xAPI statements need to conform to an “I did this” structure. Since each learning event being tracked means that the learner has done something. When a learner does something a “statement” is sent to the Learning Record System (LRS) that contains these three components:
- The Actor is an individual or group being tracked in the Statements. (The I in “I did this”)
- The Verb is the action being done by the Actor within a Statement. (The did in “I did this”)
- The Activity is the something with which an Actor interacted. It can be a unit of instruction, experience, or performance that is to be tracked. (The this in “I did this”)
In summary, xAPI tracks a person, performing an action within a specified activity.
How can we translate that into an idea of the practical application of xAPI in a learning context?
To make it easier to review and understand the statement structure I have put the example statements into a table format that shows the delivery method, the statement components and any notes on that statement.
|eLearning from LMS||Learner X (Identified from the LMS database)||Passed (By achieving greater than 80%)||The EEO online course.|
This would be the equivalent to a standard SCORM based course completion call from the eLearning content to the LMS.
|Face to Face||Learner X (Identified by completing an attendance sheet)||Attended (By showing up)||The new employee induction workshop.|
This would be the equivalent to an instructor updating the course attendance register in the LMS following a face to face training session.
Existing training, managed from an LMS, can fit neatly into the structure of xAPI statements and by simply varying the verb statement we can achieve different outcomes for the learner.
|eLearning from LMS||Learner X (Identified from the LMS database)||Passed (By achieving greater than 80%)
Failed (By achieving less than 80%)
Is yet to finish (By not posting a quiz result)
Has not started (By not opening the course)
|The EEO online course.|
This is only just the tip of what xAPI has been designed to do. Lets look at some other potential xAPI statements that could flow from learning experiences beyond the LMS.
|Watching a video online||Learner X (Identified from the xAPI coding)||Played, Paused, Stopped,
Resumed, Skipped, Finished watching.All of the above Verbs would have time and date stamps, so you could track all of the interactions the learner had with the video over time.
|The work health and safety YouTube video.|
Here is an example of possible xAPI statement structure in a more physical exercise.
|Instructor watching an apprentice perform repairs on an engine.||Learner X (Identified by the instructor on a tablet device)||Inspected
Failed to inspect
Failed to Diagnose
Did not fix
|The broken engine.|
In an example the Instructor could have an xAPI quiz or survey on their tablet and as the apprentice completes the task or tasks, the instructor can enter details on the table that create multiple statements about the task and pass all this back to the LRS.
xAPI statements have the capability to both report on training completion in the same way that an eLearning SCORM course or LMS based instructor led course can but these same statements can be attached to be included in training components that LMS’s by themselves have a great deal of trouble coping with such as direct media tracking and skills demonstration exercises.
Take a look at Birch Learning Platform, that has an LRS built in, we ensure you have everything you need when you’re ready to start embracing the power of xAPI.