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How xAPI is going to bring
“electricity” to learning!
Bill McDonald
Sabashiro Beach, LLC
cmi5 Working Group Leader
Overview
• What is xAPI?
• Why is xAPI important to learning ?
• What you can do with xAPI
• Major components of xAPI
• St...
What is xAPI?
• xAPI (“Experience API”) is a general purpose data
connectivity standard designed for tracking ANY kind of
...
What is xAPI? (2)
• xAPI was developed as a key part the TLA (Training
& Learning Architecture) initiative
• TLA was creat...
What is xAPI? (3)
• There 2 basic parts to the xAPI.
• The Learning Activity and the Learning Record Store
(LRS)
ANY
Learn...
What is xAPI? (4)
• The LRS is like a database server. The “API” is how
the Learning Activity communicates with the LRS to...
What is xAPI? (5)
Learning
ActivityLRS
LRS Learning
Activity
Learning
Activity
Learning
ActivityLRS
Learning
Activity
Lear...
Why is xAPI important ?
So, why is xAPI important to
learning ?
Why is xAPI important ? (2)
xAPI will provide “data
service” all learning
activities.
Imagine all the uses of
electricity....
Why is xAPI important ? (3)
• So why has this not been done before ? Well it has
BUT, it is rather expensive. (It requires...
Why is xAPI important ? (4)
• Imagine having detailed data on learner behavior
for ALL learning experiences in a central l...
Major components of xAPI
• LRS – Learning Record Store. (The database server
for all learning). The LRS listens and respon...
The “Geek Stuff”
And now for the “Geek Speak”….
• xAPI is a RESTful (Representational State Transfer) web
service. (HTTPS)...
The different “APIs” in xAPI
Statement API – The “important part”. Where the
learning activity records “statements”. State...
The xAPI Statement – “I did this”
•Statements record what the learner(s)
did.
• An xAPI statement has a very generalized
s...
The xAPI Statement – lots of room here !
• xAPI Statements follow an “actor-verb-object”
structure like an English sentenc...
(Some of) what’s in a an xAPI Statement
Actor - Who the Statement is about, the learner (or group of
learners). Represents...
An Example xAPI Statement
{
"actor":{
"objectType": "Agent",
"name":"Example Learner",
"mbox":"mailto:example.learner@adln...
xAPI Status
• xAPI version 1.0 was released in 2013. (Current
version is 1.0.2 – minor errata)
• Communities of Practice (...
Examples of xAPI products
• Examples of vendors who offer currently offer LRS
solutions.
• SaltBox (WaxLRS)
• Rustici Soft...
Summary
• xAPI is a generalized data service for almost ANY
type of learning (in any domain).
• xAPI will provide the comm...
How xAPI is going to bring "electricity" to learning !
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How xAPI is going to bring "electricity" to learning !

(Presented at Seattle Meetup "vNext" Sept 15, 2015)

xAPI is an exciting new communication interoperability standard that will have a huge effect on all types of learning in the future. It is like bringing “electricity” into your “house of learning”! This presentation will provide an overview of what xAPI is, where it came from, and what it can do to enhance all kinds of learning experiences and outcomes. Topics will also include the underlying technology and features of xAPI and why they represent significant improvements.

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How xAPI is going to bring "electricity" to learning !

