• June 07, 2016

Experience API (xAPI) Learning Standard

Learning and development can be hard, yet crucial, to measure. Valamis supports the Experience API (xAPI) standard with a built-in Learning Record Store (LRS), which enables you to make learning visible.

Learning happens in different places and in different situations, and it is not limited to virtual or physical spaces. Because of this, there's a constant demand for a system that collects and records learning activities, no matter what the setting. In order to be effective, this system should deliver data that is quantifiable, sharable, and traceable.

For example, reading an article, using a mobile application, or watching a training video are all activities that an organization may use to educate its employees. Tracking that information is essential when creating an effective learning environment.

Valamis - Learning Experience Platform uses Experience API (xAPI) specification and a Learning Record Store (LRS) to ensure learning objectives are met. 

What is xAPI?

Experience API is an application programming interface (API) that enables the collection of data by the Learning Record Store (LRS) that includes the broad range of activities completed by an individual or a group. The names Experience API, Tin Can API, and xAPI all refer to the same specification which was developed by Rustici Software as part of a research project commissioned by ADL.

Experience API is not only capable of tracking web-based formal learning, but it can also track offline informal learning, social learning, and real world experiences. It supports all types of content and learning methods, like gamification and rewarding, as well as phenomenon-based learning, personalized, and differentiated learning.

Valamis offers a platform for phenomenon-based, online learning and implements it into a modular and flexible environment using Experience API and the Learning Record Store (LRS).

How xAPI works?

xAPI statements are written in Javascript Object Notation Language, which is similar to XML. The experiences are recorded in the form of simple actor-verb-object specifications: "I did this".

More detailed statements can also be generated for learning activity results and context activities. Documents and files can even be attached.

The xAPI platform allows you to operate anywhere. You are not limited to any specific device, and you don't have to be connected to the web all the time. The statements will be uploaded in bulk the next time the device has internet access.

Experience API gives organizations powerful tools for analyzing the impact of learning and organization goals. By combining Experience API with Valamis, it is possible to receive accurate analytics of the phenomenon-based learning process of individuals, as well as groups of learners. The analytics are translated into a concept map, which enables the visual analysis of learning roadblocks. The analytics imply clearly which parts of the learning program need to be improved for future learners.

Learning Record Store

Valamis offers a powerful Learning Analytics engine for phenomenon-based learning using the Enterprise-Grade Learning Record Store. The analytics engine allows for the assessment of the areas of the learning program that need improvement, ultimately providing more guidance for the learners.

The Learning Record Store (LRS) receives, stores, and returns data after considering the accomplished learning activities, achievements, and overall learning performance. An LRS is essential when you are working with Experience API. It works as a central store that sends and retrieves data about the learning that has taken place.

An LRS tracks a wide range of learning experiences, be it real world activities, mobile applications, or job performance. The data can be shared with other systems and provide analytical information so the learning experience can be adapted accordingly.

Collected sets of data or demographic info can be compared and combined to assess the effectiveness of training programs and learning solutions.

How it works

The LRS collects data from Activity Providers. An Activity Provider can be almost anything:

  • Email programs
  • Videos
  • Social media networks
  • Mobile apps
  • CRM, and more.

Therefore, an Activity Provider doesn't need to be an eLearning course or other formal learning program; it can be an activity that a person carries out in the real world.

Experience API can be used to track performance data, as well as the data that comes from learning activities, while the LRS collects that data.

The LRS then uses the data in reports, learning analytics, dashboards, and it can award Open Badges. Learning Record Stores are designed to communicate with each other, so other systems are able to use the data as well.