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The Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative

What is xAPI?

The Experience API (xAPI) is an open source specification that allows you to track any experience (i.e., formal, informal, or operational). xAPI can track reading an article or interacting with an eBook, watching a training video, chatting with a mentor, physiological measures such as heart-rate data, quiz scores, and answer history by question.

But where does all that data get stored? That's where a Learning Record Store (LRS) comes in. The LRS is the endpoint or enabling system for xAPI.

Choosing an LRS

Choosing an LRS—that can be a time-consuming process, and ultimately an expensive decision. Peter Berking, Senior Instructional Designer with ADL, wrote a paper "Choosing an LRS," to assist organizations who are looking to purchase a system. This paper provides an overview of an LRS, a principled approach to choosing a system (including a sample rating matrix), and considerations when choosing a product. Some considerations include does this system need to integrate with other systems, does it require conformance testing, and what are the pricing structures?

Not using xAPI? Peter's other papers in this series, "Choosing an LMS" and "Choosing Authoring Tools" provide the same approach to making decisions on these complex systems.