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Prospects of implementing xAPI as a solution for progress tracking in a Blended Learning environment

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Abstract

Learning and development is an exciting world of never ending change, challenges, and trends. Businesses are currently attempting to adapt to the rapid digitization of workplaces. Therefore, L&D (Learning and Development) professionals are making learning material available to learners when and where they need it. According to two of "The State of Learning and Development" reports, published by "InSync Training" in 2016 and 2017 [1,2], the L&D industry is experiencing a shift from traditional approaches (e.g. classrooms, multi-day workshops…), to more modern learner-centered approaches (e.g. blended learning, mobile learning…). The aforementioned reports emphasize on the importance of implementing blended learning. It' a learner-centered approach that matches different parts of the educational content to their most appropriate delivery methods (e.g. classroom interaction, article, video, audio, video game…) and sequences the resulting learning activities into a complete program of instruction. Although it's currently a very popular trend given its benefits, there are multiple challenges it's facing. In this article, we'll explain the different benefits and challenges of blended learning. After that we'll explore the prospects of implementing the Experience API (xAPI in short), a new open source specification for learning technology published by ADL (Advanced Distributed Learning) in 2013 [3], as a solution to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of blended learning.
A. El bakkali Prospects of implementing xAPI as a solution for progress tracking 1
Prospects of implementing xAPI as a solution for
progress tracking in a Blended Learning environment
Adnan EL BAKKALI IDRISSI
adnan.bakkali.idrissi@gmail.com
CSSE Lab, Abdelmalek Essaadi
University, Faculty of Sciences,
Tetouan, Morocco
Mohamed Larbi BEN MAATI
mbenmaati@yahoo.fr
CSSE Lab, Abdelmalek Essaadi
University, Faculty of Sciences,
Tetouan, Morocco
Ismail EL HADDIOUI
ismail.elhaddioui@gmail.com
RITM lab, Hassan II University,
Superior School of Technology,
Casablanca, Morocco
Abstract:
Learning and development is an exciting world of never ending change, challenges, and trends.
Businesses are currently attempting to adapt to the rapid digitization of workplaces. Therefore, L&D
(Learning and Development) professionals are making learning material available to learners when and
where they need it. According to two of “The State of Learning and Development” reports, published by
“InSync Training” in 2016 and 2017 [1,2], the L&D industry is experiencing a shift from traditional
approaches (e.g. classrooms, multi-day workshops…), to more modern learner-centered approaches (e.g.
blended learning, mobile learning…). The aforementioned reports emphasize on the importance of
implementing blended learning. It’ a learner-centered approach that matches different parts of the
educational content to their most appropriate delivery methods (e.g. classroom interaction, article, video,
audio, video game…) and sequences the resulting learning activities into a complete program of instruction.
Although it’s currently a very popular trend given its benefits, there are multiple challenges it’s facing. In
this article, we’ll explain the different benefits and challenges of blended learning. After that we’ll explore
the prospects of implementing the Experience API (xAPI in short), a new open source specification for
learning technology published by ADL (Advanced Distributed Learning) in 2013 [3], as a solution to
improve the effectiveness and efficiency of blended learning.
Keywords Learning and Development, InSync Training, mimeo, Blended Learning, Learner-centered
approach, LMS, Interoperability standard, Experience API, xAPI, Tin Can API, Rustici Software, ADL,
SCORM, RESTful web services, LRS, Activity Streams, PDL, R.
I. INTRODUCTION
The most recent “State of Learning and
Development” report, published by “InSync
Training” in collaboration with “mimeo” in June
2017 [2], consists of Learning & Development
(L&D) industry research received through survey
responses of 449 L&D professionals from 12
countries, including the G-8 (i.e. Canada, France,
Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom,
United States of America).
The report discusses the different challenges the
L&D world is currently facing, methods and
technologies that can be implemented as solutions,
as well as views towards what the future holds.
The statistics presented in the 2016 report [1]
mentioned that 86% of L&D professionals
implement blended learning, in comparison to 2017
with a 100% rate [2]. This indicates a rise towards
the implementation of blended learning, even in its
simplest form (e.g. video learning with face-to-face
training).
Mediterranean Telecommunications Journal Vol. 8, N° 1, January 2018 ISSN: 2458-6765
This shift towards blended learning isn’t because
it’s the next cool thing to do, rather because it’s the
next right thing to do. There’s a good reason behind
it, blended learning is a learner-centered approach
for education. Approaching learning from a learner-
centered point of view is considered one of the best
practices for improving the quality of education [4].
This article will be divided into 3 sections: in
section 1 we will present blended learning, its
benefits and challenges, section 2 will cover the
Experience API (xAPI), a new open source
specification for learning technology, then we’ll
discuss the prospects of implementing xAPI as a
solution to improve blended learning in section 3.
II. BLENDED LEARNING
“InSync Training”, pioneers of the blended
learning strategy, defines [1] blended learning as:
“A learning program in which performance
objectives are matched to the most appropriate
medium to ensure that participants learn -- at least
in part -- through facilitator-led delivery of content
with some element of participant control over
where, when, pace or path in the overall program
sequence.”
In other words, it’s an approach that focuses on
the learners. It defines their learning needs, matches
different parts of the educational content to the
delivery method that’s most appropriate for each
part, and then sequences the resulting learning
activities into a complete program of instruction.
This approach brings the best in human
interaction and technology, and then merges them
into a harmonious blend. (Fig. 1)
Fig. 1. Combining human interaction with technology
Below is a list of the elements that can be
included in a blended program.
TABLE I. MEDIA USED IN BLENDED LEARNING [5]
Education type
Media
Live face-to-face (formal)
-Instructor-led classroom
-Workshops
-Coaching & Mentoring
-On-the-job training
Live face-to-face (informal)
-Collegial connections
-Work teams
-Role modeling
Virtual collaboration
(synchronous)
-Live e-learning classes
-E-mentoring
Virtual collaboration
(asynchronous)
-E-mails
-Online bulletin boards
-Listservs
-Online communities
Self-paced training
-Web learning modules
-Online resource links
-Simulations
-Scenarios
-Video & Audio CDs / DVDs
-Online self-assessment
-Workbooks
Performance support
-Help systems
-Print job aids
-Knowledge databases
-Documentation
-Performance / Decision
Support tools
A blended program has to contain at least 2
elements. It can be as simple as combining an
element from the human part (e.g. Instructor-led
classroom) with another element from the
technology part (e.g. Web learning modules).
A. Benefits
The blended learning approach allows taking
advantage of the benefits and suitability of different
delivery modes for different learning outcomes and
audiences. This has proven effective in multiple
fields (e.g. foreign language teaching [6], pharmacy
[7], military [8], teacher training [9]…).
This mix of multiple learning styles and
environments gives the ability to provide better
support, collaboration, flexibility and mobility [8].
The flexibility of the course allows the instructors to
answer to different learners’ needs individually,
which in turn leads to better learning motivation
[10]. When students see their questions getting
answered, they get motivated to ask for more
questions.
Mediterranean Telecommunications Journal Vol. 8, N° 1, January 2018 ISSN: 2458-6765
This shift towards blended learning isn’t because
it’s the next cool thing to do, rather because it’s the
next right thing to do. There’s a good reason behind
it, blended learning is a learner-centered approach
for education. Approaching learning from a learner-
centered point of view is considered one of the best
practices for improving the quality of education [4].
This article will be divided into 3 sections: in
section 1 we will present blended learning, its
benefits and challenges, section 2 will cover the
Experience API (xAPI), a new open source
specification for learning technology, then we’ll
discuss the prospects of implementing xAPI as a
solution to improve blended learning in section 3.
II. BLENDED LEARNING
“InSync Training”, pioneers of the blended
learning strategy, defines [1] blended learning as:
“A learning program in which performance
objectives are matched to the most appropriate
medium to ensure that participants learn -- at least
in part -- through facilitator-led delivery of content
with some element of participant control over
where, when, pace or path in the overall program
sequence.”
In other words, it’s an approach that focuses on
the learners. It defines their learning needs, matches
different parts of the educational content to the
delivery method that’s most appropriate for each
part, and then sequences the resulting learning
activities into a complete program of instruction.
This approach brings the best in human
interaction and technology, and then merges them
into a harmonious blend. (Fig. 1)
Fig. 1. Combining human interaction with technology
Below is a list of the elements that can be
included in a blended program.
TABLE I. MEDIA USED IN BLENDED LEARNING [5]
Media
Live face-to-face (formal)
-Instructor-led classroom
-Workshops
-Coaching & Mentoring
-On-the-job training
Live face-to-face (informal)
-Collegial connections
-Work teams
-Role modeling
Virtual collaboration
(synchronous)
-Live e-learning classes
-E-mentoring
Virtual collaboration
(asynchronous)
-E-mails
-Online bulletin boards
-Listservs
-Online communities
Self-paced training
-Web learning modules
-Online resource links
-Simulations
-Scenarios
-Video & Audio CDs / DVDs
-Online self-assessment
-Workbooks
Performance support
-Help systems
-Print job aids
-Knowledge databases
-Documentation
-Performance / Decision
Support tools
A blended program has to contain at least 2
elements. It can be as simple as combining an
element from the human part (e.g. Instructor-led
classroom) with another element from the
technology part (e.g. Web learning modules).
A. Benefits
The blended learning approach allows taking
advantage of the benefits and suitability of different
delivery modes for different learning outcomes and
audiences. This has proven effective in multiple
fields (e.g. foreign language teaching [6], pharmacy
[7], military [8], teacher training [9]…).
This mix of multiple learning styles and
environments gives the ability to provide better
support, collaboration, flexibility and mobility [8].
The flexibility of the course allows the instructors to
answer to different learners’ needs individually,
which in turn leads to better learning motivation
[10]. When students see their questions getting
answered, they get motivated to ask for more
questions.
Mediterranean Telecommunications Journal Vol. 8, N° 1, January 2018 ISSN: 2458-6765
This shift towards blended learning isn’t because
it’s the next cool thing to do, rather because it’s the
next right thing to do. There’s a good reason behind
it, blended learning is a learner-centered approach
for education. Approaching learning from a learner-
centered point of view is considered one of the best
practices for improving the quality of education [4].
This article will be divided into 3 sections: in
section 1 we will present blended learning, its
benefits and challenges, section 2 will cover the
Experience API (xAPI), a new open source
specification for learning technology, then we’ll
discuss the prospects of implementing xAPI as a
solution to improve blended learning in section 3.
II. BLENDED LEARNING
“InSync Training”, pioneers of the blended
learning strategy, defines [1] blended learning as:
“A learning program in which performance
objectives are matched to the most appropriate
medium to ensure that participants learn -- at least
in part -- through facilitator-led delivery of content
with some element of participant control over
where, when, pace or path in the overall program
sequence.”
In other words, it’s an approach that focuses on
the learners. It defines their learning needs, matches
different parts of the educational content to the
delivery method that’s most appropriate for each
part, and then sequences the resulting learning
activities into a complete program of instruction.
This approach brings the best in human
interaction and technology, and then merges them
into a harmonious blend. (Fig. 1)
Fig. 1. Combining human interaction with technology
Below is a list of the elements that can be
included in a blended program.
TABLE I. MEDIA USED IN BLENDED LEARNING [5]
Education type
Media
Live face-to-face (formal)
-Instructor-led classroom
-Workshops
-Coaching & Mentoring
-On-the-job training
Live face-to-face (informal)
-Collegial connections
-Work teams
-Role modeling
Virtual collaboration
(synchronous)
-Live e-learning classes
-E-mentoring
Virtual collaboration
(asynchronous)
-E-mails
-Online bulletin boards
-Listservs
-Online communities
Self-paced training
-Web learning modules
-Online resource links
-Simulations
-Scenarios
-Video & Audio CDs / DVDs
-Online self-assessment
-Workbooks
Performance support
-Help systems
-Print job aids
-Knowledge databases
-Documentation
-Performance / Decision
Support tools
A blended program has to contain at least 2
elements. It can be as simple as combining an
element from the human part (e.g. Instructor-led
classroom) with another element from the
technology part (e.g. Web learning modules).
A. Benefits
The blended learning approach allows taking
advantage of the benefits and suitability of different
delivery modes for different learning outcomes and
audiences. This has proven effective in multiple
fields (e.g. foreign language teaching [6], pharmacy
[7], military [8], teacher training [9]…).
