What is xAPI Learning
In recent times, in the last three years to be exact, xAPI has become the new way to deliver online learning. Developed to rival SCORN, xAPI has already demonstrated that it is so much better than SCORN in so many ways. One of the things xAPI has done is to completely redefine some of the processes of tracking learning experiences that were used in the recent past.
It is so revolutionary that many experts believe xAPI will be the new default standard for eLearning. But what is xAPI and what is it used for. In this guide we take a look at this eLearning standard in greater detail.
Introduced by ADL in 1999, SCORN became the go-to standard for the eLearning industry very quicky. It provided the platform for all activities associated with eLearning including authoring tools, learning management systems and even content development. But as the industry continued to evolve, SCORN was quicky unable to keep up with the growing needs. So, while there are some people who still find SCORN 1.2 useful, its weaknesses have led to the development of xAPI.
Rustic Software, the makers of xAPI primarily believe that learning can be accomplished anywhere. It is this company belief that the led the company to innovate ways that they could adopt SCORN specifications to meet the needs of the new generation of learners. This vision gave rise to xAPI, which as the time of its development was codenamed “Tin Can” to describe the two-way conversations the technology was designed to track.
The main difference between xAPI and SCORN is in the type of data that each can track. SCORN is designed to only record only online learning, while xAPI can track almost any activity. In this way xAPI can provide a more complete picture of the learner’s experiences both online and offline. It can easily track a number of learning activities including attending an event, reading a book, accessing a webpage, playing a game and even team-based learning.
How xAPI Works
The information gathered from xAPI systems is relayed in the form of statements. the xAPI further simplifies the process of how eLearning is recorded by allowing for multiple ways to track these statements.
Each of these statements is composed of three elements, a structure that is known as an xAPI syntax. This syntax includes the following;
- The Noun (the Actor or the “who” at the center of the action)
- The Verb (the action itself)
- Object (the “what” part of the action)
For example, the learners’ activities may be recorded as;
- She visited the guide website
- Jane finished reading the guide
- I completed the training session
The xAPI uses these statements to replay information and track data about the learners’ activities. These activities are then reported to the learning management system Learning Record Store (LRS) or any other system that is compatible with the xAPI language.
Why Use xAPI
As you can probably already tell xAPI has many benefits including the following;
- It is Extremely Flexible
The flexibility that xAPI brings to the table makes it one of the most customizable online systems. It is suite to nearly all current environments in which learners can access learning materials and all kinds of locations. This means that you could potentially use xAPI anywhere and while doing anything including when travelling for work, doing other jobs or even when socializing with friends. No matter what you care doing you can count on xAPI to seamlessly track all learning experiences in a simple and consistent manner.
- See the Bigger Picture
One of the main benefits of being able to track all the learning experiences as easily as xAPI does is that you are able to quickly put the pieces together and very quicky see the bigger picture. This kind of “complete” tracking has given rise to the term “qualified learner” as way to describe the kind of individualized learning that can be accomplished using technology.
- Easily Review Learning Experiences
The data that xAPI can capture can make it very easy for an organization to track and review the previous learning experiences of the learners. This “picture” of previous learning experiences can then be used to analyze and plan future learning projects since you already know what the learner needs to know. It makes goal planning and the definition of future learning goals easier.
- Easier Reporting
The highly detailed nature of the reporting that you get with xAPI systems also has one other major advantage; it makes it easy for mangers to keep track of who has completed the training components. This will give managers a clearer picture of your learners’ experience and the subjects that may need to be re-covered.
If you would like a smoother way to deliver online learning then the xAPI platform is much better than SCORN. To begin with the reporting is simple and consistent, allowing you to easily assess the learning experiences of the learners. It is also one of the best solutions to use if you primarily use third-party content and you don’t want to go through the hassle of having to upload these activities separately.