The Need to Know About xAPI and Modern Learning Software

By: Paul Bradley on January 9, 2018

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With digital learning systems continuing to evolve at a rapid rate, there is no surprise that many businesses and managers are not fully aware of all the terminologies and features associated with these systems. One of the software specifications that is often talked about, but rarely fully understood, is the Experience API.

What is xAPI?

The purpose of the Experience API is to allow the e-learning software a company or organization is using to speak with other types of software – such as databases or other e-learning programs. The xAPI program replaced SCORM, which was the standard in the e-learning industry for a decade prior to that change.

Best xAPI Features

Some of the more promising features associated with experience API include new abilities to track the information that is gained throughout an e-learning course, along with giving people the ability to launch courses and training modules externally, even outside of the learning management system being used.

Say a company wants to add a training video or guide along with the software they are selling. But instead of having customers log into the LMS for such training, they can make it accessible through a direct link or another system. And the way that customers use that training video or guide, and the way they use that information to better utilize the purchased software – that information can now be tracked and analyzed.

Differentiating Experience API and SCORM

SCORM offers communication, but only one-way. It is possible to track training courses, but not pull the data back into the course for later use or analysis. And with SCORM, tracking such communication is only possible when users are logged into the LMS. With experience API, it's possible even when the course is being accessed through an app or website.

Using xAPI with Your Modern LMS

The best thing that any business or organization can do is learn about the ways to incorporate xAPI with the current learning management system being used. Some systems will have the option to run experience API directly. Other tools will require hooks, or the ability to use the experience API launcher.

The beauty of using a modern LMS with experience API is to not only have an easier time initiating courses and allowing employees or customers to take those courses, but it also allows for much better analysis of how those courses or training videos are impacting those who are interacting with them.

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