This mix of multiple learning styles and
environments gives the ability to provide better
support, collaboration, flexibility and mobility [8].
The flexibility of the course allows the instructors to
answer to different learners’ needs individually,
which in turn leads to better learning motivation
[10]. When students see their questions getting
answered, they get motivated to ask for more
questions.
Mediterranean Telecommunications Journal Vol. 8, N° 1, January 2018 ISSN: 2458-6765
Another benefit is that students become active
independent learners [5,10]; they have control over
when and where they study, therefore directly
participating in the learning process without the
need for their teacher to be always present.
Speaking of teachers, the blended learning
approach shifts their roles from lecturers to
facilitators [10], which reduces their workloads
since students are required to prepare for their
classes beforehand.
B. Challenges
As good as the benefits above might seem,
nothing comes without drawbacks, and of course
blended learning isn’t an exception.
Even though the blended approach is very
promising, businesses and organizations are still
hesitant to implement it [2] for multiple reasons:
The complexity of instructional design ;
The length of the periods of implementation;
The high costs involved.
Each of these reasons are interrelated, the length of
the periods of implementation is due to the
complexity of instructional design. Each learning
need requires educational content; each part of the
content requires a corresponding delivery method;
and of course, the resulting parts need to be
sequenced and blended together. All of this requires
a team of experts to be assembled to take care of the
design and implementation of each part of the
blend, hence the high costs.
Because of the high costs involved in the design
of any high quality educational program, most L&D
professionals tend to be play multiple roles (3 on
average in 2016 [1]), most of which aren’t directly
related to their field of expertise. Because of that,
most of the online courses parts of the supposedly
“blended” programs aren’t well designed, they tend
to present the same material, and are led by the
same instructors as the traditional classroom courses
[10].
Another challenge involves progress tracking,
with the increased flexibility in terms of learning
time and space, an enlarged psychological and
communication space (i.e. transactional distance)
emerges [11]. As the transactional distance
increases, the instructors’ judgment over what
learners actually learned becomes clouded. This
makes it difficult to keep learning experiences,
often a combination of online and offline activities,
within a single blend. Failing to do so, means that
those learning experiences become disjointed. This
can lead to duplication of content, wasting time and
resources as a result.
III. THE EXPERIENCE API
A. Background and History
A LMS (Learning Management System) is a
piece of software that we use nowadays to manage
and quantify people’s knowledge of a particular
subject. These LMS are used by different people
with different backgrounds, some are used in
schools, others in businesses, and they all come
with a variety of features that mainly depend on the
environment they’re used in. This variety imposes a
need for an interoperability standard [12]. It’s a
technical standard that tells programmers of a
particular LMS how to write their code so that
companies / schools would find it easy to switch
between LMS.
The “Experience API” (xAPI) is a new open-
source specification for learning technology. It was
created by “Rustici Software” back in 2013 [3] after
around 3 years of research with the purpose of
defining a new standard for creating and publishing
courses in a LMS (Learning Management System),
as well as tracking learning activities in a more
effective way.
“ADL Standards” (Advanced Distributed
Learning) published xAPI to be the successor of
another standard called SCORM (Sharable Content
Object Reference Model). SCORM is an
interoperability standard in the e-learning world.
The need for an interoperability standard is
explained in the SCORM’s official website using a
good relatable analogy [13]:
“Let’s take DVDs for example. When you buy a
movie on DVD you don’t need to check if it works
with your brand of DVD player because DVDs are
produced using a set of standards. Without these
standards, in order for a studio to release a new
movie on DVD, they would need to make differently
formatted DVDs for each brand of DVD player.
This is how online learning used to be before
SCORM was created.”
SCORM was published in the year 2000 by
“ADL standards” which is a research group
sponsored by the United States Department of
Defense. Up until late 2000s [14], SCORM had
Mediterranean Telecommunications Journal Vol. 8, N° 1, January 2018 ISSN: 2458-6765
been doing a great job. However, with the
emergence of web 2.0 and smartphones, the way
people learn went through a big change. People
were learning more outside the LMS than within it.
This made these systems only have visibility into a
tiny fraction of a person’s knowledge and learning
experiences because SCORM didn’t allow the
tracking of anything that happens outside the LMS
(e.g. reading an article on a web 2.0 website,
learning something through a mobile app…).
In 2010, ADL issued a call for research in order
to improve things in SCORM. The project was
awarded to “Rustici Software” who then started
gathering information about what the next
generation of SCORM should be like [14]. 3 years
later, ADL published the result of that research
under the new official name “Experience API”
(xAPI in short) instead of the name Rustici
Software used during the research “Tin Can API”.
B. Technical Specification
The xAPI consists of 4 sub-APIs [15]:
Statement (explained below);
State: allows recording of the state of an
activity, this allows resuming activities
across sessions and devices;
Agent: individuals, personas, or systems;
Activity profile: describes and identifies
learning activities.
These sub-APIs are handled via RESTful
(Representational State Transfer) HTTP methods.
At the heart of xAPI, there is the LRS (Learning
Record Store). The LRS is a repository that’s used to
store learning experiences as a list of statements
[16]. Those statements are based on a technology
called “Activity Streams” [17] which is used by
Social Media websites; they are in the form “Noun,
verb, Object” or “I did this” (e.g. Mohamed read an
article about Quantum Computers). The LRS can be
standalone, part of a LMS, or part of other learning
systems (e.g. simulation); it can be accessed by other
LRS, reporting tools, or LMS (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2. Example of combinations for sharing learning activity records
C. Layers of xAPI
In one of his webinars, Mike Rustici, president of
“Rustici Software”, explained [18] the details of the
functionality of xAPI using what he likes to call
“Layers of the onion analogy”.
1) L1: xAPI as a modern SCORM
xAPI is the next generation of SCORM [13]. In
other words, it’s an interoperability standard that
allows e-learning to use modern technologies.
xAPI is based on a set of RESTful web services
that carry a JSON payload that allows learning
activity providers (e.g. LMS, a simulator, a medical
device, a mobile app…) to send the statements to the
LRS.
2) L2: xAPI and progress tracking
People nowadays tend to learn more informally
[19]. They learn anything anywhere (e.g. reading a
scientific paper, engaging in a conversation with a
colleague…). This is why one of the main benefits
of xAPI is tracking any learning experience [20],
wherever and however it happens (Fig. 3).
Fig. 3. Examples of usage of xAPI
xAPI also offers the ability to develop tools like
the “I Learned This” bookmarklet which can be
configured, linked to a personal LRS, and then used
to record self-directed learning experiences (e.g.
Mediterranean Telecommunications Journal Vol. 8, N° 1, January 2018 ISSN: 2458-6765
been doing a great job. However, with the
emergence of web 2.0 and smartphones, the way
people learn went through a big change. People
were learning more outside the LMS than within it.
This made these systems only have visibility into a
tiny fraction of a person’s knowledge and learning
experiences because SCORM didn’t allow the
tracking of anything that happens outside the LMS
(e.g. reading an article on a web 2.0 website,
learning something through a mobile app…).
In 2010, ADL issued a call for research in order
to improve things in SCORM. The project was
awarded to “Rustici Software” who then started
gathering information about what the next
generation of SCORM should be like [14]. 3 years
later, ADL published the result of that research
under the new official name “Experience API”
(xAPI in short) instead of the name Rustici
Software used during the research “Tin Can API”.
B. Technical Specification
The xAPI consists of 4 sub-APIs [15]:
Statement (explained below);
State: allows recording of the state of an
activity, this allows resuming activities
across sessions and devices;
Agent: individuals, personas, or systems;
Activity profile: describes and identifies
learning activities.
These sub-APIs are handled via RESTful
(Representational State Transfer) HTTP methods.
At the heart of xAPI, there is the LRS (Learning
Record Store). The LRS is a repository that’s used to
store learning experiences as a list of statements
[16]. Those statements are based on a technology
called “Activity Streams” [17] which is used by
Social Media websites; they are in the form “Noun,
verb, Object” or “I did this” (e.g. Mohamed read an
article about Quantum Computers). The LRS can be
standalone, part of a LMS, or part of other learning
systems (e.g. simulation); it can be accessed by other
LRS, reporting tools, or LMS (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2. Example of combinations for sharing learning activity records
C. Layers of xAPI
In one of his webinars, Mike Rustici, president of
“Rustici Software”, explained [18] the details of the
functionality of xAPI using what he likes to call
“Layers of the onion analogy”.
