A Reintroduction to the Experience API

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Modern workforces require flexible, agile training programs. Procedures that employees learn today may be outdated tomorrow, and where and how they learn isn’t always consistent or regimented. This post, will be a quick refresher on the basics of the Experience API and Learning Record Store, two tools which, since 2012, have been helping L&D managers understand how their organizations work and learn. At the end, you’ll also find a few extra resources on these tools delving deeper into the subject.

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In the workplace, most learning actually occurs outside of standardized, formal training. Whether employees teach each other, or workers search independently for tutorials, capturing and understanding unstructured learning is essential for businesses to know what their employees know. But how are you supposed to get this information?

This is where Experience API (also known as xAPI) comes in. Thec Experience API describes how different eLearning and performance systems can “speak” to each other in a way that can be tracked and analyzed. Unlike an older standard known as SCORM, xAPI has the vocabulary to define unstructured learning in language that is useful to managers. In addition, xAPI can work outside of traditional Learning Management Systems, making it possible to track, observe, and analyze informal learning.

Individual pieces of xAPI information aren’t always useful on their own, but a Learning Record Store (or LRS) allows xAPI content to be aggregated and analyzed comprehensibly. What starts out as bits of data across different platforms can be aggregated in an LRS. An LRS can serve as a reporting tool alongside a Learning Management System, but can also stand on its own, keeping information portable in case you migrate platforms.

There’s more to the xAPI and Learning Record Stores than can be covered in a short blog post, so we’ve compiled additional resources to help you identify how these tools can make an impact on your business:

Need help with xAPI? Come to DevLearn! There will be an xAPI Q&A session, case studies, tips for xAPI implementation, and a showcase of the newest xAPI innovations. Find out more from Aaron Silvers!

Got questions about the xAPI or how to leverage it to solve a specific problem in your organization? Shoot us an email or add your comments below.

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