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April 2016 #Obsidianchat Summary

Time: 2:00 – 2:30PM 4/19/2016

April’s Obsidian Chat topic was xAPI. We had xAPI expert Art Werkenthin from RISC, Inc., join us to share his knowledge and insight on the topic. Art is a member of the ADL CMI-5 committee, and is an expert on both xAPI and CMI-5. This has been, by far, my favorite Obsidian chat. xAPI is murky for a lot of folks, and the responses shared were extremely helpful in learning more about the topic.

Q1. What is the purpose of xAPI?

It’s not just to add another acronym to your professional vocabulary. xAPI has real world and real time value.

@DuncanWIV and @JimDHarris also provided clear breakdowns on the purpose of xAPI. It’s no wonder that many times conversations about gamification often include heavy doses of xAPI.

Q2. When should you implement xAPI? When shouldn’t you?

If you haven’t had this meeting yet in your learning organization, you will. Organizations want to know if their learners are… well… learning. That means you should always use xAPI, right?  Not necessarily. Sometimes too much data, is just too much data.

He also shared this resource for the xAPI security protocol: xAPIsec: Towards an information security protocol for xAPI.

Generally speaking, your learners are going to pick up information from non-traditional learning daily. You can’t capture the results and impact of that learning unless you incorporate xAPI to track the data.

@AWerkenthin also mentioned that you need to plan on which interactions to track, otherwise you are getting a very limited picture.

Q3. What privacy concerns are there with xAPI?

Who isn’t concerned about their privacy these days? It’s true even when it comes to a learner’s records.

@AWerkenthin explained that these concerns should be addressed, and that you may need sign-off from employees to use xAPI. Essentially, anytime you add new data to track, you should inform learners.

Q4. What budget considerations should you have for #xAPI?

Ok, so now you know what xAPI is, when you should use it, and how to protect your learner’s records. But… can you afford it?

@briandusablon recommends prototyping with cheap or free solutions like @learninglocker, SCORMCloud, WordPress to test xAPI.

He also said that “WaxLRS also has an “Explore” option that is free. SaLTBOX Wax LRS

Q5. What tools are you currently using to implement #xAPI?

For those interested in our rapid authoring tool, Obsidian Black

Other resources mentioned by our chat participants’ were:

@briandusablon and @seanputman1 talks about #xAPI capabilities for various tools at xAPI Quarterly

Q6: How has #xAPI changed the way you design courses?

Yes, you are going to have to think of how xAPI affects the design of your courses. There’s no avoiding it, but the end result is more measureable data. While many of our clients are not quite ready, it’s definitely something that we keep in mind.

@AWerkenthin reminded us that with xAPI, we can no longer think of courses as individual modules.

Q7. Is anyone experimenting with #CMI5 to implement #xAPI in an LMS? What results have you had?

Art also provided resource links to read about the benefits of CMI-5:

Q8. Where do you see xAPI and cmi5 heading in the future? Will we ever abandon SCORM and the LMS?

It’s always fun to see what the expert’s forsee happening, especially in this field. We were fortunate to get Art’s take on the future of xAPI and CMI-5.

We would like to thank everyone that participated in #ObsidianChat this month. This was one of best sessions yet, and we look like to extend a very sincere thank you to Art Werkenthin for lending his expertise.

We look forward to chatting with everyone for next month’s #ObsidianChat will be on May 17th from 2:00 – 3:00pm CST.

If you are looking to learn more about xAPI, we invite you to take a look at RISC, Inc’s blog, as well as our blog post “XAPI, CMI-5, And Mobile Learning: What Do You Need To Know?”.

You can also find more information on xAPI at

19 July,2018 The Obsidian Blog | April 2016 #Obsidianchat Summary Obsidian Learning