1) L1: xAPI as a modern SCORM
xAPI is the next generation of SCORM [13]. In
other words, it’s an interoperability standard that
allows e-learning to use modern technologies.
xAPI is based on a set of RESTful web services
that carry a JSON payload that allows learning
activity providers (e.g. LMS, a simulator, a medical
device, a mobile app…) to send the statements to the
LRS.
2) L2: xAPI and progress tracking
People nowadays tend to learn more informally
[19]. They learn anything anywhere (e.g. reading a
scientific paper, engaging in a conversation with a
colleague…). This is why one of the main benefits
of xAPI is tracking any learning experience [20],
wherever and however it happens (Fig. 3).
Fig. 3. Examples of usage of xAPI
xAPI also offers the ability to develop tools like
the “I Learned This” bookmarklet which can be
configured, linked to a personal LRS, and then used
to record self-directed learning experiences (e.g.
Mediterranean Telecommunications Journal Vol. 8, N° 1, January 2018 ISSN: 2458-6765
been doing a great job. However, with the
emergence of web 2.0 and smartphones, the way
people learn went through a big change. People
were learning more outside the LMS than within it.
This made these systems only have visibility into a
tiny fraction of a person’s knowledge and learning
experiences because SCORM didn’t allow the
tracking of anything that happens outside the LMS
(e.g. reading an article on a web 2.0 website,
learning something through a mobile app…).
In 2010, ADL issued a call for research in order
to improve things in SCORM. The project was
awarded to “Rustici Software” who then started
gathering information about what the next
generation of SCORM should be like [14]. 3 years
later, ADL published the result of that research
under the new official name “Experience API”
(xAPI in short) instead of the name Rustici
Software used during the research “Tin Can API”.
B. Technical Specification
The xAPI consists of 4 sub-APIs [15]:
Statement (explained below);
State: allows recording of the state of an
activity, this allows resuming activities
across sessions and devices;
Agent: individuals, personas, or systems;
Activity profile: describes and identifies
learning activities.
These sub-APIs are handled via RESTful
(Representational State Transfer) HTTP methods.
At the heart of xAPI, there is the LRS (Learning
Record Store). The LRS is a repository that’s used to
store learning experiences as a list of statements
[16]. Those statements are based on a technology
called “Activity Streams” [17] which is used by
Social Media websites; they are in the form “Noun,
verb, Object” or “I did this” (e.g. Mohamed read an
article about Quantum Computers). The LRS can be
standalone, part of a LMS, or part of other learning
systems (e.g. simulation); it can be accessed by other
LRS, reporting tools, or LMS (Fig. 2).
Fig. 2. Example of combinations for sharing learning activity records
C. Layers of xAPI
In one of his webinars, Mike Rustici, president of
“Rustici Software”, explained [18] the details of the
functionality of xAPI using what he likes to call
“Layers of the onion analogy”.
1) L1: xAPI as a modern SCORM
xAPI is the next generation of SCORM [13]. In
other words, it’s an interoperability standard that
allows e-learning to use modern technologies.
xAPI is based on a set of RESTful web services
that carry a JSON payload that allows learning
activity providers (e.g. LMS, a simulator, a medical
device, a mobile app…) to send the statements to the
LRS.
2) L2: xAPI and progress tracking
People nowadays tend to learn more informally
[19]. They learn anything anywhere (e.g. reading a
scientific paper, engaging in a conversation with a
colleague…). This is why one of the main benefits
of xAPI is tracking any learning experience [20],
wherever and however it happens (Fig. 3).
Fig. 3. Examples of usage of xAPI
xAPI also offers the ability to develop tools like
the “I Learned This” bookmarklet which can be
configured, linked to a personal LRS, and then used
to record self-directed learning experiences (e.g.
Mediterranean Telecommunications Journal Vol. 8, N° 1, January 2018 ISSN: 2458-6765
watching a TED talk). The bookmarklet is a simple
tool used in the web browser. Developers can create
more advanced systems that would be used to track
offline learning experiences (e.g. a student
participation module that’s integrated within the
school’s grading system, a smart bracelet that tracks
sports performance…).
