3 ways xAPI will make you a hero

Use the xAPI or IMS Caliper specs to bring clarity to your schools

If you've been reading this blog, hung around our website or been digging into something called distributed learning then you're likely familiar with newer learning specifications like xAPI (Tin Can) and IMS Caliper. 

Acronyms with an 'x' in them and terms like 'learning specification' are not very approachable. So here's a one sentence summary:

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xAPI and IMS Caliper allow you to collect data on a wide range of learning experiences in real time, and across many learning systems.

This is important because we know that the majority of your learner's learning experiences happen informally. Meaning that most of their learning takes place outside of a classroom or formal learning environment. 

That's where xAPI and IMS Caliper come in. This technology allows you to collect those informal learning experiences. 

So how does this technology to make you a rockstar?

  1. xAPI and Caliper collects data in a very simple format. The activity statements come in the form of "noun", "verb", "object". For example, "John watched Algebra for beginners" (this 1:47 video illustrates this perfectly). This format is, obviously, very generic which makes it extremely flexible. So xAPI and Caliper allow you to collect data on almost every activity your learners engage in online.
  2. Learning is not confined to formal environments. This is essentially an extention of the intro to this post but because learning happens everywhere there should be no restrictions on capturing that data. xAPI and Caliper allow any kind of learning, wherever it happens to be captured. This frees your teachers and instructional designers to incorporate different types of content and platforms into their curriculum. A few examples are social learning, mobile apps and gaming. 
  3. Holistic view of learners. This final benefit is the outcome of the first two. If you're able to collect a wider range of your learners experiences and you unlock the ability to track different kinds of learning experiences then you gain a much greater understanding of your learners. How they like to learn, where they go to find extra materials, when they perfer to learn...all these things become clear. 

So, to recap, these new learning specifications allow for:

  • Simple, flexible data collection
  • Learning to be unlocked from formal environments
  • A more complete picture of your learners

Pretty great right? Want to know more?

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