eLearning Technologies & xAPI

consulting - development - deployment

eLearning Technologies

The technical side of modern/current eLearning is becoming more complex.

Having your instructional designers/developers delve into all the new technical details while keeping up with their usual work will spread your team too thin, making it waste time and become frustrated.

It is more efficient to work with a partner who gets the technical side of things specifically in the context of L&D.

Technologies

There's a natural tendency to take advantage of modern technologies and use them for training and learning purposes. For example:

  • Mobile apps
  • Modern HTML5 content
  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmented Reality
  • Games
  • Chatbots
  • Artificial Intelligence

Of course this does not mean that everybody needs to pursue all these technologies, just that they are generating some interest.

Trends

These technologies can greatly enhance (or -in some cases- are necessary to support) some of the current trends in the area of Learning and Development, such as:

  • Gamification
  • Microlearning
  • Adaptive learning
  • Scenario-based learning
  • Simulations
  • Inquiry and delivery through chatbots

New needs

The implementation of some of those trends and technologies often requires the use of a variety of platforms, server-side apps, APIs etc.

Sometimes even custom programming both on the server side and on the client side / content is required. All this is considerably more complex than the familiar “LMS + SCORM content” model.

xAPI

The increasing need to gather and analyze data about learner behavior can be effectively addressed with the eXperience API, or xAPI

xAPI facilitates the expression and transmission of behavior (experience) data in a consistent way. This reduces interoperability costs and may ease data analysis efforts.

If your team needs to understand, get familiar with, and take advantage of xAPI, the most efficient way to do it is to work with a partner who has already dedicated a great deal of time to it.

Scope

xAPI is quite different conceptually from SCORM.

While SCORM works only for contents served from an LMS, xAPI can track experiences across a wide variety of systems, platforms and devices.

With xAPI it is possible to do things that were impossible with SCORM, but also with xAPI we have to worry about some aspects that were pretty much transparent in SCORM.

Implementation

Creating a SCORM course or module is fairly straightforward, and pretty much all authoring tools allow course authors to create SCORM packages without much effort. Taking advantage of xAPI, however, is much more involved than picking some options in the authoring tool.

Most tools provide some level of xAPI support, but additinal programming is often needed for customization. Additionally, there is a lot more to xAPI beyond what needs to be done in the authoring tool and content.

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