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Author Archive

Making Checklists Easier

Posted by

Categories: Experiments, Ideas, Use Cases, xAPI

Posted 11 September 2013


Airlines use complex software and systems for their operations. Enormous retailers have incredibly efficient supply chain management and retail operation systems. Despite these impressive systems, it’s still common for big companies to send managers out to evaluate employee performance with clipboards full of paper checklists.

When it comes to evaluating employee performance, they use these paper checklists for multiple people, which end up having to be manually entered into a computer system. Meanwhile the evaluating person almost always has a device on them that could easily capture what is on their clipboard.

We’re a little stunned by this.

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We have a treat for those who want details on how to best use statements to describe learning activities. This is going to be a very technical webinar (you can register for it here). If you’re not familiar with the xAPI specification, you might want to read over it beforehand or just have a copy handy to reference during the webinar.


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The Registry has been up for a few weeks. A number of people have created profiles and started using it to catalog their data types. It’s great!

There are a couple things here, and it really comes down to the fact that we’re looking to collect everything that’s being used. Looking at a collection of everything makes deciding what to use (and how to use it) a little more complicated, but in a good way.

Activity Streams IDs have been added



Collectively, we could make a big mess of xAPI data. Let’s try to avoid that.

At this point you likely know that xAPI communicates activity data in the form of statements. Each statement is required to have some pieces like actor, verb and object. They also can include context, results, and authority. Within those pieces, highly specific, custom data can be added to communicate the circumstances and to clarify the importance of the activity. The types of custom data that need to be identified in a statement are activities, activity types, attachments, extensions, and verbs. To add those, each must be defined and given an identifier. The identifier needs to link to a place with information about it, like a definition. This means that anyone can define almost anything with one of the five types and include that in a statement.


Why Have E-learning Tools Adopted?

Posted by

Categories: Adopters, Best Practices, Standards, xAPI

Posted 22 July 2013


We spend a good amount of time working with software companies who build learning technology. The main question in these conversations is “Why should we adopt?” There are many reasons, some more theoretical than practical today (but who doesn’t love the ideal present?!)

To break this down a bit, into reality, I wrote this article for the eLearning Industry to discuss what we have seen in practice over the last year. The pragmatic reasons that real vendors have chosen to adopt xAPI and what that adoption looks like today.

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