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xAPI Making Sense of Industry and Practice

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An overview of questions @MeganBowe and I recommend asking when considering your first big project with xAPI, and how the consortium that will steward xAPI will make this easier.

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xAPI Making Sense of Industry and Practice

  1. 1. xAPI: Making Sense of 
 Industry & Practice November 17, 2015 Megan Bowe & Aaron E. Silvers
  2. 2. How do I work with xAPI?
  3. 3. Competencies & Mindsets Systems Thinking Integration Facilitation A Maker Mindset Assume you have permission to tinker Make, maintain and grow useful connections Surface goals big & inviting enough to motivate action Be The Change Interrogate perceived boundary conditions Identify new paradigms supported by both sides of double-binds Inspire others, modeling how to navigate through shifting paradigms “Yes. And..” Augment rather than change discrete systems Seek connections and overlaps that add value beyond the immediate context Help others avoid negation
  4. 4. Who puts xAPI solutions together? Technology Partners 
 Vendors, consultants, tool providers, etc. 
 Your Team 
 Stakeholders, team members, customers.
  5. 5. How xAPI solutions happen… • Use a tool that is built with xAPI, natively, from the ground-up ( “Native” ) • Leverage an existing data source that is modified, extended or translated into xAPI ( “Modified” ) • Build Your Own ( “BYO” )
  6. 6. Native Modified BYO Technology Partners xAPI from ground-up APIs or other data sources that can translate to xAPI Whatever
 You Want Your Team Balancing wants, needs and sustainability Creating & maintaining middleware Practices, Resourcing & Scaling
  7. 7. Native Modified BYO Technology Partners xAPI from ground-up APIs or other data sources that can translate to xAPI Whatever
 You Want Your Team Balancing wants, needs and sustainability Creating & maintaining middleware Practices, Resourcing & Scaling
  8. 8. Questions for technology partners If there’s support for xAPI from the ground-up… • What activities are designed?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

  9. 9. Common Needs Social Custom mobile applications Play existing courses Create new courses Track/report progress Off-the-shelf applications integration Testing Competency management See the learner’s journey See content usage Work activities Sensors Simulations Recruitment Compliance activity Reporting
  10. 10. Questions for technology partners If there’s support for xAPI from the ground-up… • What activities are designed? • How are activities tracked?
 
 
 
 
 

  11. 11. “Recipes” • Communities of Practice • Controlled Vocabularies • Domain Profiles
  12. 12. Questions for technology partners If there’s support for xAPI from the ground-up… • What activities are designed? • How are activities tracked? • What data points are in each statement?
 
 
 

  13. 13. Someone Did SomethingActor Verb Object Context Result
  14. 14. Questions for technology partners If there’s support for xAPI from the ground-up… • What activities are designed? • How are activities tracked? • What data points are in each statement? • How do I input or change endpoint credentials?
 