3) L3: xAPI and data accessibility
xAPI requires that the LRS makes all the data
related to learning experiences accessible and
transferable across systems (Fig. 4) so that it can be
analyzed using any tool.
Fig. 4. Example of data transfer across systems
Let’s take the example of an employee who
moved from a company to another, all of his/her
data can be transferred from LRS A to LRS B via a
PDL (Personal Data Locker) in the form of a
personal LRS. This PDL can be regarded as a living
resume which contains the employee’s entire
learning experiences (Fig. 5).
Fig. 5. Example of PDL use
4) L4: xAPI and correlating job performance
with training
Thanks to data accessibility, comparing training
data to actual job performance data is possible. The
comparison allows instructors to identify the
training paths that lead to the most successful
outcomes or those that lead to problematic
outcomes (Fig. 6). Ultimately allowing businesses
and organizations to determine the effectiveness of
their training programs and measure ROI as well.
Fig. 6. Correlation of job performance with training
IV. XAPI AND BLENDED LEARNING
As mentioned above, one of the challenges that
blended learning is currently facing is related to the
fact that instructors often don’t have a clear idea
about what the learners actually learn. This is
clearly a progress tracking problem.
A blended program usually contains a mix of
online and offline learning activities, so the solution
to that challenge is an implementation of xAPI with
the purpose of refining the program’s different parts
(Fig. 7).
Fig. 7. Example of implementing xAPI within a blended program
First, the organization implements the xAPI and
links all of the different parts of the program to a
single LRS. By doing this they can collect data
about all of the learning activities of the program.
The second step comes after analyzing the
collected data at the end of the program. Instructors
will have a clear idea about what the learners
learned and on which part of the blended program
they learned it, therefore allowing them to filter the
duplicate content.
Finally, the organization creates a new filtered
blended program and tests it on a new group of
Mediterranean Telecommunications Journal Vol. 8, N° 1, January 2018 ISSN: 2458-6765
watching a TED talk). The bookmarklet is a simple
tool used in the web browser. Developers can create
more advanced systems that would be used to track
offline learning experiences (e.g. a student
participation module that’s integrated within the
school’s grading system, a smart bracelet that tracks
sports performance…).
3) L3: xAPI and data accessibility
xAPI requires that the LRS makes all the data
related to learning experiences accessible and
transferable across systems (Fig. 4) so that it can be
analyzed using any tool.
Fig. 4. Example of data transfer across systems
Let’s take the example of an employee who
moved from a company to another, all of his/her
data can be transferred from LRS A to LRS B via a
PDL (Personal Data Locker) in the form of a
personal LRS. This PDL can be regarded as a living
resume which contains the employee’s entire
learning experiences (Fig. 5).
Fig. 5. Example of PDL use
4) L4: xAPI and correlating job performance
with training
Thanks to data accessibility, comparing training
data to actual job performance data is possible. The
comparison allows instructors to identify the
training paths that lead to the most successful
outcomes or those that lead to problematic
outcomes (Fig. 6). Ultimately allowing businesses
and organizations to determine the effectiveness of
their training programs and measure ROI as well.
Fig. 6. Correlation of job performance with training
IV. XAPI AND BLENDED LEARNING
As mentioned above, one of the challenges that
blended learning is currently facing is related to the
fact that instructors often don’t have a clear idea
about what the learners actually learn. This is
clearly a progress tracking problem.
A blended program usually contains a mix of
online and offline learning activities, so the solution
to that challenge is an implementation of xAPI with
the purpose of refining the program’s different parts
(Fig. 7).
Fig. 7. Example of implementing xAPI within a blended program
First, the organization implements the xAPI and
links all of the different parts of the program to a
single LRS. By doing this they can collect data
about all of the learning activities of the program.
The second step comes after analyzing the
collected data at the end of the program. Instructors
will have a clear idea about what the learners
learned and on which part of the blended program
they learned it, therefore allowing them to filter the
duplicate content.
