Picture this: Everyone in your company has a fully personalized training experience. They get what they need, when they need it, and how they need it, catered to their own individual learning styles. Wouldn’t that be great?
And wouldn’t it be even better if training professionals (that’s you!) could track ALL this information to create detailed profiles and better, more pointed gamification?
Well, my trainer friend, you can stop imagining. “Wouldn’t it be great” has arrived, and its name is xAPI.
xAPI, or Experience API (AKA Tin Can API) is the successor to SCORM, which has long been the standard for packaging eLearning content. SCORM — we’ve had a good run, but it’s time to say goodbye. xAPI is a whole new world.
Your best workers are always learning; they don’t just take a course and call it good. They read, they surf the net, they listen to podcasts. Their learning can come from anywhere, and sometimes their most relevant training isn’t a part of any curriculum. That’s where xAPI has the advantage. James Parry, Learning Solutions Architect at ZS, states:
“Only a small fraction of learning can be tracked via SCORM in the LMS. xAPI gives you opportunities for enhanced understanding of learning beyond the LMS, potentially revealing where effective learning is happening on the job, via mobile apps, through coaching and beyond. It offers opportunities to much better understand what successful behaviors look like across a range of experiences and interactions…”
The bottom line is that xAPI offers a personalized learning experience like no other, and that personalization can be parlayed by trainers into enhanced gamification in training, more accurate tracking, and greater convenience.
With xAPI, your LMS can accommodate any kind of information from any source. It doesn’t just register formal learning like courses and eLearning modules — xAPI reports informal learning as well, so if a worker reads a book on management, the book becomes part of their portfolio. That means users can drive their own training like never before. Trainers are pretty smart, and they do a pretty good job creating relevant content. But no one knows what a worker needs like the actual worker. Before xAPI, the most driven workers did most of their best learning “off the clock.” Now you’ll be able to see what their real learning looks like — and give them credit for their efforts.
xAPI also allows workers to personalize their training environment. xAPI modules easily transfer from app to app and platform to platform. Workers can start a module at work on their laptops, continue on the train home on their phones, and finish it at home on their desktops. At work, they can run into a problem working at their desks, solve it at lunch on their phones, and go back to their desks without missing a beat. The LMS records it all. xAPI goes beyond integrating training into the workflow — training is integrated into the life-flow. And it goes one step further: workers’ training records can be transferred easily, so they can take their training with them as they move forward in their careers. Does xAPI sound like something Millennials and Gen Z will love? You bet it does.
So, what’s in it for you, the training professional? xAPI offers personalized reporting and tracking like you’ve never seen. You’ll have the details of ALL training experiences for every worker — allowing you to create better, more relevant courses for future workers. And here’s the best part: because you truly understand what workers need and what they’re doing to get it, you can develop enhanced gamification that will better motivate trainees. When used skillfully (and we know you’re skillful), reporting information from xAPI will enhance needed skills for your entire company.
Making xAPI Happen
So xAPI is like, no big deal, right? It only revolutionizes training for workers and companies. Anybody can do that, right?
Well, here’s the thing: anybody can do that. xAPI is an open source platform, and you don’t have to be a programmer to use it. There are free tutorials available on the web, all created using — you guessed it — xAPI. What about security? xAPI may require a different approach.
Letting go of SCORM might be a little painful if you already have an extensive library, but the benefits of xAPI are worth the growing pains. What are you waiting for?