  15. 15. Prompt Hack Fixed You’ll have a prompt to input one or multiple LRS endpoint credentials. As an example, while there’s a default configuration, there’s JavaScript or other code as an interface that can be amended with knowledge of how the technology works. The technology is in a published or executable-only state (a .exe file, a .swf file — something server side) that makes it difficult if not impossible to change.
  16. 16. Questions for technology partners If there’s support for xAPI from the ground-up… • What activities are designed? • How are activities tracked? • What data points are in each statement? • How do I input or change endpoint credentials? • How does it rely on the LMS or other software applications?
  17. 17. Native Modified BYO Technology Partners xAPI from ground-up APIs or other data sources that can translate to xAPI Whatever
 You Want Your Team Balancing wants, needs and sustainability Creating & maintaining middleware Practices, Resourcing & Scaling
  18. 18. Questions for your team If considering a tool built with xAPI from the ground-up… • Is what’s baked-in going to be enough? • Does the right data align across tools? • If not… 
 can we support our own unbiased reporting, 
 knowing the caveats?
  19. 19. Data Alignment Example Storyline Lectora Uses a fixed vocabulary to describe a limited set of interactions with xAPI Allows for freedom of expression to describe any interaction (or operation) with an open vocabulary for xAPI.
  20. 20. Data Alignment Example Storyline Lectora “Mark experienced Slide 19.” “Mark read the contents of Slide 19 for 20 seconds.”
  21. 21. Native Modified BYO Technology Partners xAPI from ground-up APIs or other data sources that can translate to xAPI Whatever
 You Want Your Team Balancing wants, needs and sustainability Creating & maintaining middleware Practices, Resourcing & Scaling
  22. 22. Questions for technology partners If there’s support for APIs or other data sources that can translate to xAPI… • What APIs does the technology offer? • Of these…
 Can we capture the right activities?
  23. 23. Twitter maps easily, but… • Should we use hashtags for
 for context? • Is location important? • Do we need to track every
 tweet?
  24. 24. Questions for technology partners If there’s support for APIs or other data sources that can translate to xAPI… • What APIs does the technology offer? • Of these…
 Can we capture the right activities? • What data will fill in the gaps in information we need?
  25. 25. Native Modified BYO Technology Partners xAPI from ground-up APIs or other data sources that can translate to xAPI Whatever
 You Want Your Team Balancing wants, needs and sustainability Creating & maintaining middleware Practices, Resourcing & Scaling
  26. 26. Questions for your team If considering a tool built for APIs or other data sources that can translate to xAPI… • Can we get enough from this/these APIs? • How much value will we get from this system? • What resources will we have… • to do custom API development? • to keep up our code with the different specs, ongoing? • to build the translation layer?
  27. 27. Native Modified BYO Technology Partners xAPI from ground-up APIs or other data sources that can translate to xAPI Whatever
 You Want Your Team Balancing wants, needs and sustainability Creating & maintaining middleware Practices, Resourcing & Scaling
  28. 28. Questions for technology partners If your technology partner will build whatever you want… • What learning experience are you designing? • What interactions are needed to support the learning experience design?
  29. 29. Native Modified BYO Technology Partners xAPI from ground-up APIs or other data sources that can translate to xAPI Whatever
 You Want Your Team Balancing wants, needs and sustainability Creating & maintaining middleware Practices, Resourcing & Scaling
  30. 30. Questions for your team If you can build whatever you want… • What learning experience are you designing? • What interactions are needed to support the learning experience design? • What interactions are needed but don’t evidence or disprove the learning experience? • What recipes exist? • What is the data model and information architecture it should conform with? • What is our ability to support this at scale?
  31. 31. How do I vet technology partners for xAPI projects?
  32. 32. When considering technology partners… • Consider the know-how and investment of those who contribute to the actual spec
 (example: https://github.com/adlnet/xAPI-Spec/graphs/contributors)
  33. 33. When considering technology partners… • Consider the know-how and investment of those who contribute to the actual spec
 (example: https://github.com/adlnet/xAPI-Spec/graphs/contributors) • Consider those who can demonstrate xAPI interoperability
 (example: http://tincanapi.com/2015/04/16/tale-three-lrss/)
  34. 34. When considering technology partners… • Consider the know-how and investment of those who contribute to the actual spec
 (example: https://github.com/adlnet/xAPI-Spec/graphs/contributors) • Consider those who can demonstrate xAPI interoperability
 (example: http://tincanapi.com/2015/04/16/tale-three-lrss/) • Consider those who stay current with the spec
 (example: http://tincanapi.com/2015/04/16/tale-three-lrss/)
  35. 35. When considering technology partners… • Consider the know-how and investment of those who contribute to the actual spec
 (example: https://github.com/adlnet/xAPI-Spec/graphs/contributors) • Consider those who can demonstrate xAPI interoperability
 (example: http://tincanapi.com/2015/04/16/tale-three-lrss/) • Consider those who stay current with the spec
 (example: https://github.com/aaronesilvers/IEEE/blob/master/ 2014_State_of_xAPI_Tools_Survey_Responses.csv) • Consider those who won’t lock you into one size fits all
 (example: http://connectionsforum.com/case-studies/)
  36. 36. This seems like a lot… right?
