Margaret Roth By Margaret Roth • January 30, 2015

Celebrating the Season 3 Kickoff :: So why xAPI?

When you're working with new technology and software development, you get asked a lot of questions. Which is great, because we have a lot of exciting answers. In celebration of the xAPI Design Cohort, Season 3 Kickoff today, we thought we'd share some answers!

"Why xAPI? What is it? What does it do?" 

The Experience API, otherwise known as xAPI, is a data standard for describing, creating, and connecting information about learning experiences, between systems, as they happen. 

Originally developed by the DoD through the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative, xAPI makes it possible to collect data in a standardized format from any type of application, from anywhere, at any time, as a learning or training experience is happening. What makes xAPI really cool is that you can then connect all of those experiences, all of those systems, all of those technologies, all of those people, to each other, to see the big picture. But first you need an LRS and at least one activity provider.

"What's an LRS? What's an activity provider?"

An LRS is a Learning Record Store, the place where xAPI statements are sent, securely stored, and then retrieved. An xAPI compliant activity provider is an application that produces data in the form of xAPI statements. Any application can become xAPI compliant and therefore an activity provider. 

Activity providers can be anything that is part of an experience - from serious games, virtual environments, sensors, wearables, mobile e-content, smart glasses, medical simulations, smart devices, robotics, social learning environments, mobile multimedia, open badges, online communities, gaming systems, customer relationship management software, immersive games, networks of applications, mobile devices, computers, learning management systems - any application that can produce data, in offline or online situations, can become an activity provider.

"How does an application become an activity provider?"

In order for an application to become an xAPI activity provider, two things need to happen. First, the content of the application needs to be mapped and adapted to the xAPI registry of verbs and activities, or a new registry needs to be created for your content. Second, the application itself needs to be integrated with xAPI so that it can produce xAPI statements.

When those two things have happened, the application is now an xAPI compliant activity provider and can be connected to an LRS. Now the fun starts.

"What does Yet Analytics do with xAPI?"

People are learning all the time, every where they go, through every application and device they use, from every person they meet. xAPI allows us to standardize and collect the data of learning that is created through every exchange, and to connect that data to create a connected learning environment. Yet Analytics makes it possible for you to make the data of experience meaningful for your organization through our data analytics platform - The Yet Core

The Yet Core is our cloud-based xAPI platform for data analytics. It is an immutable and massively scalable xAPI Learning Record Store and our proprietary xAPI data analytics engine. We also have some of our own xAPI compliant activity providers and we offer custom integrations to make applications xAPI compliant activity providers. 

The Yet team also participates in a variety of different xAPI working groups and communities of practice. And today we're excited to be participating in the kickoff of the xAPI Design Cohort, Season 3

"How can I stay connected?"

Every week we will be sending out a collection of must-reads related to simulations, wearables, connected learning environments, the Internet of Things, and other future technologies and philosophies. Sounds right up your alley? Click to sign up for our newsletter and find out if you are

Photo by Monika Clarke at the Denver Art Museum in the Charles Sandison video Installation Chamber. Licensed under CC 2.0.

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