Are you wondering what xAPI is or how it could energize your learning and performance ecosystem? Have you avoided learning about it because you don’t think you’d fit in with the room full of stereotypical computer geeks you’re sure would be the other attendees at any seminar or workshop on xAPI?
It’s time to take the plunge.
The 11th biannual free xAPI Learning Cohort starts on September 3. This 12-week learning experience routinely attracts several hundred curious learners who are diverse in every imaginable way—some have been through the Cohort before while scores are first-timers. Participants range from newbies to veteran xAPI gurus from all around the globe. The groups are diverse in all the conventional ways too, spanning all genders, ages, and racial and ethnic backgrounds.
Why learn about xAPI?
If you’re looking for a way to freshen up—modernize—your learning while gathering reams of useful data, xAPI is for you. It plays well with conventional eLearning, including SCORM courses. It also works nicely with any other learning platform or tool you can imagine—from a CPR dummy to an instructor-led workshop to a specially-built robot car.
Learning about a new technical standard can seem overwhelming. The aim of the xAPI Learning Cohorts is to reduce barriers that make xAPI seem inaccessible. Cohorts attract people of all skill levels, and with Jessica Jackson, a TorranceLearning project manager and instructional designer who is leading the Cohort again this fall, we demolish the “only white guys do this” misconception on day one. Everyone is welcome to join a Cohort, and we notice that more experienced participants often guide and coach the newbies. Cohorts are also incredibly flexible and members can choose to join one or more projects—or lurk in the background and learn.
Every Cohort adds something new. In 2017, participants could experience xAPI data gathering in real time, as their Slack conversations fed data to the Yet Analytics learning record store (LRS). Next came integration with a team check-in survey. An addition in 2019 was a GitHub space where project teams could check in their code and share work with others, even after the Cohort ended. This means that prior projects’ work is available for future projects to get a head start.
This fall, the Cohort’s weekly web sessions and video recordings will themselves be capturing and storing xAPI data using the Newrow classroom platform and a Watershed LRS. Participants will be able to search videos and enjoy using the Kaltura video-streaming platform. Best of all, the platform will gather—you guessed it—xAPI data about learners’ video consumption and session participation. A project team is already preparing to examine data on chat participation, on-screen time, and other learning activities—to improve the experience for future cohorts.
Build a project
Projects that have emerged from xAPI Learning Cohorts range from beginner-level to shooting-for-the-stars. They include:
- Pairing a Unity 3D Scene with a Storyline eLearning course and using xAPI to track activities and measure time spent in the Unity game—with the goal of enhancing and adding interactivity to the learner experience.
- Creating an interactive customer support learning scenario using Alexa skills and Voiceflow—using xAPI to capture statements from Voiceflow enabled detailed analysis and evaluation of learners’ interactions with the “customer”.
- Using a WordPress plugin and content tagging to create an adaptive learning experience—content was tagged by difficulty and learning objective; activity data gathered and stored using xAPI was then available for the algorithms to apply the adaptive sequencing.
Each Cohort supports multiple project teams, including some that span two or more Cohorts.
Registration is open for the 11th xAPI Learning Cohort, which begins on September 3, 2020.
Each Cohort features a weekly virtual classroom session, membership in the Cohort Slack workspace and channels, regular email updates, access to the Cohort GitHub space, a concluding party conference—and the chance to meet and learn with learning and xAPI professionals from around the world.