Here at Web Courseworks, our blog team is beginning to explore the use of xAPI in the eLearning community. Today we begin with a brief introduction to xAPI and ways for you to learn more about xAPI.
SCORM has been a foundational component of the eLearning community since its inception in 2000. Although it has been updated since then with the release of SCORM 2004, some instructional designers argue that SCORM is outdated and that a new set of standards need to be set in place.
Enter xAPI (otherwise known as Experience API or Tin Can.) Many instructional designers believe that xAPI will be the next generation of SCORM. SCORM currently tracks the learning that takes place inside of an LMS without considering the learning that takes place outside of the LMS such as informal learning, classroom learning, or on-the-job learning. xAPI attempts to rectify that problem by allowing users to track learning data from outside sources into what is known as a Learning Record Store (LRS).
The learning data is stored in terms of activities that learners have completed. This includes an actor, verb, and object. For example, if Jane read a book on instructional design, that information would be stored as Jane (actor) read (verb) Introduction to Instructional Design on eBook (object) in the LRS. This method of data collection can be as granular as the user would like it to be. For instance, xAPI could track whether Jane finished a chapter of her book rather than whether she read the entire book.
If you’re interested in learning more about xAPI and how it’s being used in the eLearning community, visit xAPI Quarterly to read about use cases and Connections Forum to watch presentations about use cases. Also be sure to check out Jon Aleckson’s, John Ehringer’s, and Chad Jackson’s session on Using the xAPI to Collect Learning Data from Simulations Thursday, November 17th at 3:00PM PT at the eLearning Guild’s DevLearn conference in Las Vegas. For those of you who can’t attend the session, Web Courseworks will be hosting a webinar with Megan Torrence on xAPI for Instructional Designers on January 24th at 12:00PM CST.