Experience API is an Application Programming Interface increasingly used by Learning Management Systems (LMS). This software is an advance which enables the recording of both formal and informal learning activities and achievements, where previously only formal achievements in specific formats could have been archived. Also known as xAPI or Tin Can API, this evolving technology allows us to record much more about the details of learning than ever before, and also to share that knowledge easily.
Record literally anything
With an xAPI LMS we can record any learning activity we carry out, on or offline, with a simple click of a button, storing experiences in a Learning Record Store (LRS). This could be a book or chapter we have read, or a website we’ve explored. We can record our activity, make notes about it, and even capture data from a website or social media platform, which we can refer back to later or share with others.
Share it widely
Because these recorded experiences are sharable, experience API (or better to call xAPI from here on?) facilitates the building of learning communities. Within and outwith your LMS, learners can share references to useful sources, captured data, or their notes on their reading and activities. This information can be accessed during the life of the course by other learners on your platform, or even curated to form part of your evolving formal learning content. It is also possible for data to be shared outside your learning platform, allowing learning networks to grow and extend, potentially combining data to form a fuller picture still of each learner.
Take it with you
An individual’s LRS can also be portable, taken with the learner as they progress through their careers, and forming an important database which can be leveraged to develop personalised learning. Recorded learning preferences as well as gaps in learning history can be identified, either by human or artificial intelligence, to optimise the experience of individual learners. An employer can look at the LRS of a new employee to quickly identify their training needs, or a LMS could pick out gaps and learning preferences through machine learning.
Beyond learning, into “doing”
As well as learning history, ongoing workplace activity can be recorded using xAPI, allowing employers and trainers to identify areas where further training may be required. A trainer can compare workplace performance with training activity to see how effective training programmes are overall, or look at each individuals’ performance to accurately pinpoint any additional training needs.
xAPI already enables the recording and sharing of a huge variety of activities, and the breadth of its applications continue to grow. With xAPI, your LMS will be able to take advantage widening networks, sharing data and to fully integrate into vibrant learning communities, while at the same time creating opportunities for highly personalised learning trajectories for your individual learners. Learners will be able to choose from ever-growing sources of knowledge and the activities designed to help absorb it, and the possibility to record all that in one common language, allowing learners and their LMS to more sublimely forge their individual learning paths. Make sure that your organisation takes full advantage of this learning standards revolution.