xAPI - curious of your findings

  • 30 September 2022
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Userlevel 7
Badge +7

Happy Friday to ya.

A question out to the folks that are using the xAPI format for bringing in courses.

We are running through our annual compliance over here on the East Coast and are running into what I can only describe as the normal amount of issues with SCORM courses. 

My finding with SCORM courses is that it is stable - but SCORM can be finicky format - it needs pretty constant communication with the LMS….and when a person walks away from their workstation...well there is always a risk with the LMS going out of session compared to the course remaining open in the browser - which is a common one that we find ourselves troubleshooting as folks put stuff down and then repick it up alot during this season.

Sometimes we have to do something special to put the course back on path. Other times - the course gets into such a funky state? We find ourselves needing to intervene heavily with the user experience.

We did do the typical LMS troubleshoot already to support SCORM. Session times before logout have been extended to assist our users. We can’t get to cray cray - we extended it to two hours before warning and logout.

My understanding - xAPI communication is not based on CMI interactions and is not based on the same communication approach. It is alot more verbose and was supposed to be a champ in terms of stability when I looked at it in the past. It is (what I read about years and years ago) supposed to be the “great white hope” in terms of communications and help with those folks with mobile devices and things going out of session was supposed to be a thing of the past.

So my questions | Is this true? For yawl using the xAPI course format - do you find that you have less of the typical SCORM issues?

We are not being tortured by it - but it would be nice to diminish the noise if it feels better. 


4 replies

Userlevel 3

Just here for the comments ;) I have PTSD about using xAPI for Rise/SL/Camtasia projects in Docebo since we had a nagging mystery issue with some courses not completing at my last employer. At my new one, we converted onto Docebo but so far am wanting to stick with SCORM if they are less buggy or won’t get “stuck” In Progress...

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

@cgroetzer - thank you. My one note for you - SCORM can be in the same place.

I have found by implementing “standards towards stability”, that tends to help with the PTSD.

Some courses not completing may be leaning itself towards the author - I worked with software developers before jumping into the L&D space - and I do think many challenges with SCORM can be isolated with testing...testing...testing (the new way of spelling testing 🤣). What makes SCORM authoring tools challenging is really when you go outside of the box (thats my opinion).

Also the SCORM cloud folks are pretty wonderful.

I worked with an LMS for example that did not play well with Rise courses. Its scoring was all over the place and bookmarking was not in a great place when you switched between SCORM 1.2 and 2004. At one point, I threw my hands up in the air and expressed to the author, keep it simple, or make Rise go away.

Keeping it simple doesn’t have to compromise the learning design or learning experience.

Including testing on the LMS is also always desired - especially with new scoring techniques (multiple tests, pre-tests, etc).

But xAPI - I want to say - isnt it the great white hope when it came to mobile devices - no??????

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Ha, yeah, always the next one will solve it all right 😉

I find all of these things are finicky at the best of times. Especially as browsers advance over time.

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

Just curious if this brain trust has explored xapi further and if you all had any grand insights since making this post originally?

@dklinger thoughts?
@Bfarkas are you an xapi devotee?

cc: @daniel.sowter 

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