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Get to Know EDA: The Education Data Architecture for Salesforce

By Ali Ganjalizadeh | August 19, 2019 | Education, Education Cloud, Higher Education, K-12 Education

The education technology community gathers to drive education technology innovation with EDA and build relationships at Open Source Community Sprints like this one in Detroit in 2019.
The education technology community gathers to drive education technology innovation with EDA and build relationships at Open Source Community Sprints like this one in Detroit in 2019.

Traditionally, most people think about education as a series of separate stages: primary or elementary school, then high school, undergrad, and then post-grad. But with student demographics changing as well as the need to re-skill and up-skill throughout our lifetime, many of us are starting to understand that education today is more than a series of steps –
it’s a lifelong journey.

We see the lines blurring more and more between these different stages of education – highlighting an opportunity to create a connected experience for the lifelong learner. For example, community college systems like the Dallas County Community College District are forming partnerships with K-12 schools and districts to ensure that local students have a clear pathway to college. The student lifecycle is also changing as more and more learners are engaging with education at different points in their lifetime. In fact, a recent blog from the Educause Review highlighted that the average age of a college/university student hovers around twenty-seven years old. Many of these students might have gone to college before or are just looking to remain competitive in the workforce by learning a new skill set.

Education institutions are realizing that acknowledging and understanding these varying student journeys is critical to success.

For the student, education is one continuous experience.

And we believe it can be powered by a one data architecture, too.

A group of higher education technology enthusiasts discuss the Education Data Architecture at the Salesforce.org Open Source Community Sprint in 2019.
A group of higher education technology enthusiasts discuss the Education Data Architecture at the Salesforce.org Open Source Community Sprint in 2019.

That’s why at Higher Ed Summit this year, we dropped the “H” in HEDA and announced EDA, the Education Data Architecture supporting K-20 education. Our vision has always been to create a platform that supports a holistic education experience, from early education through adulthood. As the foundation of Education Cloud, EDA provides a flexible architecture for institutions to easily configure Salesforce out of the box for the education industry. With Salesforce objects that model student relationships and affiliations to courses, departments, and more, EDA makes it easy for institutions to get up and running with Education Cloud in no time.

A look at how EDA objects provide a 360-degree view of the student. Check out the <a href="https://powerofus.force.com/s/article/EDA-Entity-Relationship-Diagram" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">EDA Relationship Entity Diagram</a> for a deeper dive into what the Education Data Architecture looks like.
A look at how EDA objects provide a 360-degree view of the student. Check out the EDA Relationship Entity Diagram for a deeper dive into what the Education Data Architecture looks like.

The EDA product team is consistently providing the latest in K-20 innovation to our customers. In fact, the team recently launched 10 new objects in EDA including:

Attribute: Institutions can use this new object to track credentials awarded to or earned by faculty and students (or any contact). With the attribute object, you can create different record types to track any trait, credential, and attribute you desire. Some common use-cases for the attribute object include:

  • A university might use attributes to track the agency and expiration of state bar-accreditation for law professors.
  • An educational institution might use attributes to track student characteristics like accommodations for a student with special needs.

Attendance: This is an object designed to track a student’s attendance or participation in a course. Some common use-cases for the attendance object include:

  • A university might use attendance events to track the number of days a student missed a specific course.
  • A K-12 school might use attendance events to track a student’s tardiness or absence for a class period or an entire day.
  • This attendance object is also helpful in cases where you want to determine a student’s total participation for a term when it’s completed.

Term Grade: Institutions can use this object to track milestone grades associated with a student’s course within a term, e.g. mid terms, final exams, or final grade. Keep in mind, earlier this year the EDA product team introduced the ability for terms to be self-referential, meaning you can get as granular as you want with terms to fit your institution’s requirements (e.g. 2019 Year Term > Summer Semester Term > Summer 1 > Summer 2)

And with the recent launch of K-12 Kit, built on EDA, K-12 schools and districts can get true 360-degree views of student needs and outcomes, take collaborative actions, and better engage families to drive student and school success. Aligned to the Ed-Fi Alliance K-12 data standard, K-12 Kit is easily customizable – from reports and dashboards to third-party or custom-built apps.

Implementing EDA for higher ed institutions or K-12 Kit for schools or districts is the first step to get up and running with Education Cloud. EDA comes out of the box with industry-standard objects built for education and is designed to scale with your institution’s changing needs. You can also extend EDA with dozens of EDA-compatible apps available on the Salesforce AppExchange.

Where we are today would not have been possible without our customers, partners, and amazing education community (that’s you!). We will continue to have more webinars, community sprints, accelerators, GitHub discussions and more to further our EDA efforts. Keep reading to learn more about EDA in the infographic below and make sure to check out our most recent EDA “Ask Me Anything” event in the Power of Us Hub!

Get Started With the Education Data Architecture Today!

Try EDA for Free!
Check out our free, 30-day trials for higher education and K-12.

Explore the Power of Us Hub
Connect with other educational institutions using EDA in the Power of Us Hub.

Take the Education Cloud Module on Trailhead
Learn more about Education Cloud on Trailhead, Salesforce’s free guided learning platform.

EDA infographic