Leveraging xAPI Data Reporting with SCORM LMS
Data Reporting with xAPI Bridge
As learning and development practitioners, our job is to equip others for success. Whether through knowledge or physical skill, the goal is that people change or grow to meet an objective. This is achieved through learning experiences. A typical learning experience cycle includes learners participating in the experience, assessing their knowledge through a quiz or survey, and returning to their work. In the end, the goal is for them to have acquired the knowledge or skill that was needed to continue being successful in their role.
We know Data is Important but…
Where this process unravels is in measuring success. Data generated during learning experiences must be measured and translated in a useful way. We must capture information about the learners participating in the training, how they perform throughout, and synthesize that information in order to measure against the objectives. Did the training change the behavior or facilitate proficiency in the skill required? With this information, we can start to see the full spectrum of success.
However, in L&D, data is one of the pieces that gets lost in the shuffle. Everyone can agree that data is important and should be a key driver in this assessment, but there are barriers to using data effectively. Barriers include how information is located, collected, and processed. How do we take the gathered information and make it useful?
Collecting Data is Difficult
Data collection is limited by the tools and technology available to us. Traditionally, an LMS collects data through SCORM packaged content and then exports a limited amount of that data for reporting. This problem is due to limitations in both SCORM technology and the LMS. Traditionally the data collected is not enough to provide a full analysis of the learning experience or to fully know if the learning experience is making a difference. This makes an assessment of success or failure for the learner and the learning experience difficult.
The data collected is not complex. It includes items like completion time, assessment success, and other basic pieces of information funneled into the LMS, which allows reports to be generated. LMS reports only provide a brief overview of the collected data. The good news is that many LMSs’ are able to collect more robust data. The bad news is that they do not have a way of conveying it natively.
xAPI Bridge Can Help
The great news is that JCA offers a tool called xAPI Bridge to traverse this information gap. xAPI Bridge allows you to begin collecting learning data wherever it happens and get more out of your LMS and SCORM content. The passive collection of data sent to the LMS for record, or a real-time push of data, provides a unique insight into what your learners are experiencing. Any system that makes its APIs available can be enhanced by xAPI Bridge.
We’ve always needed to track data. It becomes even more necessary as we continue to develop next-generation learning experiences. Extended reality (XR), which includes augmented and virtual reality, is a prime candidate for growing technology in the learning space. Its limitations are tracking and reporting data into a traditional LMS. Thinking from a technology-agnostic standpoint, xAPI can collect data from any digital content that your learners use, which allows a unique insight into the direct and contextual data that they generate. What type of information does this encompass? It could be how long someone paused between tasks. It could be when, where, and how they interacted with a particular topic. When they are watching a video, you can see where they paused, played, rewatched, and scrubbed through. It could be something as simple as where the learner was focusing during a given moment in time within the training. All of this data can be used to analyze and improve the learning experience you are providing. xAPI Bridge can help in getting more out of the existing data that is collected and also provides dynamic insight that is not always apparent through standard assessments and surveys.
What are the Next Steps?
How can xAPI Bridge take the LMS to this next level of data integration? xAPI Bridge is an integrated LRS with a custom statement-processing feature that meets this need. It involves developing a resource that works seamlessly with your existing LMS — no built-in reporting integrations needed. These custom statements integrate with your organization’s business intelligence (BI) function, making it a simple and effective way to work with xAPI in your existing LMS. With a variety of LMSs, this functionality is not on the immediate roadmap of improvements, but with xAPI Bridge, there is no need to wait.
Training within your organization is not limited to eLearning, virtual classrooms, or instructor delivery. It’s happening everywhere and every day. The need to collect and report on this data is imminent. Currently, more employees are working and learning at distance, making this data one of the most valuable commodities organizations can collect. The time for accurate, robust, and timely data collection is now, with xAPI Bridge.