Conference 2019 Session: Experience API and the Learning Record Store: Enabling Learning Analytics

Experience API (xAPI) and the Learning Record Store (LRS): Enabling Learning Analytics

Content Track:  Applying Best Practice    Experience Level: All

Rob Chadwick, Partner | Veracity Technology Consultants
Jonathan Poltrack, Partner | Veracity Technology Consultants


The Experience API (xAPI) is a learning technology used to track and access learner performance data. xAPI can pull into a single comprehensive view data from distributed sources, solve security issues introduced by legacy e-learning formats, and enable learning analytics and visualizations that provide a complete picture of detailed learning events. After several years of maturation, xAPI is becoming increasingly popular across many industries. This vast new source of data provides a solid starting point for “big data” learning analytics. In this session, we will provide an overview the xAPI technology including the history of the specification. We’ll also describe current trends in xAPI, outline a roadmap for what’s coming in the xAPI community, and depict a typical xAPI-enabled architecture.

After discussing the xAPI architecture, we’ll examine some real-world use cases. We’ll demonstrate how QuestionMark assessments, courseware, HTML5 pages and even traditional LMSs can all expose data via the xAPI. There are several important topics in xAPI integration: identity, credentials, endpoints and data representation. We’ll briefly review how these challenges are addressed in the various use cases and mention some benefits and drawback of each approach.

During this session, we’ll generate some data that we can use for analysis, so we’ll end the session by examining the data we collected. Using analysis tools to ask complex questions about how LMS activity relates to assessment performance, we’ll graph the data to create a simple to understand view of how different courseware activity influences assessment scores.

Learning Objectives 
  • Define the uses of the xAPI technology within learning environments

  • Describe the components of an xAPI-enabled architecture and how they interact

  • Chronicle the xAPI technology and specification history including important inflection points that changed the specification

  • Detail several real world xAPI use cases and describe how the xAPI is used to enable them

  • Describe real world integration challenges.

  • Describe how data generated in this session was collected via xAPI and analyzed using LRS dashboard tools