  37. 37. Today's Adoption Challenges For many, xAPI is really hard. Today, instructional designers, business analysts, data scientists, engineers and front-end developers must do a lot of manual labor to work with xAPI. There are conformance quality concerns. There are lots of products that claim to support xAPI, but how they use xAPI varies. Some vendors build their support for xAPI in ways that are different from what other vendors do, let alone different from the spirit and/or conformance with the spec. This impacts data interoperability. xAPI must scale across verticals. xAPI has applications beyond just learning & development. To truly be useful to the whole enterprise, it needs to be easier for businesses, vendors and consultants alike to identify products that use xAPI the same way, and it needs to be easier for everyone to follow best practices.
  38. 38. How hard is xAPI for Activity Providers? • Conflicting vocabulary • Profiles/CoPs/Recipes inconsistency • Manual processes • Content use cases are favored
  39. 39. Who's really using xAPI as specified? • Most differences among the major LRSs are easily resolved, but there are many products claiming to be “xAPI Compliant” which may not support xAPI the way you’d expect, clouding xAPI’s value proposition. • Some Activity Providers (read: authoring tools) take liberties with valid-looking, but completely unusable, identifiers for verbs and activities — this is invisible to folks who use the tools but it makes poor quality data.
  40. 40. Who's on the fence about using xAPI? • In the US • Industrial/Manufacturing • IT and Business Intelligence • Energy and High Stakes Compliance
  41. 41. Who's on the fence about using xAPI? • Outside the US • Medical • Financial • Government • Military
  42. 42. How do we address all that?
  43. 43. The Data Interoperability Standards Consortium (DISC)
  44. 44. Starting in 2016, DISC will address... Vocabulary Profiles Partnerships Certification Stewardship • Federated registry and associated APIs, freely available for individuals; fee- based for products • Maintained and managed • Schema to validate profiles • Recognize and document community-of- practice activities, normalizing profiles by domain (vs global approaches) • Relationships with stakeholder groups wanting to leverage xAPI in their own specs • Supporting interests beyond just US DoD • Identifies software and hardware that conforms to requirements of the xAPI specification • Guarantees xAPI’s value proposition • Supports xAPI’s relevancy to market needs • Provides resources and vehicles to support xAPI adoption
  45. 45. RENEW YEARLYCERTIFICATION Concept: Certification APPLICATIONIMPLEMENTINDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE Vendor is interested in offering a product or service using xAPI. Vendor makes contact with DISC with request for information. Vendor develops xAPI functionality in their product or service. Vendor applies for certification testing of their product or service. Vendor successfully earns a digital badge certifying product authentically. Vendor renews certification annually to keep current with any changes to xAPI.
  46. 46. Workstreams INFORMATION CERTIFICATION SPECIFICATION COMMUNICATION Federated Registry Index of Certified Products Maintaining Requirements Third-Party Testing Program Maintenance Strategic Evolution Communities of Practice Working Groups March 2017 January 2017 June 2016 January 2017 January 2016 April 2016 January 2016 January 2016 Supporting Vendors Informing Customers Delivering Market Relevance Engaging Contributors
  47. 47. Summary: Year One Deliverables • Certification • Requirements • Licensing • 3rd Party Testing Program • Design and Development Tools • Security Guidelines
  48. 48. So… what’s my roadmap to begin working with xAPI?
  49. 49. 1) Describe the Dream • What outcomes happen as a result? • How are people learning or working? • What problems are solved? • How far out is this future? • What might change beyond this?
  50. 50. Know Your Roles and Goals • Who are you responsible for helping within your organization? • What do they need help with? • What and/or how do you help them? • What do you want to be better? • What do you want to learn about what is currently happening? • What do you want to do differently?
  51. 51. 2) Define Gaps Between Today and the Ideal • What capabilities exist vs. what capabilities are needed? • What do people “do” vs. what they “need to do?” • How do today’s business requirements match with business goals for the ideal?
  52. 52. Sort Out Your Statements Pretend you’re interviewing a SME for something you want to support… 1. What do they do first? 2. Second? 3. Etc… • What do they do when they get stuck? • How do they get unstuck? • How does this activity play out when done well? 
 (what does good look like?) • How does this play out when mediocre or subpar?
  53. 53. 3) Sketch It • What are the workflows? • How do existing tools support the workflows? • What new tools are needed? • How does this model fit with stakeholder expectations? • What are the critical paths and how are they prioritized? • How can this model be simplified/scaled/phased? • What dependencies are inherent? What dependencies are external?
  54. 54. Gather Your Resources • What tools do you have access to? • Who is available, and with what skills? • Which systems do you have control of? • Which require approval to make changes?
  55. 55. 4) Put a Plan Together • What is the technical approach? • How will the system(s) and/or service(s) architecture work? • What do the interfaces look like? • How will success be defined? • What is the project plan?
  56. 56. Prioritize • Of the the projects you could do, what will positively impact business objectives most? • Of the projects you could do, what will positively impact organizational culture and internal needs?
  57. 57. 5) Reach Out aaron@makingbetter.us http://makingbetter.us/

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