I attended the xAPI Camp in Chicago on Friday, September 16, 2016 to learn about use cases in the medical community for xAPI. I was particularly interested because my company, Web Courseworks, will be speaking with the American College of Chest Physicians on November 15th at DevLearn. xAPI and the Learning Record Store is the eLearning community’s answer to recording informal or formal activities for big data calculations. Like the SCORM standard, it is supported and encouraged by the US Department of Defense.
My current impression is that xAPI is in “the pilot stage” of acceptance, although there’s an industry developing around it. Actual use cases, with relevant data, take some digging to find. Watch for our white paper on specific use cases coming in November. But for now, I’m going to review the sessions and the people who spoke at the xAPI camp.
First of all, Aaron Silvers deserves a lot of credit for the evangelizing and shepherding of the xAPI movement. It is definitely a great concept and will someday provide educators with the tools to do big data analytics and solve big problems. The popularity of xAPI was evidenced by the fact that half of the 40 people attending joined us from outside the Chicago area. This was particularly the case for several speakers who traveled great distances to tell their stories.
The day started out with a talk by Sean Putnam. Sean has a book coming out in which he promises to provide workplace use cases of xAPI and the Learning Record Store.
Dave Bauer’s Reducing Code Blue Response Times with xAPI had the most interesting session title. His use case was an effort by MedStar Health (an organization of ten hospitals) to improve key performance indicators involved with “Code Blues”. Saving a person’s life whom has coded is an obvious priority and generally takes a team effort by hospital staff. His xAPI pilot sought to measure things like response time, team communication, and whether the staff followed the right procedures. Use cases of performance improvement in healthcare justify collecting data using xAPI and sending that data to a Learning Record Store.
Jessie Chuang, from Austin, Texas, presented next. Her xAPI project involved a mobile app focused on filtering data and context for the improvement of patient outcomes.
Nick Washburn, of Riptide, presented his company’s usual high end Department of Defense xAPI use cases. Although obviously unrelated to healthcare, he elaborated on how the DoD is using xAPI data for training snipers. He also spoke on a program called Fyzical that allowed physical therapists to enter patient data which would output physical therapy recommendations for the patient.
I look forward to more and more of our CourseStage LMS customers requesting xAPI and use of our Learning Record Store for important professional development initiatives.
Want to learn more about xAPI? Read this xAPI blog post from one of Web Courseworks instructional designers, Jenny Saucerman.