The future of corporate learning is personalized learning – the ideal that organizations are and will be trying to reach by capturing learning metrics and using data analytics to derive actionable information from it. Personalized learning is basically learning that is delivered based on the personal needs, preferences and characteristics of the person, just like personalized marketing is used by companies like Google, Netflix and Amazon.
Experience API or xAPI or Tin Can API is a technology that allows learning to become more informal, personalized and more fluid in nature. Basically, Tin Can API is a web service that allows its applications to send ‘statements of experience’ to a Learning Record Store. For example, if an employee called Lacey attends a TED talk, participates in a workshop outside of office or even reads a research paper on the web – her LMS can keep a track of all these learning activities irrespective of whether they were self-initiated or were a part of the formal training. Statements like:
“Lacey watched a video on XYZ on Khan Academy”, “Lacey attended a TEDx talk on ABC”, “Lacey completed Level 6 on the mobile quiz”… and so on can be issued even offline to be recorded in the LRS and later on sent to the LMS when she logs on to it.
Consequently, Tin Can or xAPI is the ultimate contemporary way to adopt blended learning in your organization. E-learning and instructor-led learning – these are two disparate concepts, each having its own set of advantages that are necessary to capitalize on, in order to provide a holistic learning experience for trainees. While champions of e-learning and mobile learning emphasize on the flexibility and ease with which learning can be achieved, there is no denying the level of participation and seriousness that classroom-based training brings to the table. With Tin Can, organizations have the capability to blend these two diverse concepts, track all of the learning and create personalized learning paths for each individual.In a situation where they can easily shift between various devices- mobiles, tablets, laptops or PCs and still get recognition for it, employees are likely to pursue self-motivated learning to a far greater extent. The result will be a sort of ‘learning repository’ or ‘locker’ for each individual that will be like a learning resume – recording all the formal and informal learning activities that the person undertakes.
On the other hand, Tin Can empowers course creators/curators to use all sorts of web resources like available videos, blogs, wikis, animations, etc. rather than undertaking the cumbersome task of designing all content in-house and from scratch. However, care must be taken to not embed information from the resources within your LMS, rather learners must be directed to the respective links to avoid any violations to intellectual property. When users visit those links, the same can be recorded as anxAPI statement.
Last but not the least, an xAPI enabled LRS can track all of the learner metrics generated due to interaction with social networks, the web, media and LMSs, apply data analytics to it and use it to create experiences that are truly personalized in nature.
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