Beyond the Hype – 5 Practical Applications of xAPI for Online Learning
By Karle Stinehour
(Estimated Reading Time 4 Min.)
Are you caught up on the current trends and developments in eLearning? If not, that’s ok. We’ve done the research, so let us be your guide to innovative, emerging technologies and strategies in the industry. In today’s blog, we want to take the mystery out of xAPI and show you some of the benefits xAPI can bring to your online learning solution.
Show me the data!
Employee training, accounting for 1.7- 5.4% of a company’s payroll expense, is a vital component of any business struggling to maintain employee job skills and retain top talent. In 2017, Linkedin and Lynda.com created a study of the challenges the eLearning industry is currently facing. This survey found CEOs across the country are not able to collect the data they need to measure the success and ROI of their online training solutions – indicating the critical need to collect and track even more learning data (Source). So how do you make sure you have all the right resources in place to provide cost-effective, successful AND measurable training? We believe that xAPI could be just what you need.
What is xAPI?
xAPI stands for Experience Application Program Interface. In less technical terms, xAPI sends data about how a learner progresses through a learning activity (online or offline) to a Learning Record Store (LRS) as xAPI statements.
Why use xAPI?
Before there was xAPI, there was SCORM. SCORM is an alternative, more traditional, method for tracking learning data that is still in use. Without getting into a discussion of all the pros and cons, the major benefit of xAPI over SCORM is the ability to track any kind of learning activity. Here are just a few examples of the learning data you can track using xAPI:
- Know which platforms learners use. Know whether your learners use their smartphone, their laptop, their tablet, or some other device to take learning activities.
- Track the choices that learners make. Track how your learners choose to complete learning activities.
- Gather data on learning behavior. How does learning behavior affect the choices learners make during learning activities?
xAPI and the Real World
The practical application of xAPI to your online training program may not be immediately obvious. Rustici Software, in a 2015 keynote address, provides inspiration in the form of some practical pointers.
- Use xAPI learning data to create the best possible experience for your learners. Decide what questions you want your learning data to answer about your online training solution.
- Strategize with better-blended learning. Track how learners interact with course elements, and how the elements interact with each other. If you find that certain elements do not streamline or improve the learning experience, then use the knowledge provided to you by xAPI data to make the necessary changes.
- Incorporate “just-in-time” performance support. Alert your learners at key times in a learning activity to make sure that you are delivering the right content at the right time. An xAPI-integrated system will gather the necessary data for learning what times are the best for your learners to take a learning element.
- Provide mentoring opportunities. Use xAPI data to know when to give feedback to your learners to let them know how they are doing in their training.
- Integrate team learning. Use xAPI to track interactions between learners, then use that information to encourage team building and collaboration as part of your online training.
Let’s Get Started!
Not sure you’re ready for xAPI? With our easy-to-use xAPI/TinCan LRS integration feature you are! In less than a minute, start using the power of DigitalChalk data to shape your learning strategy. Tracking all of your learning activities is our job. We take care of the heavy lifting, sending everything you need to any learning record store.
Want to learn more about the xAPI/TinCan LRS feature? Check out our video tutorial here.
Want more information? Check out the sources we researched for this article: