OneRoster District Guide
Updated August 2020
Penda Learning supports rostering with the IMS Global OneRoster standard in both CSV and REST formats. The OneRoster format is the industry standard for transferring roster data between your SIS and third-party vendors like Penda Learning.
Chances are that your SIS already supports OneRoster! While this guide is designed to be as specific as possible, your individual SIS will determine the steps required to complete this task. It is highly recommended that you consult the documentation and/or customer support for your SIS for specific instructions on exporting data in the OneRoster format.
Your SIS will likely have everything you need to complete this task. Exporting your rostering data should not require special skills, but understanding a few concepts will help. Let’s go over some terminology and references.
IMS Global OneRoster
The industry standard for transferring roster data between education systems. This standard defines the formatting of user info, classes, enrollments, etc. The standard allows for adding, editing and removing data with each update.
CSV - “comma-separated values”
A text file format with values separated by commas. Much like an Excel Spreadsheet, each row is an individual record and each column is a value. Usually, the first row contains the labels for each column. See https://www.imsglobal.org/oneroster-v11-final-csv-tables for the OneRoster CSV specification.
REST - “Representational State Transfer”
A system architecture that facilitates sending data from one server to another. When enabled for rostering, your SIS and Penda’s servers will communicate directly, rather than sending files from your SIS to our FTP server. See https://www.imsglobal.org/oneroster-v11-final-specification for the OneRoster REST specification.
FTP - “File Transfer Protocol”
A protocol for sending and receiving files. If using the CSV format for rostering, we will provide you with credentials for logging into our FTP server. Once connected, you can upload your roster files to our server. This process can be completed automatically on a schedule for regular updates. Request FTP credentials from your Penda Learning sales manager when you are ready to get started with the CSV upload.
Now that we have covered some of the basic terms, let’s cover the data required to roster with Penda Learning. Depending on which method of transfer you choose, CSV or REST, there will be slight differences in how the data is transferred, but the data required is the same. Refer to your SIS documentation on how to set up your preferred method.
Classes - classes.csv
The list of classes for which students are enrolled. These are instances of courses.
In addition to the OneRoster required fields, Penda also requires the periods field. Periods should be numeric values only.
Courses - courses.csv
The list of courses for which you have active classes.
Enrollments - enrollments.csv
The list of student enrollments in classes.
Organizations - orgs.csv
The list of schools in the district being rostered.
Users - users.csv
The list of students and teachers/staff.
In addition to the OneRoster required fields, Penda also requires the grades field. Grades should be numeric values only.
Manifest - manifest.csv
The list of files included in the update.
(optional) Demographics - demographics.csv
User demographics and extra data about the students.
There are other files and data that can be provided via OneRoster, however, we do not need them. No harm will come from sending the extra files, but they are not necessary.
Steps to Completion
Consider the following list items to be a general guideline for step-by-step rostering via OneRoster. Again, refer to your SIS documentation or customer support for specific instructions.
- Determine your SIS’s OneRoster capabilities. Any mainstream SIS should support OneRoster. If your SIS supports REST API data transfer, consider using this option. If it does not or you prefer not to use this method, use the CSV option. The SIS help documents and customer service should be able to provide this information. Feel free to reach out to your Penda Learning account manager for assistance.
- You have determined your SIS’s OneRoster capabilities and have chosen a method of data transfer. Follow your SIS’s documentation and/or contact their customer service for detailed instructions on how to export the data for this method. Unfortunately, we can’t offer specifics for your SIS as they each behave differently.
- Now that your SIS is primed for exporting the data, you must get credentials from your Penda Learning account manager to send the data to our servers.
- Your SIS is now ready to send the data and you have credentials for Penda Learning’s servers. You are all set for your first transfer. Run the transfer and let your Penda Learning account manager know if you encounter any issues.
- If everything runs smoothly, the next step is to create an automated schedule for transferring the data. If using the CSV method, set your SIS to send nightly updates.
If everything is completed successfully, your rostering data will be transferred to Penda Learning and updated on a regular basis.
Thank you for reading this guide. We hope it provided you with some clarification on the process and options. Remember that the customer support for your SIS should be able to assist you in the technical set up within their software. You can always reach out to your Penda Learning account manager for more assistance.
Click here to download sample OneRoster files: