xAPI Core Concepts

xAPI is elegant in its simplicity.  It all centers around the simple ACTOR-VERB-OBJECT.  It is this simple kernel of knowledge that promises to unlock immeasurable learning experiences and their components providing us with diagnostic and predictive data like Learning and Development has only dreamed of to date.  The links on this page are to resources that will provide beginning steps to understanding the basics of xAPI and the promise it holds to change the practice of L&D.
A helpful hint to those who are new to xAPI.  The xAPI standard is about creating data and storing it.  PERIOD.  Early on, I made the mistake of thinking it was about content.  Then it was clearly about learning analytics.  Next, I confused it with performance.management.  While it will certainly have a tremendous impact on these and other matters, xAPI is focused on getting consistent data from numerous sources in learning situations – formal, social, and informal.

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These links were created using Diigo, you’ll find my highlights on the pages when you click through using these links.  If you’d prefer, you can go to my original Diigo outliner where I’ve been doing the aggregation and curating of these links.

Get Started Here!

This group of links is to introductory content on xAPI. What it is and why it is such a potential game changer for Learning and Development. Get your feet wet here!

xAPI for Non-xAPI People: What You Need to Know | Blog | HT2 Labs 

FEB 2017 – A very basic summary of xAPI and it’s benefits voiced for non-xAPI, non-learning folks who will need to understand. 

actor verb object

The building blocks of xAPI

About Experience API (xAPI) | ADLNet
This is the specification on ADL’s site 

xAPI: An Introductory Guide
Yet Analytics provides a clear and concise introduction to xAPI 

xAPI: Beyond the What –
DEC 2016 – Myrna Roldan provides a little more information regarding the xAPI learning ecosystem, the learning records store (LRS), the connections between 3rd party systems and the resources you’ll need to put in place to get started.

new-icon-littleExtend the Enterprise Learning Ecosystem with a Centralized LRS | Riptide Learning
OCT 2016 – Nick Washburn provides an argument for why organizations should consider adopting xAPI and an LRS to link all their learning activities together.

 

Deeper into xAPI/How does it differ from SCORM

Start exploring xAPI in a bit more detail with these links.  How does it compare to SCORM? How will it affect instructional design?  How does it fit with the Big Data movement?  What can it mean for Learning & Development?

Experience API (aka Tin Can API) Demystified | YouTube
FEB 2014 – Simple explanation of the difference between SCORM and xAPI.

Experience API, cmi5, and Future SCORM by Art Werkenthin: Learning Solutions Magazine
MAY 2015 – Very thorough discussion of the history of elearning standards, the pluses and minuses of SCORM, how xAPI and cmi5 work together to dramatically expand the capabilities from the current SCORM set. (NOTE: This article was written before the Quartz (current) version of cmi5 was released. But nothing here is obsolete or superseded.) 

xAPI in eLearning Beyond SCORM to a Big Data Future | Brandon Hall Group
DEC 2016 a Brandon Hall webinar with leaders from Docebo and Trivantis. 

Life in a Post-SCORM World, Part 1 | xAPI Quarterly – Connections Forum
JAN 2016 – Megan Torrance looks at two questions often asked about xAPI:

  1. What can xAPI do that SCORM can’t?
  2. If I can track everything, I could get an enormous amount of data. How do I choose what data to track?

She also discusses two design models – Cathy Moore’s Action Map (linking it with Kirkpatrick Evaluation Levels) and Gottfredson and Mosher’s Five Moments of Learning Need – as ways to think about determining what data you will need to analyze. 

Learning Corner: Andrew Downes on Data Portability  RISC INC
AUG 2016 – Andrew Downes provides a brief argument in favor of data interoperability and the value of a common standard like xAPI. 

 

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cmi5 is an xAPI profile that enables course packages to be loaded to LMSs. It is the part of xAPI that will be the replacement for SCORM. Check these resources out to learn more.

new-icon-littleThe cmi5 Project
MAR 2017 – An updated cmi5 home page complete with a detailed comparison of SCORM to the cmi5 profile for xAPI.  

