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ADL Initiative Accelerates xAPI Conformance Testing and Software Certification

August 10, 2016

Over the past year, efforts around developing conformance requirements for the Experience API (xAPI) have been on hold. Fortunately, this is rapidly changing. We at the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative are very excited to announce two awards related to developing conformance requirements. One award was granted in June of this year to Rustici Software to document a very technical approach for conformance requirements. The other was granted to Data Interoperability Standards Consortium (DISC) to perform research and development around xAPI conformance.

DISC's efforts include the collection of requirements for conformance to the xAPI specification for learning record store (LRS) software. This is an independent effort from the work Rustici Software is doing. The intent is to resolve differences in requirements independently documented by the two efforts and produce a stronger set of conformance requirements as a result.

However, DISC’s mandate goes beyond software conformance. DISC will gather requirements and offer recommendations for a certification program to identify LRSs that can demonstrate conformance via third-party testing. Additionally, DISC will gather requirements and make recommendations on how to certify professionals that implement xAPI.

As the first phase of Rustici Software’s work on conformance requirements is wrapping up, DISC's work is beginning today. Their approach will be community-driven, engaging multiple stakeholder groups. Their requirements gathering is already underway and needs your input. The Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative encourages all to participate in this open and collaborative process.

To participate, go to

A webinar kicking off this xAPI conformance requirements project’s activities was on Wednesday, August 10.

Through the BAA program, the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative collaborates with external vendors and academic institutions. We are interested in innovative R&D projects on a range of learning science and technology topics with the ultimate goal of improving training quality and accessibility for the Department of Defense. The currently open BAA solicitation for FY17 (W911QY-BAA-FY17) can be found at