xAPI in Learning

Designing Digitally


xAPI in Learning

As society continues adapting to technological advancements made in the age of the Internet, many companies are researching how to prepare their staff better. Establishments are using Learning Management Systems (LMS) to achieve this, as the simplification of staff training is a massive advantage for your average working person.

Still, most forms of LMS have certain limitations, mainly having to do with the types of data they can interpret and where they can access them. This is where xAPI has stepped in, trying to offer employers more complex tools through which they can extrapolate data from their workforce.

What is xAPI?

Experience API, also known as xAPI, is an innovative tech learning method that can collect a broader range of information about what a person does online and offline. This type of API can capture data about a person from more technologies than ever before.

With the usage of a straightforward vocabulary, different systems can securely and effectively capture and stream the activities of a particular user. xAPI can track specific learning KPIs and measure performance progress. This data can provide insight on the true learning results and impact, lifting many previous limitations. You can integrate xAPI into many learning platforms, such as simulations, mobile applications, virtual worlds, offline learning, social learning, and more. 

If all of this sounds scary from a tech standpoint, worry not. xAPI is very easy to get into, especially for people already accustomed to programming languages. It’s also becoming more and more popular, so finding experts that can help you along the way shouldn’t be an issue.

How Will xAPI Improve the Learning Industry?

The primary tool that has been used in the past is SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model). While it does an excellent job of collecting learner data, it is limited to general data such as your students' overall grade, their name, the time it took them to complete a test, and so forth.

The analytics and reporting done with SCORM are also limited by the LMS used. SCORM will be able to show you all the grades that your students got on their tests and correlate them with other tests, but it won’t be able to show you the questions that they got wrong, for example. Tools available can allow SCORM to do more complex tasks, but they are generally tough to implement and are rarely used.

It is precisely these limitations that have made a tool such as xAPI necessary. If used correctly, it will open a whole new world of possibilities for your LMS. You can collect all sorts of data from your student throughout the learning process. You can go as deep as you want with these types of queries. xAPI can do that for you and much more.

The truly great part about this new tech is that xAPI can be easily integrated with any pre-existing LMS and allow you to understand how people learn. This enables you to adapt your entire curriculum to create a more engaging learning experience.

Read also: Tin Can (xAPI) vs. SCORM: Which is Right for Your Learning Needs?

How Will xAPI Change the Future of Learning?

To put it bluntly, it won’t be something revolutionary. In essence, we have technologies like this one that extracts data from all the corners of the Internet as we speak. More companies are trying to get a piece out of that “Big Data” pie. But while these mostly have to do with corporate interests, xAPI could lead to fundamental breakthroughs in learning technologies.

Imagine a future classroom where your average teacher can get a wide array of data about their students at the end of the day. While this might sound a bit like George Orwell’s 1984, the impact that this type of data could have on our global education systems can’t be overlooked. 

Nowadays, the main issue with education is that public school teachers can’t offer each student the same amount of time and attention. A well-managed LMS with xAPI implementations could prove immensely helpful for teachers that handle classes with upwards of 30-35 students. This is even more relevant for college education, where your average class can have well over 100 students. 

Implementing xAPI in the corporate world could also improve a company’s capacity of offering better training for their employees. But keep in mind that the benefits of xAPI will take some time to show results, especially if you have a large workforce. Each position will need its own type of tests and educational materials to be created for xAPI to work properly.

Read also: Learning Record Store (LRS), xAPI, and What You Need to Know


While we tried not to make xAPI sound like your stereotypical “way of the future” type of deal, the implications it can have in how we interpret data and improve our methods of educating people through the usage of this data could be a real game-changer. And while many people might argue that it all sounds somewhat dystopic, the truth is that we need these types of technologies to create a better future for our children and employees.

At Designing Digitally, all of our learning solutions are built with xAPI tracking that is designed around specific client needs and goals. We provide post-launch reporting to ensure learning is effective and produces a positive return on investment. We integrate the best technology into learning to ensure engaging training experiences and exceeded expectations. If you are interested in learning more about our online learning solutions and how we can help you overcome your business challenges, get in touch with our team today!