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using xAPI in a Virtual Learning Environment VLE

Recently I’ve been conducting a little more research into the Experience API, also known as xAPI and Tin-Can API. For those that don’t know, xAPI is the new standard to replace the dated SCORM packages that were created some 10 years ago. Whilst SCORM is great and has its place, there are many limitations to what it can do. You can read more about the xAPI at https://tincanapi.com/. This fine if you only use it in a Learning Management System (LMS), but this got me to thinking: What if your VLE consists of more than just a LMS? How do you know what your students are learning? The xAPI is a standard of defined statements that can contain (amongst other things, visit https://tincanapi.com/statements-101 to find out more) Verbs that includes “experienced”, “attended”, “attempted”, “completed”, “passed”, “failed”, “answered”, “interacted”, “imported”, “created”, “shared”, and “voided”. They form a basis of the statement in an Actor Verb Object where Actor is the user, Verb is what they did and the Object is what it was, so put simply, What the User Did with Something. These add meaning to what a user is actually doing. For example, if a student accesses a H5P Quiz within your WordPress, the statement may say ‘Joe Bloggs interacted with Activity 1’ and as Joe progresses through the quiz, statements will be generated providing details on the questions answered. The xAPI makes the recording of learning data much more person-centric, something that SCORM is not real good at. So I mention in the title, […]

Periodic table for instructional design

I recently came across this little infographic that explains some instructional design theories in a different context that I wanted to share. Created by eLearning Brothers, this infographic covers Customer and Learning facing user experiences as well as best practises and what can cause a course to come undone. Check it out below.

Understanding Student behaviour in your LMS

Recently I’ve completed heading up a project with ACTE  that allows tutors / trainers to be able view up to 12 weeks of their students learning analytics, all from within the LMS. Analytics for monitoring student behaviour in a Learning Management System (LMS) is generally reserved for management and academic teams to base decisions on. Whilst this is great, what about the Trainers? How does a Trainer know and understand what their Students are doing in the LMS? We wanted to make some of this data available to Trainers to allow them to better understand their Student’s behaviour, using this information to improve Trainer / Student engagement. We looked into various analytics tools and one in particular seemed to accommodate what we were looking for. It’s called Piwik. We added some additional custom variables to each record including the userID from Moodle being sent to Piwik. We now had access via the Piwik API to fetch data based on the userID and display it in a meaningful way that Trainers could understand and benefit from. Trainers can now see individual student analytics including: Total Time on Moodle Last logged into Moodle Total Actions performed Total Files downloaded, what was downloaded and when Total Page views, what pages on what dates Most visited and active day of the week Devices used to access Moodle including Desktop and Mobile With this type of information at the trainer’s disposal, they can better understand how their students study and engage with the LMS. The benefits of this level of […]