  1. 1. How xAPI is going to bring “electricity” to learning! Bill McDonald Sabashiro Beach, LLC cmi5 Working Group Leader
  2. 2. Overview • What is xAPI? • Why is xAPI important to learning ? • What you can do with xAPI • Major components of xAPI • Status of xAPI
  3. 3. What is xAPI? • xAPI (“Experience API”) is a general purpose data connectivity standard designed for tracking ANY kind of learning activity. • Web • Mobile/Wearable • Game Consoles • Classroom • Workplace environment • Individual and Group Activities • In addition to “tracking” (recording), xAPI as can also provide data to learning activities.
  4. 4. What is xAPI? (2) • xAPI was developed as a key part the TLA (Training & Learning Architecture) initiative • TLA was created by the ADL, an group that supports US DoD. (The same people who created “SCORM”) • Facilitate, coordinate and lead the design of a new model to support innovative learning experiences
  5. 5. What is xAPI? (3) • There 2 basic parts to the xAPI. • The Learning Activity and the Learning Record Store (LRS) ANY Learning Activity LRS Record data Retrieve data The xAPI model The API part
  6. 6. What is xAPI? (4) • The LRS is like a database server. The “API” is how the Learning Activity communicates with the LRS to read and write data. • This a “client/server” relationship. LRS is the “server” and the Learning activity is the “client”. • The LRS server can also connect with other LRS servers.
  7. 7. What is xAPI? (5) Learning ActivityLRS LRS Learning Activity Learning Activity Learning ActivityLRS Learning Activity Learning Activity Reporting and Analysis Tools LRS to LRS communication
  8. 8. Why is xAPI important ? So, why is xAPI important to learning ?
  9. 9. Why is xAPI important ? (2) xAPI will provide “data service” all learning activities. Imagine all the uses of electricity. This data service will be that flexible. xAPI provides the means to put all learning on the same “grid” (only this grid provides data) Image Credit: U.S. Department of Energy
  10. 10. Why is xAPI important ? (3) • So why has this not been done before ? Well it has BUT, it is rather expensive. (It requires lots of custom, “one off” work) • Having a flexible, data connectivity standard to do this will lower the cost. • More feature rich learning technology that you can buy “off the shelf” will be one of the results of xAPI standardization.
  11. 11. Why is xAPI important ? (4) • Imagine having detailed data on learner behavior for ALL learning experiences in a central location where you can do extensive analysis. • Standards really matter ! They can create big change.
  12. 12. Major components of xAPI • LRS – Learning Record Store. (The database server for all learning). The LRS listens and responds to API requests from the Learning activity. • The Learning Activity – can pretty much be anything – a web page, mobile app, or an entire delivery system. The Learning activity communicates with the LRS by making API requests. • Authentication – How clients log into the LRS. • The API (Application Program Interface). The commands, data structure, and transport used.
  13. 13. The “Geek Stuff” And now for the “Geek Speak”…. • xAPI is a RESTful (Representational State Transfer) web service. (HTTPS) • xAPI uses JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) data structures • xAPI allows for MIME binary attachments. • For authentication, xAPI can use either oAuth or HTTP basic And what does THAT mean ? • It’s “good” (flexible, robust, scalable, and efficient) • It works well most devices and operating systems
  14. 14. The different “APIs” in xAPI Statement API – The “important part”. Where the learning activity records “statements”. Statements record what the learner did. Document API’s – Support data for learning activities • State API – Where the learning activity can record and retrieve its “state” (anything it needs to “remember” like bookmarks, etc.) • Activity Profile API – Where the learning activity can record metadata about itself. • Agent Profile API – Where the learning activity can store things related to the learner like “preferences”.
  15. 15. The xAPI Statement – “I did this” •Statements record what the learner(s) did. • An xAPI statement has a very generalized structure that can be extended for almost any type of learning domain. • xAPI statements are patterned after “activity streams”. • Imagine the learning activity sending out “tweets” on Twitter.
  16. 16. The xAPI Statement – lots of room here ! • xAPI Statements follow an “actor-verb-object” structure like an English sentence. • Actor = Learner(s) • Verb = Action Learner(s) performed • Object = thing that the action was performed on. • Examples: • “John mastered fencing” • “Henry read the operations manual”
  17. 17. (Some of) what’s in a an xAPI Statement Actor - Who the Statement is about, the learner (or group of learners). Represents the "I" in "I Did This". Verb - Action of the learner(s). Represents the "Did" in "I Did This". Object - Activity, Learner(s), or another Statement. Represents the "This" in "I Did This". Result - Result Object, further details (like score, etc.) Context - Context that gives the Statement more meaning. Attachments – MIME (“email type”) file attachments. (e.g. photo, video, PDF or anything else)
  18. 18. An Example xAPI Statement { "actor":{ "objectType": "Agent", "name":"Example Learner", "mbox":"mailto:example.learner@adlnet.gov" }, "verb":{ "id":"http://adlnet.gov/expapi/verbs/attempted", "display":{ "en-US":"attempted" } }, "object":{ "id":"http://example.adlnet.gov/xapi/example/simpleCBT", "definition":{ "name":{ "en-US":"simple CBT course" }, "description":{ "en-US":"A fictitious example CBT course." } } }, "result":{ "score":{ "scaled":0.95 }, "success":true, "completion":true } }
  19. 19. xAPI Status • xAPI version 1.0 was released in 2013. (Current version is 1.0.2 – minor errata) • Communities of Practice (CoP) have been formed to create “xAPI profiles”. • This will define Verb vocabularies for specific use cases. (and other things) • More on this in the next presentation !
  20. 20. Examples of xAPI products • Examples of vendors who offer currently offer LRS solutions. • SaltBox (WaxLRS) • Rustici Software (WaterShed LRS) • Learning Locker (Open Source) http://learninglocker.net/ • Examples of Content Creation tools with xAPI support: • Trivantis Lectora • Articulate Storyline 2
  21. 21. Summary • xAPI is a generalized data service for almost ANY type of learning (in any domain). • xAPI will provide the common “grid” that all learning activities can connect to for centralized reporting. • xAPI uses a set of technologies that robust, efficient, scalable, and flexible for today’s varied computing devices.

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