What is an API?

The term API is an acronym, and it stands for Application Programming Interface.  API’s are software intermediaries that allow two applications to talk to each other.  In other words, an API is the messenger that delivers your request to the provider that you’re requesting it from and then delivers the response back to you.  Let’s use Outcomes as an example.  If a campus’s assessment data (outcomes statements, assessment tools, assessment results) already lives in a campus system (or across multiple systems), you will be able to pull that data from your system and send it to the Outcomes tool through the API.  You will also be able to then retrieve that information from the Outcomes platform as well. 

What is the Outcomes API?

The Outcomes API has two sets of endpoints that a campus can use.  Campuses will find and identify the information they want to send within their campus systems.  They can then send it to Campus Labs through the API.  This will result in the particular fields associated with the Outcomes API being populated.

There two sets of endpoints which are titled Outcomes and Assessments.

Outcomes

These endpoints create, update or return a set of learning outcomes.  For the Outcomes Platform, these endpoints can populate or retrieve data from certain fields in the Outcome Template.  Campuses can send and retrieve data from the Identifier, Title, and Statement fields. 

Outcomes_Template.png

Assessments

These endpoints create or return a set of assessments and their results.  The assessment data has to be structured in the Total Achievement Level option format.  You cannot bring over student level data with the Outcomes API.  However, you will still be able to draw actionable insights with dynamic views of your outcomes assessment data using Campus Labs Insight. 

For the Outcomes Platform, these endpoints can populate or retrieve data from certain fields in two templates: the assessment template and the results template.  Campuses can send and retrieve data from Title, Method, Begin Date, End Date, Reason, and Delivery Format fields in the Assessment Template.

Assessment_Template.png

Campuses can send and retrieve data from the Thresholds, Scoring Type, Total Achievement Results, Analysis, Summary, Scoring Method, and Confidence fields in the Results Template.

Results_Template.png

 

Please note that this is a general description of the Outcomes API for discovery purposes.  For full usage descriptions and explanations please see our Outcomes API FAQ and the Technical Documentation.  You may also view some mapping between the templates and the JSON attribute-value keys here.  

What is required to use the Outcomes API?

To set up and maintain the Outcomes API, the Outcomes API requires the right campus contact.  The API Manager is someone on campus who will be responsible for managing the API process. 

Campus Labs Outcomes provides a web service that your central IT or a departmental programmer at your institution can use to query Campus Labs and send or receive Assessment or Outcomes information for a given semester. This query is performed using the unique identifier for each of your Assessments or Outcomes. A common use of this web service is for institutions to create an application/script hosted on campus that can be invoked by other applications on campus.  For more technical information please see our API documentation.  Please share this information along with the Technical Documentation to any possible API Manager and discuss the options.  

How do I get started with the Outcomes API?

If you are interested in moving forward, and have identified an API Manager, please reach out to your Campus Labs Consultant.  Your Consultant will schedule a meeting with our Technical Implementation Specialists who will provide an overview of the documentation and explain the next steps, such as key management.  

 

 

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