What is Experience API / Tin Can API?
Instructors that have researched eLearning opportunities will most probably have come across xAPI, also known as Tin Can API. The latter was the project name whilst the prototype was still in beta testing. Today, the program is better known as xAPI or Experience API.
xAPI is an eLearning portal designed to help companies of all sizes to expand their training programs. The application collects a wide range of data and provides in-depth insights that enables trainers to assess a users performance together with their experience both online and offline.
The xAPI portal is very similar to previous learning API’s which use SCORM, but seeks to improve the limitations of earlier specifications. Not only is Tin Can easier to use, it is also more flexible and provides users with a superior user-experience. Functions include:
• mobile learning
• virtual worlds
• serious games
• real-world experiences
• experiential learning
• social learning
• offline learning
• collaborative learning
At the heart of xAPI are human-readable snippets of data that tracks an event and provides additional information about activity around an event such as date, time and how long it took the user to complete the task.
And Tin Cat goes one step further. It will also record the experience the user has, such as the device they are using and whether they liked the experience or not. xAPI is not limited to in-house use either. Companies can also use the technology to record reactions to animated videos that have been created to train customers.
Engagement in eLearning
Ensuring trainees are fully engaged is an essential aspect of training. Modern technology aids engagement on a number of levels. Interactive platforms help users maintain focus, video animation and augmented reality makes content more enjoyable and promotes memory recall, and virtual reality enables employers to recreate the real-world in the virtual space.
Providing staff with an engaging eLearning environment enhances learning abilities and gives trainees the freedom to work at their own pace. However, it can also cause isolation between trainer and trainee whereby areas that require attention can be missed.
The xAPI platform therefore provides companies with a micro-learning tool that can be used to create dynamic training portfolios with surveys, appraisals and appealing content. Portfolios outline areas trainees need to work on and how learning objectives will be achieved.
By making trainees a stakeholder of their own development, they increase focus and feel compelled to improve areas of weakness. The results are quantifiable, so they track their progress and have to commit to improving or risk losing their job.