Experience API (xAPI): Potential for Open Educational Resources – Part 4
Case Studies of xAPI
There have been many xAPI implementation cases in the enterprise domain but few in the education domain due to the slower pace at which educational institutions adopt new technology. Here we share some case studies in the education domain.
Dr. Glahn from International Relations & Security Network, Swiss Fed. Inst. of Technol., Zurich, Switzerland had integrated the concepts of xAPI in a mobile learning application, and the app uses learning analytics functions based on the collected data to inform the learners about their learning performance, to encourage them to actively use the app, and to orchestrate and sequence learning resources. (Glahn, 2013)
The biggest pain for teachers using several pieces of technology and resources is putting together the workflow and data locked within different applications. The AcrossX solution, developed by Chuang (Classroom Aid Inc.) and Digital Education Institute (DEI), can solve this problem. The teacher can manage the learning plan as one activity, but leverage affordances and advantages from different tools and resources. (Fig.5) The xAPI data from different sources are integrated and visualized on the teacher’s dashboard. The data are also leveraged to add a social layer and a gamification layer to the learning experience. A feedback widget gives real-time feedback to learners to nudge and encourage them. The project aims to support teachers and learners with integrated workflow and data flow for data-driven learning design and actions. Well-designed visualizations for xAPI data is crucial for efficient human perception. All xAPI data from interactions will become fuel to develop adaptive engine and recommender engine to build up an intelligent tutoring system for supporting independent learning. (Chuang & DEI, 2015a; Chuang & DEI, 2015b)
This project is being implemented in Taipei city, Taiwan. All teachers and students, about 350,000 in number, in Taipei city will be using this solution (later other areas will join); the public department is working towards building an ecosystem (from collaboration of public departments, schools, vendors, scholars, and developers) based on xAPI standard and open learning data as Open Data. New applications and data services can grow out of the ecosystem organically, or 3rd party tools can connect with it through API. (Fig.6)
Note: AcrossX vocabulary registry: http://w3id.org/xapi/acrossx ; and profiles/recipes (GitBook): http://wiki.visualcatch.org/en/recipes.html
IEEE Actionable Data Book (ADB) is an open standard for ebooks based on the ePub3 standard and the latest learning standard xAPI for data-driven learning design. The IEEE ADB project grew out of a paper, presented at the 2011 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference by Richards & Barr (2011), about a broad framework for connected learning supporting inclusive education in developing countries. The requirements for the actionable data book are that it must be able to:
- Use camera and GPS data from a learner’s mobile platform
- Use measurements from local lab equipment
- Exchange results of learning interactions with cloud-based LMSs, analytics engines, and other applications
- Retrieve content from cloud-based sources (e.g. content repositories)
- Store and retrieve student history and preferences in the cloud
Although most of the technology used by the ADB project was developed for commercial purposes in the developed world, its application to learning was originally inspired by the desire to enable students in remote locations to collect field data and share their data and culture with other students in the world. The first case to which it would be applied is the construction of an enhanced, interactive guidebook for the new UNESCO World Heritage site in Bali (Lansing and Watson, 2012a; Lansing and Watson, 2012b; UNESCO, 2012). More possibilities are explored in the paper published by Arenas and Barr (2013). The collaboration of IEEE ADB committee chair Costa, Chuang, Hu, Segall, & Polster (2015) have also demonstrated how to transform ordinary eBooks into “actionable databooks” with xAPI data-driven design.
McKinsey Social Initiative (MSI) is an independent non-profit organization founded by McKinsey & Company that brings together expert problem-solvers to develop innovative approaches to complex social challenges. The CTO of MSI, Erlandson (2015) has proposed a program to track learning in practice for 15 years using xAPI. The aim is to solve youth unemployment, bridge the skills gap for 1 million learners in 5 countries across 3 continents, and hopefully build up scalable methodology.
xAPI is a community-driven specification with contributors participating from around the world. The specification of xAPI has been released with a stable version for about two and half years up to now (Oct., 2015). In the past one year, its adoption has seen obvious rise because of long term considerations for learning and training purposes. ADL has developed open source resources, libraries, and wrappers for developers to use for their project purposes, check out ADL website (ADLnet.gov) to find them. The best starting point to learn technical details of xAPI is from reading its specification (https://github.com/adlnet/xAPI-Spec/blob/master/xAPI.md).
The success of implementing xAPI comes from close collaboration of learning designers (educators), developers, and learning data analysts with support from management levels. It’s not a one-off project; the recommended strategy involves building up data and analytic loops to connect brains, and action loops to iterate forward continuously. For an interested organization, it can set aside an amount of resources each year to start from small scale, and expand step by step.
d’Aquin, M. (2014). Linked Data for Open and Distance Learning (Report.). Commonwealth of Learning. Retrieved from: http://hdl.handle.net/11599/614
Arenas, E., & Barr, A. (2013). The Digital Book in Higher Education: Beyond the Horseless Carriage, 30th ascilite Conference.
