xAPI-logo-graphicThe inaugural weekly meeting of the third year of the xAPI design cohort was held on February 5th. The design cohort was launched in order to create a contribution to the learning technology community with the Experience API (xAPI) by forming teams to discuss and solve design projects and solutions. Over 16 teams have joined the cohort, comprised of participants from around the globe (including members from the U.S., Taiwan, the U.K., Latvia, Australia, Nepal, and India).

Participants in the cohort have honed in on several subjects to tackle as a group. Subjects include: use of the xAPI with virtual patient medical education simulations, the role of xAPI in transmedia learning, the xAPI and the “Internet of Things” (a concept that refers to the interconnected network of physical objects embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and/or connectivity that allow “things” to exchange data with manufacturers, users, or other devices), open educational resources and xAPI, and xAPI integration in augmented reality.

The design cohort meets every Thursday at 1500 Eastern, and is scheduled to run until 14 May. Among future projects of the cohort, an xAPI “bootcamp” is in the works, to be scheduled at a future date. To learn more about the xAPI design cohort, visit the Google Group site!

What is xAPI?

The Experience API (xAPI) is a means of tracking training or learning (formal or informal) experiences using a data structure similar to activity streams. Both xAPI and the activity streams consist of an actor (someone who does something), an action, and an activity the person performed.

It uses a lightweight and modern programming structure that is extensible. xAPI has grown from a Broad Agency Announcement project through ADL into a specification through a community effort.

The main benefit to using xAPI is it that it uses natural language in a structure that is also computer readable. This means that anything that can be said or described can be tracked. Currently there are xAPI efforts underway in Army, Navy, JKO, DoT, and the National Park Service, as well as numerous academic, industry (including Adobe), and foreign organizations.