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A The UDP instance integrates context data and behavior data from different systems and tools. After integrating the data, a UDP instance will transform the data so that it can be combined into a standard format for easier analysisThe UDP requires context and behavior data to conform to standard data models. When necessary, the UDP will transform learning data into the relevant standard data model. Consequently, learning data sourced from different learning tools will share a single data model. By combining the data from different systems and tools, a UDP instance creates a more comprehensive picture of learning, learners, and learning environments.In aggregate, the learning data integrated by the UDP provide a wide and deep description of learning environments, learners, and academic experience. 

During its data transformation steps, a UDP instance will assure that context data and behavior data are properly transformed into a single, common data model. 

Transforming data into a single data model is a key step in combining data from different tools into an easy to understand whole together. Additionally, transforming the data into a single data model makes downstream data use by data scientists, researchers, developers, and other end users more convenient and straightforward.

The UDP uses two standard data models – one for its : the Unizin Common Data model for context data; and another the IMS Global Caliper model for its behavior data. Each data model has its own affordances.

Unizin Common Data Model (UCDM)

The Unizin Common Data Model, or UCDM, is a data interoperability standard designed to exchange context data between learning tools and the Unizin Data Platform. The UDP accepts context data only if it conforms with the UCDM.  Any incoming context data that does not conform with the UCDM will be rejected by the UDP (see the concept of a UDP loading schema for more details).

Because context data is relational, the UCDM is also a relational schema that can be used to instantiate a datastore to support UCDM-conformant data. The UDP's Context store, for example, is a physical instantiation of the UCDM's normalized, relational model.

An entity relationship diagram for a subset of the Unizin Common Data Model

The Unizin consortium shepherds the development of the UCDM. It invites the participation of its members and vendor partners to develop the UCDM.


Because the UCDM is a relational model, some elements may serve as be foreign keys to other entities. For example, a Course offering entity will have a foreign key to the Academic session to which it belongs. In turn, an Academic session will have an element to capture the foreign key relationship the Academic term to which it belongs.


A Option set is an enumerated set of possible allowed values for an Element.

In the UCDM, some elements may only take values from a finite set of possible values that are valid for the element.  For example, the Person element that describes an individual’s sex may only take the values “Male,” “Female,” NotSelected,” and “NoData.” All other values are invalid and do not conform with the UCDM.

The UCDM defines a wide variety of option sets in its data model. Context data integrated into the UDP must align its values with the enumerated option set where they exist.


The UDP accepts behavior or behavior data if it conforms with the IMS Global Caliper standard, whose data model is often referred to simply as “Caliper.”  While the UCDM describes static objects, The Caliper data model describes discrete events behaviors/events in the learning environment.