Editor’s note: Originally posted September 21, 2018.
Our Senior Developer, Bill Milstid, walked webinar attendees through a brief explanation of xAPI and then showed how we have integrated xAPI statements into our new Style templates—now known as Course Starters!
What does this mean for your reporting?
Only good things! xAPI allows you to get more information from your course than is normally available from your LMS. Our new Style Templates have xAPI statements built right in, so you barely have to do any work to reap the benefits of xAPI reporting!
A key thing to note is that you do need an LRS to take advantage of xAPI. Here at eLearning Brothers, we’ve been using Veracity LRS and we like it a lot! So much so that, as mentioned in the webinar, we partnered with them to give you a super simple—free—sign up. Visit this link to create a free account and start doing some rockstar reporting with xAPI.
Bill received and answered tons of questions during the webinar, but also took the time to follow-up on a few questions we didn’t have time to address live. Here they are:
Q: I’m getting back into eLearning design after a 3-year hiatus, so I need to ramp up on xAPI. Do you have any suggestions as to where I could educate myself?
There are a ton of resources out there to get you up to speed with the basics of xAPI.
Q: You mentioned something about xAPI being published outside of the LMS?
Two part answer here:
- Generally speaking, an xAPI-enabled file does not need to be run on an LMS at all. The Storyline presentation we were viewing was hosted on the eLearning brothers site. We can access that file directly and send statements to our LRS, no LMS middleman involved.
Not only that, but an LRS can send that data to another location if you need. Check with the LRS about this bit, though.
- There is also a specific field in Storyline publish options for the launch URL:
Q: Is it possible to watch the result of the code you showed us?
A: Here are some screenshots of the full statements from today’s webinar:
DEFAULT STATEMENT CUSTOM STATEMENT
Q: …our contractor is implementing a new LMS and we want to look at behavior learning. What should we look at if we want to use xAPI for eLearning?
A: The bare minimum is an LRS, or the ability to interact with xAPI/LRS data.
Beyond that, it honestly comes down to your specific needs as a learning organization, the needs of your users, and the existing learning environment.
Maybe take a peek at this: https://xapi.com/ecosystem/
Q: I have an LMS that has an inbuilt LRS. Does this mean that if I zipped up a module using xAPI…”Learner completed training” could feed through to my HCM (WorkDay)?
A: Yup. Should do.
I can’t speak to your specific situation, of course (without testing on your LMS/integration, I can’t guarantee it…but I would definitely ping your LMS & HCM here), this is definitely the type of thing xAPI is built for.
Q: What are the other applications of xAPI, other than allowing developers to optimize the course based on data?
A: The possibilities are endless, really.
Stepping away from rapid authoring, xAPI becomes one of those tools that is limited mostly by our ability to conceive of what to do with it, and then how to pay for that…
- Blended learning tracking
- Connecting/triggering disparate systems based on learning events:
- Trigger face-to-face support
- Correlate training activity with performance data
- Resolve learner actions over multiple accounts
- REAL gaming
- Visualize data
- Dashboards/real-time reports
- Taking learning into the real world
- Learner self-reporting
- Mobile/local learning
- There are a number of really good, practical use cases out there. One that has stuck with me for a long time was Riptide Software’s live-fire range training project for DoD. Give this a read if it suits you: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwjF-Yj4usrdAhVOQq0KHUyFCuEQFjAAegQICRAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fadlnet.gov%2Fpublic%2Fuploads%2FPutting-Live-Firing-Range-Data-to-Work-Using-the-xAPI.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1OFUHxQcYhauNCpWZ_coge
Q: Could you locate/post the URL for what eLearning Mag did comparing the tools and their built-in statements?
A: Here you go:
Q: Are there any best practices when using similar verbs? Saw vs. Experienced?
A: Up to you, really.
Try to make them make sense contextually—in this case, we were reporting on the style being viewed (Saw Shamrock Style), rather than the button being clicked, so saw seemed appropriate. We could have instead reported that the learner clicked the style-1 button (Clicked Shamrock Style Button).
Any “Experienced” statements in the group shown in the webinar were built-in statements.
Note the statements screenshots shown above for some examples.
Also, check the resources above regarding parts of a statement. There will be a bit of detail there that might help.
Q: How did you customize the Storyline player for the current course?
A: Here you go:
Q: If that Storyline ID persists, what is the strategy to make it different each time you publish a different course?
A: Copy & Paste!
You’ve got two options, really.
- You can update the XML after publish each time to make sure it doesn’t persist. (I’d also imagine this might be taken care of in an update sometime).
- We don’t love the above solution. We use copy/paste:
- Create a new file
- Copy the old scene into the new course
Q: The launch URL in Storyline, would an example be a webpage URL with an embedded video or course?
A: Here you go:
Q: is it possible to receive those reporting statements to any page without using a formal LRS?
A: Not really.
xAPI and LRS go together like toast and jam.
If you’re looking to use something other than an LRS, there are most likely other custom options.
A: There is no code-editing or post-publish surgery required by the eLearning Brothers templates we showed in this webinar.
They’re set up so that you can edit your xAPI values using the tool’s interface (no JS code), then publish, post, and start receiving statements immediately.
Q: Please post the URL for Veracity LRS…didn’t quite catch is before you moved away from that screen.
A: Here you go 😉
Q: So, the xAPI can be customized to the end user data we want to capture?
If you want a verb to display “clicked” instead of “reviewed”…and you want to change the object from “button-1” to “doohickey-33”, you can do that using the standard tool interface in these xAPI-enabled style templates.
No JS (unless you want to customize), no post-publish surgery.
Q: Are they all Storyline 3 templates?
A: All xAPI Storyline files are Storyline 3.
Captivate files have been tested on Cap 17, Mac and PC.
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