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The Vocabulary of xAPI

The lingo normally thrown about with regard to xAPI, and what it means in as plain a language as we can make it.

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The Vocabulary of xAPI
November 17, 2015
Megan Bowe & Aaron E. Silvers
Matthew McConaughey
“I have my own
vocabulary. I love
linguistics. That
surprises people.”
What exactly is xAPI?
The Experience API is a standard way of
talking about our experiences, using data.
The Vocabulary of xAPI
The Experience API (xAPI)
• Can track many different types of experiences — including things that
people do on the web, in mobile applications, with wearables, in
classrooms and in workplace environments
• Moves beyond a web-based, didactic model
• Promotes better design and technology practices
• Makes integration with other systems and practices easier
• Provides a way to gather and use more useful information.

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The Vocabulary of xAPI

  • 1. The Vocabulary of xAPI November 17, 2015 Megan Bowe & Aaron E. Silvers
  • 2. Matthew McConaughey “I have my own vocabulary. I love linguistics. That surprises people.”
  • 4. The Experience API is a standard way of talking about our experiences, using data.
  • 6. The Experience API (xAPI) • Can track many different types of experiences — including things that people do on the web, in mobile applications, with wearables, in classrooms and in workplace environments • Moves beyond a web-based, didactic model • Promotes better design and technology practices • Makes integration with other systems and practices easier • Provides a way to gather and use more useful information.
  • 7. It answers a lot of ‘How’ type questions… • How can I inform better business decisions? • How do I avoid locking us into a solution? • How can I make investments in learning development last longer and more future-proof? • How can I make sure what I evaluate today is useful in the future? • How will I connect a learner’s activities across multiple applications?
  • 8. How Does Experience API Work? • People interact with “stuff” 
 (i.e. content, apps, business systems, etc.) • These interactions are observed and described in JSON. • The “stuff” sends the statements to a Learning Record Store.
  • 9. What is a Learning Record Store, or LRS? • It’s a database that stores activity statements - the “data” • LRSs can be software (even hardware) that stands on its own. • LRSs can be a part of data appliances, enterprise applications and learning management system (LMS)
  • 10. LMS vs. LRS A Learning Record Store (LRS) addresses one capability of a typical 
 Learning Management System (LMS). User Management Learning Records Scheduling Course Management Statistics Grade Book Tracking eLearning Content Storage Search Assignments Sequencing Delivery Preferences Reports Assessment
  • 11. Someone Did Something Activity Statements are “Observations” Actor Verb Object (To Someone) (Using Stuff) (With Some Result)
  • 12. { "actor": { "mbox": "mailto:n3ed8rw7r39@adlnet.gov", "name": "n3ed8rw7r39@adlnet.gov", "objectType": "Agent" }, "verb": { "id": "http://adlnet.gov/expapi/verbs/passed", "display": { "en-US": "passed" } }, "object": { "id": "http://z2.vc/xapi/activities/passed", "objectType": "Activity", "definition": { "name": { "en-US": "HTML5 data attribute prototype" }, "description": { "en-US": "Example generation of a passed activity using an HTML5 data attribute with unobtrusive js" } } }, "id": "d3574611-8092-4616-bfdc-4f48933a0d42" }
  • 14. What are other terms we might hear?
  • 15. Adaptive Learning assesses someone’s current knowledge state and recommends a sequence of activity that moves that knowledge state toward a defined learning outcome.
  • 16. CMI5 is a profile of xAPI that defines “plug-and-play” interoperability between learning content activities and LMSs.
  • 17. A profile is a set of rules that govern how to use xAPI in specific ways for specific experiences.
  • 18. Sometimes a profile is called a recipe. When followed, it ensures consistent data to describe similar activities can be generated by different activity providers.
  • 19. Interoperability is the expectation that what works in one system will work in a set of other systems by default with no configuration necessary.
  • 20. For xAPI, interoperability means that data created in one system can be shared with appropriate security and used by other systems with complete integrity and authority.
  • 21. An experience is a set of activities.
  • 22. An activity provider is some form of content, software application or other media that creates activity statements that can be sent to an LRS.