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 Procedures that employees learn today may be outdated tomorrow, and where and how they learn isn’t always consistent or regimented.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.
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:
Experience API Basics for L&D Professionals – White paper by Saltbox exploring xAPI and Learning Record Stores in more detail, providing tips on applying them to your organization.
Do You Need an xAPI Learning Record Store? – Article by Ben Betts for ATD pointing out some of the benefits of implementing an LRS.
Experience API Demystified – Short video by KMI Learning demonstrating the difference between xAPI and the older standard, SCORM.
Using the Experience API to Track Learning – ATD Infoline guide by John Delano and Ali Shahrazad about getting the most out of an LRS in practice.
The Experience API—Liberating Learning Design – Research report by Peter Berking, Steve Foreman, Jason Haag, and Craig Wiggins on the organizational benefits of xAPI.
The Rise of the Learning Record Store: An LRS Field Guide – White paper by Ben Mueller for CLN recounting xAPI’s emergence as an industry standard.
Building Blocks: How the Experience API is Similar to Legos – Article by Ali Shahrazad for Human Resources IQ exploring the features of xAPI that complement modern L&D.
Four eLearning Solutions to Pair with an LRS – Article by Steven Boller for CLN listing a few tools that are primed for LRS integration.
Five steps for learning leaders to get started with Experience API - Article by John Delano for CLN exploring how xAPI can make an immediate impact on business.
The xAPI and the LMS: What Does the Future Hold? – Article by Steven Foreman for eLearning Magazine containing an overview of the changes occurring in learning technology and the industry adoption of xAPI.
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.