xAPI: What You Need To Know (Megan Torrance)

xAPI: What You Need To Know (Megan Torrance)


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As the adoption of xAPI begins to take hold, it allows for more robust and interesting tracking of the learning process. As actual performance and results data are integrated with learning metrics, L&D professionals will have the data they need to tailor the learning process to individual needs at the same time that they can draw more useful conclusions about the learning as a whole across a wider population. With the xAPI specification nearly 7 years old, the tools and platforms needed to support it are ready for mass adoption and many L&D professionals need a way to get started. This session is a foundational, practical, non-technical introduction to xAPI.

After a brief introduction to xAPI and what’s different about it from the SCORM-based data we’re used to, this session will explore three key areas that impact instructional designers as they embark on their first xAPI projects. First, we’ll examine learning data needs and data sources that will help you answer organizational and L&D questions. Then we’ll look at making choices about infrastructure: how and when to work with your LMS, your LRS, or both. This will provide participants with key insights to take back to their organization about how to get started. Finally, we’ll discuss what can be done with the data gleaned from these projects: from better insights to the learning experience, data visualization, personalization and recommendations, business rules triggers and more.

In this session, Megan will share a high-level review of currently available software and tools for getting started with xAPI. This section includes an up-to-date list of vendors with xAPI offerings. Takeaways will include a list of resources and other learning opportunities, an organizational readiness assessment that includes both infrastructure and cultural elements, and a set of questions to ask before embarking on any data-driven learning project.

Megan Torrance is CEO and founder of TorranceLearning, which helps organizations connect learning strategy to design, development, data, and ultimately performance. Megan has over 25 years of experience in learning design, deployment and consulting. Megan and the TorranceLearning team are passionate about sharing what works in learning so they devote considerable time to teaching and sharing about Agile project management for learning experience design and, of course, the xAPI. TorranceLearning hosts the xAPI Learning Cohort, a free, virtual 12-week learning-by-doing opportunity where teams form on the fly and create proof-of-concept xAPI projects.

Megan is the author of Agile for Instructional Designers, The Quick Guide to LLAMA, and two ATD TD at Work publications: Agile and LLAMA® for ISD Project Management and Making Sense of xAPI. She is a frequent speaker at conferences nationwide. TorranceLearning projects have won several Brandon Hall Group awards, the 2014 xAPI Hyperdrive contest at DevLearn, and back-to-back eLearning Guild DemoFest Best-In-Show awards in 2016/2017 with xAPI projects. TorranceLearning is a 2018 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch.

A graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Communication and an MBA, and an eCornell Facilitator in the Women’s Leadership curriculum, Megan lives and works near Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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