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The Experience API is based on another specification called Activity Streams. Activity Streams is a format for capturing activity on social networks, created by companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM etc.
Activity Streams can record anything somebody does. The Experience API is an extension of the Activity Streams specification that makes it more applicable for capturing learning experiences. The core objects of a xAPI statement, Actor, Verb and Object (“I Did This”) derive from the core Activity Streams specification.
If you look at your Facebook wall, what you are looking at is a series of activity stream statements (Person Did Thing), for example:
Activity Streams are gaining traction as the way to capture a person’s activity, both on our social networks and in the enterprise. In other words, our actual job performance data and our training data are converging. We are using the same format to capture learning experience data as the rest of the enterprise will be using to capture other experiences. That is powerful stuff.
Take this activity stream for example:
As we start to aggregate these streams across an enterprise, or even across an industry, we can start to identify the training paths that lead to the most successful outcomes. Or, conversely, we can identify the training paths that are leading to problematic outcomes. Now we can determine the effectiveness of our training programs and measure ROI.
Some other implications to consider:
There is a long way to go before this vision can be fully realized. xAPI is laying the foundation and removing the constraints to making it a reality.
But, of course, there’s more…we just don’t know what it’s going to be yet! The Experience API is opening up a world of new possibilities. There is no doubt that it will change the e-learning world in a major way. Where we will end up in five years is anybody’s guess, but it’s going to be a fun ride, so come along.