Cmi5 and xAPI: Plan now for the future of eLearning [Free eBook]
FEB 2017 – The folks at LearnUpon provide this concise guide to understanding xAPI and cmi5 – what they are and the benefits they promise. (Joining their email list is required before download of PDF.)  

Innovator Interview: How cmi5 is Changing eLearning | LinkedIn
MAY 2015 – This interview with Art Werkenthin covers cmi5 – the LMS content profile that works with xAPI. cmi5 is similar to SCORM, but it also has the power of xAPI. 

Cmi5 and xAPI: Plan now for the future of eLearning [Free eBook]
FEB 2017 – The folks at LearnUpon provide this concise guide to understanding xAPI and cmi5 – what they are and the benefits they promise. (Joining their email list is required before download of PDF.) 

cmi5: The next generation SCORM | RISC INC
NOV 2014 – Art Werkenthin provides a great overview of the cmi5 spec that extends API for standard LMS courses, replacing SCORM as the future technical specification for that content. Werkenthin provides several use cases which illustrate the difference between SCORM and cmi5. 

cmi5 – Not Your Father’s SCORM
FEB n2017 – The cmi5 profile for xAPI has been launched and the reviews are positive. Here’s an example of SCORM vs cmi5 clearly demonstrates the advantages of cmi5. 

cmi5: An overview of the Process Flow | RISC INC
DEC 2014 – Art Werkenthin provides step by step guide to the cmi5 process for courses in LMSs in an xAPI ecosystem. 

new-icon-littleSCORM – cmi5 is live in SCORM Cloud | Rustici Software
FEB 2017 – Rustici Software announces the launch of cmi5 in SCORM Cloud. They briefly explain a bit of the history that lead to cmi5 and then discuss what cmi5 is and the benefits of it over SCORM.

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Blue Sky Thoughts

The possibilities that xAPI may open are exciting.  Check out these resources that imagine a future with xAPI data everywhere.

Five steps for learning leaders to get started with Experience API | Corporate Learning Network
OCT 2013 – John Delano covers five key steps in the initial consideration and implementation of xAPI. (Requires free registration to the website.) 

xAPI Captures Learning Activity, Wherever It Occurs by Pamela S. Hogle : Learning Solutions Magazine
DEC 2016 – Great overview of what the potential of xAPI is 

The Learning Technology Manager’s Guide to the xAPI | HT2 Labs
This us a great summary of the technical aspects of xAPI. Really well positioned for the Learning professional who understands technology “just enough to be dangerous” vs the truly tech person. (Requires free registration to the website.) 

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Why LinkedIn should kill the résumé and replace it with the experience graph | TechCrunch
AUG 2016 – TechCrunch provides an intriguing scenario in which individual experience profiles are created using xAPI that provide a deeper view of a person’s background than a resume possibly can.

One Size Won’t Fit All: The Future of Personalized Digital Learning by Jeff Batt | Learning Solutions Magazine
JUL 2016 – Jeff Batt put forth a scenario of using xAPI to develop a personal learning history for each employee which is then mined for what the employee already knows and what they may need to learn. Very cool. 

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xAPI Video Demonstration | Digital Chalk
2016 – This course includes a video with embedded quizzing tracked by xAPI. Very cool. (Requires registration)

 


twitterI have created a Twitter List of people and organizations that tweet about xAPI.  Please follow it.  If there is someone or an organization that tweets regularly about xAPI, please send me your suggestions (Direct tweet me, use the Contact page here at new eelearning, or email me if you have my email.)


PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN COMMENTS BELOW

Is there something you don’t understand about xAPI?  Questions about something said in one of the above resources? General thoughts on these resources?   Add a comment below.

If you have any ideas on resources you feel should be on this page or in this Resource Center, feel free to use the comment section below or contact me via the Contact page here at new eelearning.

2 responses to “xAPI Core Concepts

  1. Pingback: cmi5 in SCORM Cloud | new eelearning·

  2. Pingback: An xAPI Resource Center for L&D Professionals | new eelearning·

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