xAPI Reference Introduction
This guide is the official xAPI reference and support resource for Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 1322.26. This reference contains the most recent technical information available and will be updated as ADL Initiative and the DADLAC identify new information or recommend changes to standards, specifications, conformance, testing, acquisition, and other distributed learning topic areas. Readers are encouraged to visit this reference frequently for the latest available technical information and guidelines.
xAPI Profile Specifications
Since xAPI enables much richer opportunities for expression and tracking of learning experiences, reporting on xAPI data generated by DL content can be complicated. Learning record providers (content, assets, systems, software, or services that create Statements or other xAPI data) and authors of learning experiences should leverage common xAPI profiles, such as those identified in ADL Initiative’s CoP Directory or Working Groups or in xAPI community registries. In addition, profile specifications were created to facilitate wider adoption of specific xAPI use cases. The two profile specifications currently stewarded by ADL Initiative target compatibility with traditional course delivery of SCORM®-based learning management systems [LMSs]). These profiles specifications are described in more detail below.
SCORM® Profile Specification
The SCORM® profile specification for xAPI provides a representation of the SCORM® data model as well as limited SCORM®-specific features, but uses xAPI for run time communications and tracking. The SCORM® profile was created as a compatibility approach to xAPI. It can be used to:
- create content that can track to both an LMS and learning record store (LRS)
- convert existing SCORM® data to xAPI Statements that can be stored in an LRS
- track experiences from a learning record provider in a manner consistent with how they would’ve been tracked in SCORM®
In each of these scenarios, the SCORM® profile serves as a tool to ease the transition from SCORM® to xAPI. The profile does not, by itself, do the conversion or enable dual tracking.
The SCORM® profile can also be used to capture and represent data similar to the SCORM® data model (without converting existing DL content). This can be valuable in the event an xAPI learning experience is created and has a requirement is to synchronize the data with a SCORM®-based DL systems.
cmi5 Profile Specification
ADL Initiative is the principal steward of cmi5, a profile specification for xAPI that describes packaging, launch, and important data capture concepts for traditional LMSs that include an LRS. The cmi5 specification is intended to be robust enough that an LRS conforming to cmi5 can be interoperable in the way data is tracked with any authored content (or application) from a cmi5 product. Conformance testing for cmi5 is currently being developed.
xAPI Acquisition & Development Guidance
Developers of xAPI learning activities are encouraged to consider the following:
- Ensure that authoring tools that support the creation of xAPI content fully support a 1.0.3 or later version of xAPI.
- Realize that full support of xAPI does NOT necessarily include creating Statements in a manner interoperable with other tools. Statements from authoring tools should be compared to xAPI profiles and examples those Communities of Practice provide to ensure interoperability.
- For DL content created without the use of an authoring tool, prefer the use of a client library (e.g., ADL Initiative’s xAPIWrapper), which should ease the path to creating conformant xAPI 1.0.3 learning records.
Learning Record Store (LRS) Conformance
Organizations that are considering an LRS should procure one that has been run against the latest ADL Initiative-maintained conformance tests and has demonstrated success against the tests. Conformance and certification guidance for xAPI are also under development.
xAPI-Conformant Contract Language
General xAPI-conformant LRS statements should be used in requirements documents (specifications, statements of work, performance work statements, or other applicable program requirements documentation), as described in Table 1.
|xAPI Version||Sample Contract Statements|
|Experience API (xAPI) Version 1.0.3||
"The contractor shall ensure the learning record store (LRS) is conformant to the Experience API (xAPI) Specification Version 1.0.3."
The following documents will be cited in the request for proposal (RFP) package (keyed to the appropriate section) for LRS: Experience API LRS Testing Requirements.
Acceptance will be based on the following: