xAPI: A Way to Enable Learning Analytics
Posted by John Kleeman
Many organizations train and test individuals to ensure they have the right skills and competencies. In doing so, they amass vast amounts of data, which can be used to identify further training opportunities and improve performance. One way of managing this data is to use the Experience API (or xAPI) to pass data from disparate systems into a central Learning Record Store.
xAPI is maintained by the United States Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (see www.adlnet.gov) and many Questionmark users have requested that we support xAPI so that they can export test data for analysis. For this reason, we’re pleased to let you know that earlier this year, we released our xAPI Connector for OnPremise and OnDemand customers. The integration lets the Questionmark platform connect and ‘talk’ to Learning Record Stores, creating an agile and effective learning and development ecosystem.
The challenges organizations face
For any organization, measuring the competence of employees or consultants through assessment is an essential element of ensuring the team is capable and fit-for-purpose. During this process, organizations collect large amounts of data that needs to be stored under strict data privacy regulations.
Once employers have control of learning and assessment data, it can then be interrogated to analyze employees and the effectiveness of training programs. With Questionmark’s xAPI integration, customers will now be able to transfer data from the assessment platform to their Learning Record Store.
What xAPI does
xAPI provides a standard means for collecting data from training and assessment experiences. The specification allows different systems to communicate and share data, which can then be stored and analyzed. This helps organizations to make better decisions by collecting, tracking, and quantifying learning activities to see what works and what doesn’t.
Organizations are increasingly investing in Learning Record Stores to host and analyze learning and assessment data. With xAPI, Questionmark customers will now to be able to send assessment data directly to their Learning Record Stores, so that they can measure the impact of learning and development activities and maximize the impact of their investment.
xAPI offers universal integration, meaning users can store data anywhere. Reporting across multiple geographies is easy, so users can analyze, compare and contrast data. The data is also presented in a universal format, making it easy to understand and interpret. This provides a solid starting point for big data learning analytics. And, as an assessment technology provider, Questionmark has widened its footprint in the total learning ecology by releasing the xAPI functionality.