Finally, the organization creates a new filtered
blended program and tests it on a new group of
Mediterranean Telecommunications Journal Vol. 8, N° 1, January 2018 ISSN: 2458-6765
watching a TED talk). The bookmarklet is a simple
tool used in the web browser. Developers can create
more advanced systems that would be used to track
offline learning experiences (e.g. a student
participation module that’s integrated within the
school’s grading system, a smart bracelet that tracks
sports performance…).
3) L3: xAPI and data accessibility
xAPI requires that the LRS makes all the data
related to learning experiences accessible and
transferable across systems (Fig. 4) so that it can be
analyzed using any tool.
Fig. 4. Example of data transfer across systems
Let’s take the example of an employee who
moved from a company to another, all of his/her
data can be transferred from LRS A to LRS B via a
PDL (Personal Data Locker) in the form of a
personal LRS. This PDL can be regarded as a living
resume which contains the employee’s entire
learning experiences (Fig. 5).
Fig. 5. Example of PDL use
4) L4: xAPI and correlating job performance
with training
Thanks to data accessibility, comparing training
data to actual job performance data is possible. The
comparison allows instructors to identify the
training paths that lead to the most successful
outcomes or those that lead to problematic
outcomes (Fig. 6). Ultimately allowing businesses
and organizations to determine the effectiveness of
their training programs and measure ROI as well.
Fig. 6. Correlation of job performance with training
IV. XAPI AND BLENDED LEARNING
As mentioned above, one of the challenges that
blended learning is currently facing is related to the
fact that instructors often don’t have a clear idea
about what the learners actually learn. This is
clearly a progress tracking problem.
A blended program usually contains a mix of
online and offline learning activities, so the solution
to that challenge is an implementation of xAPI with
the purpose of refining the program’s different parts
(Fig. 7).
Fig. 7. Example of implementing xAPI within a blended program
First, the organization implements the xAPI and
links all of the different parts of the program to a
single LRS. By doing this they can collect data
about all of the learning activities of the program.
The second step comes after analyzing the
collected data at the end of the program. Instructors
will have a clear idea about what the learners
learned and on which part of the blended program
they learned it, therefore allowing them to filter the
duplicate content.
Finally, the organization creates a new filtered
blended program and tests it on a new group of
Mediterranean Telecommunications Journal Vol. 8, N° 1, January 2018 ISSN: 2458-6765
learners while repeating the same process. With
each cycle, the quality of the program improves.
V. FUTURE WORK
Our future work involves implementing the xAPI
in one of the popular LMS (Learning Management
System). We’ll then conduct an experiment with the
purpose of collecting data related to the learning
experiences of undergraduate students.
At the end of the experiment we’ll analyze and
classify the collected data using R [21] in order to
determine the effectiveness of xAPI as a solution to
improve e-learning in Morocco.
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https://scorm.com/scorm-explained/
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collecting-learning-experiences-matter/
[19] Anastasia Atabekova, Alexander Belousov, Tatiyana
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systems and learning analytics. The Experience API & LIME
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[21] The R Project official website, “What is R?”, retreived from:
https://www.r-project.org/about.html
Mediterranean Telecommunications Journal Vol. 8, N° 1, January 2018 ISSN: 2458-6765
Chapter
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Recommender systems require input information in order to properly operate and deliver content or behaviour suggestions to end users. eLearning scenarios are no exception. Users are current students and recommendations can be built upon paths (both formal and informal), relationships, behaviours, friends, followers, actions, grades, tutor interaction, etc. A recommender system must somehow retrieve, categorize and work with all these details. There are several ways to do so: from raw and inelegant database access to more curated web APIs or even via HTML scrapping. New server-centric user-action logging and monitoring standard technologies have been presented in past years by several groups, organizations and standard bodies. The Experience API (xAPI), detailed in this article, is one of these. In the first part of this paper we analyse current learner-monitoring techniques as an initialization phase for eLearning recommender systems. We next review standardization efforts in this area; finally, we focus on xAPI and the potential interaction with the LIME model, which will be also summarized below.
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Report: The State of Learning and Development in 2016
  • Insync Training
InSync Training, "Report: The State of Learning and Development in 2016", 2016, retreived from: https://www.insynctraining.com/pages/The_State_of_Learning_ and_Development_in_2016.pdf