Usage Agreement

The following Data Use Agreement is used to initiate and govern individual data shares.

This data sharing agreement is between Learning Technologies and Spaces (“LTS”) and the Data Requester (“Requester”). Below are requirements regarding the use of these data:

(1) The Requester shall only use the Canvas Learning Management System data to directly meet their specific and demonstrated need to support the teaching, learning, and/or research mission of Stanford University.

(2) The Requester shall not use the Canvas Learning Management System data to detect academic dishonesty, validate academic integrity, or to provide evidence of cheating. (For more detail, please refer to Instructure’s statement regarding data not being suited for “high-stakes analysis involving examining single users.”) Such issues should be referred to the Office of Community Standards.

(3) Neither the Requester nor their affiliated team members – faculty, employees, students, and/or fellows working or studying under the direct supervision of the Requester – may further distribute data to others.

(4) The Requester shall not make any efforts to re-identify data.

(5) All copies of these data will be destroyed upon request of LTS or after one year of receiving said data, whichever occurs first.

(6) The Requester shall notify all present and future team members in writing regarding these rules and ensure that they abide by them.

(7) The Requester shall ensure all Standard data security measures are followed per relevant Stanford UIT Information Security and Privacy Office policies.