Berners-Lee, T.(2009). TED Talk: The Next Web. Retrieved from: http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_berners_lee_on_the_next_web
Campbell, L. M. (2015). Open Silos? Open data and OER. Retrieved from: https://lornamcampbell.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/open-silos-open-data-and-oer/
Chuang, J. & DEI (2015a). A Teacher with AcrossX Solution Enabled by #xAPI. Retrieved from: http://classroom-aid.com/2015/08/03/a-teacher-with-acrossx-solution-enabled-by-xapi/
Chuang, J. & DEI (2015b). Across System Learning Environment and Dashboard Design for K12 Teachers and Students. Retrieved from:
Costa, J., Chuang, J., Hu, R., Segall, J., & Polster, F. (2015).Trippers – EPUB3 + xAPI. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-1mk6F8DBY&list=PLlv_yyODMQs4i14QWDuUrL00rAAM1Ur2s&index=6
Erlandson, B. (2015). Training+Job+Career: Tracking Learning in Practice for 15 Years. Retrieved from: http://www.slideshare.net/MeganBowe1/trainingjobcareer
Glahn, C. (2013). Using the ADL Experience API for Mobile Learning, Sensing, Informing, Encouraging, Orchestrating: Next Generation Mobile Apps, Services and Technologies (NGMAST), Seventh International Conference, pp. 25-27
Grush M. (2014). The Intersection of Learning Analytics and Openness. Retrieved from: http://campustechnology.com/Articles/2014/04/16/The-Intersection-of-Learning-Analytics-and-Openness.aspx?Page=2
Haag J. (2015). xAPI Vocabulary – Improving Semantic Interoperability of Controlled Vocabularies. Retrieved from: http://www.slideshare.net/jhaag75/xapi-vocabulary-improving-semantic-interoperability-of-controlled-vocabularies
Hughes G., Okumoto K., & Wood E. (2011). Implementing Ipsative Assessment. Retrieved from: https://cdelondon.wordpress.com/2011/07/10/implementing-ipsative-assessment/
Lansing, J. S., & Watson, J. N. (2012a). Guide to Bali’s UNESCO World Heritage, Tri Hita Karana: Cultural Landscape of Subaks and Water Temples.
Lansing, J. S., & Watson, J. N. (2012b). Water temples forever. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPetj4MSDdY
Maude, F. (2012). Open Data White Paper-Unleashing the potential. The Stationary Office Limited on behalf of HM Government, Cabinet Office, London, United Kingdom. . Retrieved from: https://data.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Open_data_White_Paper.pdf
Redd B. (2012). The Perverse Vocabulary of Feedback Loops. Retrieved from: http://www.ofthat.com/2012/02/perverse-vocabulary-of-feedback-loops.html
Richards, T., & Barr A. (2011).Catalyzing Connected Learning through Standards, Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), 2011 IEEE, pp. 503–505.
Sclater N. (2015). Explaining Jisc’s open learning analytics architecture. Retrieved from: http://analytics.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2015/04/04/explaining-jiscs-open-learning-analytics-architecture/
Shum S. B. (2012). SlideShare: Open Learning Analytics. Retrieved from: http://www.slideshare.net/sbs/open-learning-analytics
Siemens, G., Gasevic, D., Haythornthwaite, C., Dawson, S., Shum, S. B., Ferguson, R., … & Baker, R. S. J. D. (2011). Open Learning Analytics: an integrated & modularized platform. Proposal to design, implement and evaluate an open platform to integrate heterogeneous learning analytics techniques. SoLAR. Retrieved from: http://solaresearch.org/OpenLearningAnalytics.pdf
Training & Learning Architecture (TLA) (2012). Retrieved from: http://www.adlnet.org/capabilities/next-generation-scorm.html
UNESCO. (2012). Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy. Retrieved from http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1194/
Jessie Chuang is the co-founder of Classroom Aid Inc. based in Texas, USA, and also the lead of ADL xAPI Chinese Community of Practice. Jessie had provided consulting services and courses in OER, mobile learning design, learning standards, educational technology product/solution design and visualization design for educators, researchers and vendors. Recently she is especially passionate about xAPI implementation design and analysis, data-driven learning design and how analytics work in different industries. She often connects ideas from different domains, in her past career in high tech. R&D she had obtained more than 20 patents for new inventions.
Jason Haag’s interest and background is educational technology and distributed learning systems. He spent eight years supporting the U.S. Navy’s eLearning program in both engineering and management roles before joining the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative in 2009. Appointed as ADL’s Mobile Learning Lead in 2012 and is a member of the ADL Technical Team, he provides support for SCORM, xAPI, and mobile learning (mLearning) research, including instructional design, performance support and best practices.