The Experience API and when to use it for integrations

The Experience API (xAPI) is a specification for learning technology that enables data to be captured about a broad range of experiences people have in various learning systems. This data will then be sent to a Learning Record Store (LRS) where it's collectively stored and can be used from other systems, for example, for creating reports across systems or for creating learning experiences that adapt to experiences people have had across various systems.

LMS365 supports the sending of xAPI signals for learners' activities to an external xAPI-compliant LRS.

In this article, we will describe what the xAPI specification is, how LMS365 supports the sending of xAPI signals, in what scenarios xAPI is needed, and what other options you have for creating integrations with LMS365.

 

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What is the xAPI specification?

The xAPI specification makes it possible to collect data about a broad range of experiences people have, both online and offline. This can, for example, be the data about a completed e-course in a learning management system, the conduct of a real-world activity that needs to be completed as part of the training, and experiences in virtual worlds.

The xAPI is flexible and can recognize and communicate signals from a variety of systems. This is due to the broad format of xAPI signals. When an activity is recorded, the system will send secure statements in the format of noun, verb, object—or x actor performed x action in relation to x object.

An example of such a statement could be: Adele experienced jumping jacks. The JSON format of this statement will look like the below.

{
  "actor": {
    "name": "Adele Vance",
    "mbox": "mailto:adele.vance@somemailbox.com"
  },
  "verb": {
    "id": "http://adlnet.gov/expapi/verbs/experienced",
    "display": { "en-US": "experienced" }
  },
  "object": {
    "id": "http://example.com/activities/jumping-jacks",
    "definition": {
      "name": { "en-US": "Jumping Jacks" }
    }
  }
}

This simple format enables signals from different systems and actions to be communicated in a common way and stored in the same format in an LRS.

In this way, when the signals are stored collectively, general data can be retrieved from signals deriving from very different systems and activities.

 

LMS365 support of sending xAPI signals

LMS365 doesn't aim to be an LRS that receives xAPI signals from other learning platforms but is one of the learning platforms that can send xAPI signals to an LRS.

LMS365 supports the sending of xAPI signals when learners start and complete training to an external LRS through xAPI signals. Signals will be sent from LMS365 to the connected LRS when learners start and complete any kind of training in the current course catalog, except for imported external training.

This gives you the option of sending information about learners' ongoing and completed learning activities in LMS365 to an LRS. If similar data is sent to the LRS from other systems, this will enable you to, for example, get data on how much training a particular learner has completed across different learning systems. 

 

When to use xAPI for integrations

This means that xAPI is optimal for collecting data on various activities across different systems and delivering this data in a single system in a uniform format, despite the learning signals potentially being very different in nature.

The broad format of xAPI signals, however, means that xAPI is not always the best option for creating integrations. If you, for example, wish to integrate your LMS system with an HR system or to send learning records from one LMS to another, there are approaches more fit for this that will allow for more details of the respective events to be communicated. 

In LMS365, you can easily create integrations with other systems to send or receive learning signals by employing the LMS365 connector together with Microsoft Power Automate.

Read more about our various options for creating integrations and flows in this section.

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