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PDF Annotation in the Cloud: A Real-world Application of the xAPI

410 PDF Annotation in the Cloud: A Real-world Application of the xAPI

10:45 AM - 11:45 AM Wednesday, June 25

Content Management

Marina 5

A number of different documents are distributed to learners during an instructor-led course. In many cases these documents exist as PDF documents, which creates a number of challenges. Distributing the documents securely may eliminate external resources like USB drives. When the documents are stored locally, there is no central way to update them and keep them up-to-date. Most critically, it is extremely challenging for workers to take notes on PDF documents.

In this session you will learn about a cloud-based solution that addresses all of these problems and better supports learning. You will explore how iPads were used to access documents and take notes during instructor-led training, and how those documents and the annotations were accessible after training. You will discover how the combination of a learning management system (LMS), a learning resource store (LRS), and the Experience API (xAPI) enables learners to access these annotated documents via their LMS. You will also learn how the expanded reporting enables tracking of access and annotations.

In this session, you will learn:

  • The benefits of storing learner-annotation data in a LRS
  • The project management process for developing an xAPI solution
  • Metrics that you can retrieve from a LRS system
  • Uses for LRS-based applications


Novice and intermediate designers, developers, and managers. A general understanding of the xAPI and the concept of a LRS would be helpful.

Technology discussed in this session:

Cloud-based PDF annotation tool, LRS, iPad, and LMS.

Chad Udell

Managing Partner, Strategy and New Product Development


Chad Udell is the award-winning managing partner, strategy and new product development, at Float. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies and government agencies to create experiences for 20 years. Chad is an expert in mobile design and development, and speaks at events on related topics. He is author of Learning Everywhere: How Mobile Content Strategies Are Transforming Training and co-editor/author, with Gary Woodill, of Mastering Mobile Learning: Tips and Techniques for Success. His newest book, Shock of the New, co-authored with Gary Woodill, was released April of 2019.

Art Werkenthin



Art Werkenthin, president of RISC, built his first learning management system (LMS) in 1988 and now has over 25 years’ experience working with LMS in the oil and gas, retail, finance, and other industries. Art is keenly interested in the xAPI specification, and RISC was an early adopter of this technology. Interested in expanding the xAPI to the LMS, Art has served for the past three years on the ADL cmi5 committee. In 2015, RISC demonstrated the first implementation of a cmi5 runtime engine embedded in its LMS. Art has presented on cmi5 at several conferences, including mLearnCon, DevLearn and xAPI Camp.

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