701 xAPI: An Introduction for Instructional Designers

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Thursday, April 9

As adoption of xAPI begins to take hold, it allows for more robust and interesting tracking of the learning process. As actual performance and results data are integrated with learning metrics, L&D professionals will have the data they need to tailor the learning process to individual needs at the same time that they can draw more useful conclusions about the learning as a whole across a wider population. With the xAPI specification nearly 7 years old, the tools and platforms needed to support it are ready for mass adoption and many L&D professionals are looking for a way to get started.

In this session you’ll get a foundational, practical, non-technical introduction to xAPI. After a brief introduction to xAPI and what's different about it from the SCORM-based data we're used to, this session will explore three key areas that impact learning professionals as they embark on their first xAPI projects. First, we'll examine learning data needs and data sources that will help you answer organizational and L&D questions. Then we'll look at making choices about infrastructure: how and when to work with your LMS, your LRS, or both. Finally, we'll discuss what can be done with the data gleaned from these projects: from better insights to the learning experience, data visualization, personalization and recommendations, business rules triggers and more. You’ll also get a high-level review of currently available software & tools for getting started with xAPI, including an up-to-date list of vendors with xAPI offerings.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to describe the impact that xAPI can have on your organization's learning and performance strategies
  • How to identify data needs and likely sources within the organization
  • How to identify new challenges in your work as an instructional designer or other learning professional
  • How to choose one or more first projects that leverage xAPI's capabilities beyond what's available in SCORM today


Megan Torrance



Megan Torrance is CEO and founder of TorranceLearning, which helps organizations connect learning strategy to design, development, data, and ultimately performance. She has more than 25 years of experience in learning design, deployment, and consulting . Megan and the TorranceLearning team are passionate about sharing what works in learning, so they devote considerable time to teaching and sharing about Agile project management for learning experience design and the xAPI. She is the author of Agile for Instructional Designers, The Quick Guide to LLAMA, and Making Sense of xAPI. Megan is also an eCornell Facilitator in the Women's Executive Leadership curriculum.

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