Why Attend xAPI Camp-Amazon (Part 2)

Why Attend xAPI Camp-Amazon – Insights from the Presenters

Earlier in the week, we shared insights from Aaron Silvers about Connections Forum’s upcoming xAPI Camp – Amazon. We also discussedIdea - group Aaron’s thoughts on the need for xAPI Camps and other xAPI related events as a way to share case studies and foster ideas on extending the use of xAPI as a whole. In the second of our two-part series, we share insights and observations from several of the presenters. Aaron and Megan Bowe co-founded Connections Forum to “bridge the gaps for practitioners between learning and education, design, data and technology.” I’d say the xAPI Camps are carrying out this vision

Each was asked: What are you most looking forward to at xAPI Camp – Amazon?

Ben Erlandson (@beephd), CTO of McKinsey Social Initiative

On a personal level, as a lifelong learner, I am thrilled to be meeting and working together with the other presenters, exploring their big ideas and challenges associated with xAPI and learning.  We’ve got quite a lineup in place!

I’m excited to be presenting the Big Challenge for McKinsey Social Initiative to a diverse audience, exposing our ideas to a global tech audience with helpful expertise and experience – both in person and dispersed across the web as an archived record.  Furthermore, I am eager to participate in the breakout workshops to move forward with potential solutions and pathways, especially under the guidance of three solid experts: Shelly, Nick, and Mike.

Measurement, assessment, and data management (with xAPI) across multiple socio-technical systems are key elements of our challenge for supporting learning and success for our students as we scale our programs across the globe.  Based on our Big Challenge for scaling our Generation Initiative to close the youth employment gap, we have three big questions, and I’m excited to work toward answers for these questions with the help of collaborative teams we form in Seattle.

It’s going to be a power-packed day!


Myra Travin (@m_travin), Educational Futurist, METAImpressions

As an educational futurist, I am always enthusiastic about presenting designs that lead to next-generation choice and access-driven learning environments. The xAPI camp will be an excellent opportunity to discuss real-time performance measurement and dynamic predictability through personalized, non-linear collaborative ecologies. As we know: learners destroy our most innovative environments, or create them.


Kirsty Kitto (@KirstyKitto), Senior Research Fellow, Queensland University of Technology

I think that xAPI is at a critical juncture, and it is important for the community to reflect upon its purpose at this point. What are we going to do with our xAPI data? Is it just for the managers and HR departments, or are we going to give it to the learner? What kinds of things do we want to report on? I would like to see xAPI data used to enable things like discourse analytics, creativity, metacognition, and life long personalised learning, but in order to do this we need to consider analytics and controlled vocabularies. I am looking forwards to a conversation about data extraction, complex analytics, and learner focused reporting…how can we use the standard to encourage higher order thinking in our learners?


Russell Duhon (@fugu13), CTO of Saltbox

The first xAPI Camp was the first true xAPI conference, and for many attendees was the first deep dive into the rapidly expanding ecosystem. Because of that, a lot of the content was summative, focused on the state of things and all that has been accomplished. Seattle’s xAPI Camp is going to be more forward-focused. The presenters include a number of researchers and futurists I expect to challenge the broader L&D community to look toward the incredible possibilities for managing performance and development in a world of rich data.


Shelly Blake-Plock (@BlakePlock), CEO of Yet Analytics

I’m looking forward to a conversation, which posits xAPI as the data standard supporting a “mission control” center for human capital management and the analysis of human performance and business outcomes. I’m interested in working through ideas with the xAPI Camp community to draw learning out of its silos and into the places of greatest need throughout an organization. Learning itself is a type of intelligence, which a savvy business can use to increase the results of strategic outcomes. xAPI is the data specification made for that intelligence — especially as both learning and business have to deal with the twin disruptions of generational shift on the one hand and the ubiquitous data paradigm of the Internet of Things on the other.


Nick Washburn (@allvocation), Director, Learning Division of Riptide Software

I am looking forward to an event like this boosting awareness and adoption of xAPI in all education and training industries. It would also be great if this resulted in more contributors to TRYxAPI.com case studies and open source repo.

Riptide will be discussing the pros and challenges for LRSs working at scale with AWS. Our core product, Riptide Elements is a configurable enterprise learning services offering and we use AWS/CDN as our managed infrastructure to deliver to our clients all over the globe. Our client work and business case often reveal multiple possible paths, which makes for interesting discussion.


Duncan Welder (@DuncanWIV), Director of Client Services at RISC, Inc

What I’m looking forward to most at xAPI Camp–Amazon is seeing the creative adoption of xAPI as the conceptual use cases we’ve been discussing for the past few years are moving into practical use cases.  As forward thinking learning organization begin really tapping into the power of xAPI data collection and analysis there is a new focus shifting from a course- or module-based instructional design model to one that considers more of a student’s entire learning ecosystem.  I think it is critical that, as an industry, we do share best practices, lessons learned, and ways we can help use xAPI to help bring developmental and performance support solutions to our students in the context where they work and learn.  The Connections Forum xAPI Camp and other events like Try xAPI and even the ADL’s newly adopted working group for cmi5 provide a great venue for this sharing in an open, transparent and non-competitive way that I’ve not seen in the past 20 years of working in the learning technology space.


As Ben Erlandson stated, it’s going to be a power-packed day! Follow Connections Forum (@connectionsxapi), Aaron (@aaronesilvers), Megan (@meganbowe), and the presenters on Twitter for posts about the day’s activities. You may also find Twitter posts using #xAPICamp.

Unable to attend xAPI Camp–Amazon? Plan for the next xAPI Camp on September 29th, co-located with DevLearn in Vegas! Be sure to register early because it will sell out!

Duncan Welder IV
Mr. Welder holds a Master’s of Education from Texas A&M University in Educational Technology and has more than 15 years experience in implementation of Learning Management Systems, both domestically and abroad. Mr. Welder has been recognized for his application of Learning Management Systems to manage regulatory-compliance in industries ranging from petrochemicals to finance and has provided presentations to professional organizations including the Gulf Coast Process Technology Alliance, the Northwest Process Technology Alliance and the American Society of Training and Development.
Mr. Welder’s career is founded in traditional instructional design and computer-based training development. He is a certified Development Dimensions International facilitator, a Kirkpatrick Certified Evaluator and facilitator of the Ohio State University curriculum development program. In addition to working in industry, Mr. Welder has held adjunct faculty positions at Bowling Green State University, Ohio and the College of the Mainland, Texas. Mr. Welder has been published in both Training Magazine as well as US Business Review.