Why xAPI is the Most Important Thing in the Future of Learning?

The new interoperability standard and specification of eLearning, the Experience API (xAPI), is replacing SCORM. In today’s mobile world, where learning happens all the time and data is everywhere, it was necessary to develop a future framework for digital learning. Project TinCan not only achieved just that, it set out to fulfil the dreams of L&D and HR professionals with the Experience API. The specification enables us to capture vast amounts of data previously unavailable, run powerful analytics and link learning to business performance. In fact, xAPI is so powerful, that it will be the cornerstone future learning is built on, and here are just a few reasons why.

If you’re not familiar with the Experience API, you can read more about it here

xAPI enables us to track behaviours and interactions

Whereas SCORM enabled us to track test scores, completions and other basic factors, xAPI goes much deeper. With similar concept to e.g. Google Analytics, xAPI tracks interactions. This means that we can record every single click, comment, learning interaction and activity. This gives an immensely rich picture into how learning happens in the organisation. For the first time, learning professionals really know whether learning content works or not, i.e. do learners really use it. This makes content curation and decision making much easier. Learning professionals can also pinpoint the individuals or groups who require learning interventions. Furthermore, xAPI enables us to truly measure the ROI of learning in relation to all possible KPIs.

xAPI can track all learning activities including informal and offline

Nowadays, learning is increasingly happening outside of the workplace and schools – outside monitored environments. For a long period of time, learning professionals have struggled to get a complete picture of the whole life-long learning journey of individuals. However, with xAPI that is possible. The technology can track all imaginable learning activities, whether they happen outside of the employer’s system or even completely offline. For instance, it can track websites and articles that employees read and engage with. Capturing learning data is no longer confined within the borders of the learning management system (LMS). Every single interaction anywhere can be communicated with xAPI to a learning records store, which acts as the database.

xAPI enables us to finally link learning and business performance

Finally, the greatest struggle of learning professionals has been identifying the business value of different learning activities. Establishing links between performance and learning has been guessing game since the beginning. However, xAPI is here to change also that. We can use it to pull data from all systems (think ERPs, CRMs, HRMs, PMSs). Hence, with the right use of analytics, we can monitor business performance in all imaginable metrics and track it against the learning that is happening in the organisation. Thus, we can pinpoint whether employees in the organisation apply the learning, i.e. is there a behavioural change. Furthermore, we can confidently assign dollar values to these behavioural impacts, and hence the learning activities as well. Measuring the ROI of learning goes from a guessing game to data-driven science. Hence, you can be comfortable knowing that you’re getting the most out of your limited resources in L&D.

Do you already use xAPI for advanced learning insights? Do you want to finally link your learning to business performance? If yes, contact us, and let’s transform your learning together. 

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