What is xAPI and how does it use data to improve the learning experience?

xAPI or Experience xAPI (formerly known as Tin Can API), is an innovative eLearning standard format that allows multiple systems, applications, or websites to gather and exchange data on user experience online and offline (those that happen outside an LMS) while learners are interacting. The goal of this technology is to help improve the learning experience of users.

Through the LRS (Learning Record Store) – a learning application that is defined by the xAPI- learning interactions across multiple platforms get stored in a database. This data can be used by L&D teams to analyze and personalize learning.

Key features and functionalities of xAPI in the e-learning environment   

There are many key features and functionalities that allow xAPI to improve the experience of the learner. Below you will find a description of each one of them:  

Capability of tracking different learning events 

xAPI is capable of tracking different events or interactions that a learner has throughout their learning cycle. These interactions can come from different sources within the LMS or outside the LMS, which can include apps, social learning platforms, games etc.

Collection of detailed data  

The xAPI is also able to collect very well-defined data of the learner’s interactions. This provides highly personalized feedback and allows L&D Managers to carry out a more comprehensive analysis of specific activities, accomplishments, and outcomes.

Tracking and reporting in real-time  

xAPI can track the progress of users in real-time across multiple sources such as completion rates or time it takes to complete a course. This data is included in the LRS once a learner completes a task.

Interoperability and system integration  

This means that information can be exchanged between different systems and platforms that the L&M teams decide to use for the learning journey. Data can be stored from multiple sources such as CRMs, Websites, Mobile Apps etc.

Personalization and adaptative learning 

The ability of xAPI to collect detailed data along the whole learner journey also lets L&D teams adapt learning pathways and content that are personalized for the learner.

Analytics and insights  

With xAPI, you can extract rich data and insights of each individual learner and their performance. Learning analytics that can be gathered include learner behaviors, engagement levels, knowledge gaps and much more.

Exporting to SCORM  

Even though SCORM and xAPI do not have the same specifications, data that is stored within the LRS can be exported to SCORM.

Multi-device support  

An advantage is that it supports multiple devices, so that courses can be also designed for all mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, and laptops).

Supports offline activities  

It supports offline activity, which means 24/7 internet connectivity is not needed. Users can complete activities and the information will be stored once the learner connects again to the internet.

How to use xAPI to obtain actionable information and enhance the learning experience

There are many ways to use xAPI to improve the learning experience during the different touchpoints of the user.

L&D teams can use data from offline and online sources to get insights and create actionable goals. This means that you can gather data for companies that use blended training models.

Moreover, thanks to its predictive capabilities it can track learner preferences and knowledge levels and allows content to be edited in real-time so that personalized learning pathways can be created.

Finally, since it allows to track the progress of the learner across different sources in real-time, the information stored in the LRS can be used to create recommendation engines that can recommend new programs to the users.

Conclusion: benefits of xAPI

Overall using xAPI lets L&D Managers improve the learning pathway of each individual by tracking their behavior across multiple systems and devices via the storage of data in the LRS so they can offer personalization.

In conclusion, xAPI has revolutionized the e-learning space, allowing L&D teams to capture powerful data that can be used to elevate the learning journey and curve of employees.

If you want to start creating and sharing engaging interactive courses, isEazy Author is the authoring tool that seamlessly lets you create, edit, and share e-learning courses in minutes. Export courses and upload them to any LMS through the compatible format of your choice: SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004 and Tin Can/xAPI. Try it for free!


Nicole Bayer
Nicole Bayer
Content Marketing Specialist at isEazy

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