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eLearning, xAPI and Data Driven Design

As I delve more in to the world of xAPI and gain a higher level of understand as well as it’s full potential, Data Driven Learning Design, based on Data Driven Body Language has crept into many of my searches. This is a concept conceived by Lori Niles-Hofmann and to me, makes absolute perfect sense, especially when you look at the experiences that xAPI is capturing. Having started my learning journey in the classroom as a facilitator, you’ve a direct in site into what it is your students are doing and how they are reacting. You can easily identify the ones that are struggling to grasp a concept purely from their body language. Now flip that to an online environment. Enter the Digital Body Language. Lori has produced an awesome eBook that I’ve mentioned here as well as many tweets. More recently, as the CFO of Fuse, Lori has released a short video on the The Importance of Data Driven Learning Design. It’s just under 4 minutes long, so take a break from what you’re doling perhaps grab a coffee and check it out.  

Is xAPI ready?

In my current work environment, I’m looking to implement xAPI as part of the bigger Virtual Learning Environment. I came across this article that is very insightful, in particular to my current situation. Unlike other transformative innovations, such as virtual reality or chatbots, xAPI isn’t a delivery mechanism. It’s the unifying specification that would enable all of these innovations to share data. Using xAPI enables L&D leaders to look much deeper into the landscape of learning and performance and potentially assess organizational impact by offering a look at training activity and on-the-job performance by topic or domain, rather than by tool or vendor. This means that all safety training and activity or all leadership development activity can be assessed at once—rather than looking at chat activity separately from activity that occurs in the workflow or within the LMS. An xAPI-based ecosystem promises more complete data on learning activity and its impact. A recent study by LinkedIn indicates that only eight percent of CEOs see the business impact of L&D programs, and only four percent perceive a clear ROI. Yet, 90 percent of these leaders see L&D as the means to close skills gaps. Read more at https://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/is-xapi-ready-if-so-where-are-our-flying-cars

Dissect an xAPI Statement

Understanding how the Experience API (xAPI sometimes known as Tin-Can API) is structured is the first hurdle to knowing just how flexible and powerful the xAPI can be. If you consider this: you have a Learning Management System (LMS) as part of your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and you want to know WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and by WHOM interacted with your learning object. Sure, there are learning analytics that come with the LMS, but xAPI gives you so much more. Now, let’s say you’ve an innovate instructional designer or computer-based training developer that wants to add a video with overlaying questions. They’ve done their research and decided that want to add a H5P learning object into one of the courses – awesome! BUT, your LMS doesn’t natively host H5P – bugger. Fear not, it can be hosted externally, or there are other ways to embed it into your LMS. As the H5P is external to your LMS – how are you going to capture how the student engages with the H5P learning object? More to the point, how are you going to know what the student experienced. As we said, H5P is not native to your LMS, so no learning analytics there, except maybe they entered the course, not much to go on really. Enter the flexibility of xAPI. As the Learning Record Store (LRS) where you store your xAPI Statements is external to your VLE (or internal, doesn’t really matter as long as you can see it) your H5P object can pass an xAPI […]