eLearning authoring tools + xAPI = a love story

eLearning authoring tools + xAPI = a love story

eLearning authoring tools and xAPI go together like the proverbial horse and carriage. But what makes them the perfect match? In this blog post from Customer Success Manager, Simon Waldram, we look at the love affair between xAPI and authoring tools, and detail three ways an authoring tool can use xAPI to drive learning value.

What is xAPI?

xAPI (or Experience API) is a learning technology interoperability specification that enables different learning tools and technologies to communicate with one another using a specified language—aka xAPI statements). As a result, you can easily collect and store learner experience data from content, platforms, and applications in one central location such as a learning record store (LRS).

In its simplest form, an xAPI statement consists of an actor, verb, and object. For instance, when someone completes an eLearning course, a statement might say, “Jared completed xAPI training.” In this scenario, “Jared” is the actor, “completed” is the verb, and “xAPI training” is the object. So, the statement object itself would take this structure in JSON format:

{ "actor": "Jared", "verb": "completed", "object": "xAPI training" }

However, this information only tells us basic details. What if there’s more than one Jared in your organization? Which course was completed—introductory or advanced training? And when did he complete the course?

We can expand the original statement to include a timestamp, a unique user ID, and the name of the course. So, the statement will say, “Jared completed xAPI 101 on June 12, 2019.” And a valid xAPI statement structure would look like this:

{ "timestamp": "2019-06-12T11:20:00-05:00", "actor": { "mbox": "mailto:jared@example.com", "name": "Jared", "objectType": "Agent" }, "verb": { "id": "http://adlnet.gov/expapi/verbs/completed", "display": { "en-US": "completed" } }, "object": { "id": "http:/example.com/courses/xapi-101", "definition": { "name": { "en-US": "xAPI Training" }, "description": { "en-US": "xAPI 101" }, "type": "http://example.com/types/course" }, "objectType": "Activity" } }

xAPI and eLearning: what’s the big deal?

1) Dive into the details

Unlike older specifications, such as SCORM, the Experience API provides detailed information beyond course completions or quiz scores. For instance, xAPI tracks launches, question interactions, passes/fails, and more. And you can use this in-depth information to help track compliance training, monitor formal and informal learning, or identify knowledge gaps.

2) Unleash your learning data

Historically, learning data was siloed within its respective application or platform, such as a learning management system (LMS). That meant having to manually pull data from each data source to gain insight into the performance of both learners and overall L&D initiatives.

xAPI, however, connects these data silos and enables you to quickly and easily aggregate important learning data. As a result, it also can help:

  • save time by eliminating the manual work of aggregating data while reducing the chance for human error,
  • provide a comprehensive picture of organizational learning, which allows you to enhance current workplace training, and
  • bring together learning and training data for further analysis.

3) Track learning wherever it happens

Use xAPI to track entire learning experiences online, offline, and via mobile devices. Capture learning data online, offline, and via mobile devices—including data from video, quizzes, surveys, games, and more. Finally, you get the details you need to help inform your learning design and allow you to measure learning’s impact.

How does xAPI make Gomo more useful to me?

1) Get more data from Your content

Because Gomo is an xAPI-conformant learning record provider as well as eLearning authoring tool, the data generated from your training courses go beyond tracking basic SCORM metrics (e.g. completions, time taken, and assessment scores). Experience API also tracks how learners respond to questions and interact with slides. This means your courses will generate detailed information about how learners interact with—or experience—those courses.

2) View and export learning data with ease

With Gomo’s recent Enhanced xAPI Reporting feature, you can view and export detailed course information. If you use Gomo Hosting, simply access your dashboard to see learner and course activity along with a variety of reports that can be exported in CSV format. You also can send all this information to an xAPI-conformant LRS.

3) Analyze learner data in one place

Gomo is focused on helping people create the best and most beautiful eLearning experiences. That’s why Gomo Hosting includes an xAPI analytics dashboard that provides real-time reports of how both learners and learning programs are performing over time—so you can identify what’s working and what’s not, and make improvements.

You can filter reports by date range, topic, device type, geography, and more. And these analytics help you spot trends, outliers, and explore in-depth details on learning effectiveness.

About the author: Simon Waldram

As Product Manager at Gomo, I’m passionate about delivering value at every interaction and to increase sustainable proven value for our customers and business.

I have extensive experience of working within both the commercial and educational sectors, and approach all projects with a strategic mind.

This combination of education and commercial experience has enabled me to stay at the leading edge of emerging technologies to ensure that customers are provided with a framework for success.

Want to know more about working with eLearning tools? Download our ebook ‘5 Ways to Make Your Learning Program Work for You.’

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