Basic Guide to xAPI

xAPI is a new form of learning technology that allows the application to collect data regarding online and offline experiences of a person or the activities of a group. Different systems are able to use this in order to share activities. It provides innovative solutions for learning.

xAPI is called Experience API and it provides a flexible and simple eLearning software that can be used by many people. Some of the services that are provided by this framework are mobile learning, virtual worlds, simulations, experimental learning, collaborative learning, offline learning and social learning. Many eLearning professionals are using xAPI for its simplicity. This is a data standard that can help with reporting learning activities. API is short for Application Programming Interface. This is a term used for the connection between diverse technical systems. Two different software programmes are able to share data and communicate with each other by using an API and xAPI specified how these learning activities can be communicated between the two different systems. To implement this in your workplace, you need to have a database that can store the learning interactions of all employees in the company. This will require the use of an LRS or a Learning Record Store. This is designed specially to store records generated by xAPI.

There are additional tools that you will require to implement xAPI such as analysis tools and reporting tools. Learning is something that occurs in different ways. People learn from other people based on interactions and content. There is no designated location where learning can take place. You may be learning while you are commuting to work or relaxing at home. What xAPI does is that it records when these learning activities take place. When you need to record the activity, the xAPI will send a statement to the LRS. There is a lot of freedom that is provided by xAPI. The users don’t need to have a constant network connection. They can use any device that has xAPI enabled which allows for learning outside of the workplace as well. With xAPI, different LRSs are able to communicate with other LRSs. This allows your experiences to be connected from one organisation to another even when you choose employment elsewhere.

xAPI is not connected to the delivery of content or authoring of content. All it does is allow data to be collected when there are learning activities happening on a mobile device or any other xAPI enabled device. When there are informal learning activities, there has to be a xAPI statement sent to your LRD by the source. There are other options that you can use to collect data about learning activities. You can record activities in any database that you prefer but the benefit of using xAPI is that it is specialised for this purpose. With more tools adopting this data standard, the possibility of more compatible data being sent to an LRS is more. This allows for smooth workplace training and learning. This is a great way of documenting your learning activities.

Leen Schroeder
the authorLeen Schroeder