Teaching in your code with the Experience API

Long Form


The Experience API (xAPI) is a new JSON-based open standard for building learning systems and activities. It replaces SCORM with an API built around Statements. Anyone can read and write an xAPI Statement- it's English! You'll learn how to make your apps part of the new learning environment using xAPI, and how to map legacy learning systems to xAPI using Statements and other xAPI concepts.



After this session, learners will be able to: 1. Describe the motivation for replacing SCORM with xAPI 2. Identify 3 reasons why xAPI is better suited than SCORM for developing learning systems in the mobile, distributed, cloud-based environment we code in today. 3. Define what an xAPI Learning Record System is, and explain how any legacy LMS can become an xAPI-compliant LRS. 4. Map user behaviors in existing applications to xAPI Statements using Actors, Verbs, Objects, Results, and Contexts. 5. Use xAPI’s JSON syntax to report user activity to a Learning Record System. 6. Restate use cases as xAPI Statements.

Session content:

Each portion of the session will be introduced with an xAPI Statement and an xAPI Result, so that learners will start thinking about their applications in xAPI terms.

1. Briefly review the history of SCORM and xAPI
2. What are SCORM’s deficiencies in the current educational and technological environment?
3. How does xAPI improve upon SCORM to make creating educational software easier?
4. What is an LRS? Why can’t we just keep saying LMS (Learning Management System)?
5. Remember your grammar? xAPI is based on simple English language structures. Introduce the Actor-Verb-Object syntax.
6. Small groups will each take 5 minutes to describe the behavior of an existing application in xAPI terms.
7. Using examples from groups, we’ll turn the group’s English-language statements into xAPI Statements using JSON.
8. How do we measure learning? Each group will use the xAPI Results API to define desired outcomes.
9. How to think in xAPI- when you’re designing an application or learning activity, restate your use case and desired outcomes using xAPI syntax.


json, education, javascript, java, xAPI

Speaking experience

Presented multiple talks on social media and social software development around Portland, including for the CIO roundtable and the IT Leadership Breakfast.
15 years as a teacher in multiple environments (middle school, high school, corporate training, Linfield College)

See my video for a similar talk at OSCON:


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    Software engineer, architect, linguist, hacker, and defender; instructor, social media evangelist, poet, teacher.