xAPI Party – It’s a Good Time to Be a Learning Technology Geek
May 2018 was a big month in the learning industry between the ATD International Conference, the xAPI Party and
Learning Download. The amount of innovation, sharing and excitement has become palpable – it’s a good time to be a learning technology geek.
The xAPI Party is held twice a year and now in its 8th iteration, the Torrance team maintains an intimate environment for collaborating, exploring, learning and more than a little hacking. The xAPI Party is held at the end of each xAPI Cohort to share project progress, explore tools and check out new technology. Just a few years ago, there were a lot of pie-in-the-sky conversations at at the xAPI party. What can we do with xAPI? How do we enable internet of things devices with xAPI? How can xAPI be used for Adaptive Learning? Real-time Performance Support? And if we do this stuff, will people use it?
Now don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of pie-in-the-sky discussion but this spring, the xAPI Party was all about execution, tools and business value. This shift clearly shows the growth of adoption and realization of xAPI’s value to business. Only having the ability to attend one concurrent session at a time made choosing what to explore difficult.
The first presentation of the morning I attended was John Blackmon from Trivantis showing how to add xAPI into Virtual Reality training using the CenarioVR tool. Using a 360 camera and the software, John was able to add hot-spots and other interactions to the video. Each of the interactions sent xAPI statements to an LRS allowing the tracking of learner behavior and performance as they work through a scenario.
Rob Houck from Underwriters Lab discussed learner facing tools to capture xAPI such as mobile apps, social tools and options for getting your LMS to play nicely with your LRS. At the same time, Chris Tompkins from Rustici Software discussed best practices for getting xAPI and cmi5 into RFPs. Chris also provided a list of questions to ask any xAPI provider. A link to Chris’ presentation is here.
Two different presentations explored how to take tools like Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate – both still a limited in their native xAPI and cmi5 capabilities – and modify them to create good xAPI statements. If there is any indication for a development team that they need to catch-up, having a community of professionals build tools to work around technical limitations must provide a good roadmap.
On the hacking front, one of the xAPI Cohort teams (#TeamAlexa) reviewed their project for getting the Amazon Alexa to send xAPI statements. Myra Roldan and Bryan Wanzer discussed tools and lessons learned from the project to build an xAPI enabled Skill for Alexa. While certainly a prototype, the possibilities – when coupled with good data strategy – seem endless.
I hated to miss the discussion led by Peter Guenther on xAPI for Serious Gaming but opted to listen to Halliburton’s Amir Bar discuss using xAPI to help tie learning and experience to performance on the job. Amir provided an overview of several projects within Halliburton, and how he uses those to tell the story of xAPI’s impact to a business bottom line.
The xAPI Party was a full day of discussion and exploration leaving lots to ponder overnight before the Download the next day. Interested in the Download and its content? Just check out the next article here.
For more information on the next xAPI Cohort, which begins September 6th, visit TorranceLearning’s signup page!