A dearth of case
Fiona Leteney says it is time to discuss
the demonstrable impact of xAPI
Where are the case studies that demonstrate
the tangible benefits to organisations which
have implemented the Experience API (xAPI)?
There are a few, but you really have to know
where to look to find them. Following
Learning Technologies London (#LT18uk) in
January, there was a question on Twitter that
provoked a discussion. "Did anyone hear
xAPI mentioned in the conference sessions?"
No one had.
The hype around VR, AR and AI (virtual reality,
augmented reality and artificial intelligence) is
overshadowing the good news that is
beginning to surface around the use of xAPI
for ecosystem integration and impact
analysis. Trialling the headsets and glasses
may be good to get our 'futurist' juices flowing
but these technologies are not enterprise
ready yet. Of those that have dabbled not
many are finding the quality to be adequate,
with less than 10% rating their experience
highly. We need to prepare the ground so
that when these technologies are ready, our
systems to manage and measure impact will
also be ready.
To get to this stage organisations will need
learning ecosystems that are both integrated,
thus seamlessly delivering exactly what the
learner needs (regardless of the source), and
able to demonstrate that the learning
interventions provided are positively
impacting the business's bottom line. In
theory, xAPI can help to achieve this, because
SCORM will just not deliver.
For L&D departments the holy grail of return
on investment (ROI) has always been
dismissed as too hard or not possible to
attribute to a course or learning resources.
However, the technology is now here and
surely the aspiration is still alive and well? But
some inspiration wouldn't go amiss…
Helpfully though, the user cases of xAPI are
starting to emerge, for example this case
study from a retail sector business whose
bottom line is, according to this, �2.5 million
better off. The art of the possible paints a
Although Learning Technologies conference
did not explicitly explore xAPI in the
conference, some of the free seminars did,
although in some cases, you'd need to know
where to look because the descriptions did
not mention the 'technology' per se.