Free White Paper - Cracking The Mobile Learning Code: xAPI And Cmi5

Cracking The Mobile Learning Code: xAPI And Cmi5

Unless you’ve been on a desert island for the past decade, you’ve surely noticed that mobile technology use is continually on the rise, making it possible for us to connect to both information and other people in ways that were previously unthinkable. A recent free white paper by Obsidian Learning, Cracking the Mobile Learning Code: xAPI and cmi5, co-authored with Art Werkenthin of RISC, Inc., discusses how mobile technologies can support both formal and informal learning in instructor-led training (ILT), web-based training (WBT), blended learning experiences, and on-the-job performance support. It also addresses global trends in mobile technology use, and presents examples of novel applications of mobile learning. Finally, it provides a technical overview of xAPI and cmi5 and examines how these technologies can be used to capture the entire spectrum of learning, from formal to informal.

eBook Release: Free White Paper - Cracking The Mobile Learning Code: xAPI And Cmi5
eBook Release
Free White Paper - Cracking The Mobile Learning Code: xAPI And Cmi5
Figure out how Mobile Technologies can be implemented in order to support every kind of learning.

As mobile devices become ubiquitous in both personal and professional environments, it is clear that personal interactions and professional habits have changed dramatically. Whether those changes are globally positive remains an open question; concerns about issues such as the home/work divide and data security often give pause, though the undeniable potential for collaboration, increased productivity, and information sharing can often overshadow such concerns.

In the learning industry, designers tend to focus on the seemingly endless possibilities associated with mobile learning. It can enable personalized instruction, real-time assessments, collaborative relationships between learners and instructors, and improved access to educational opportunities. Instructional Designers have come to rely on mobile learning as an integral tool in blended learning strategies, and today’s tech-savvy learners seem to expect a mobile learning component during instruction.

Another advantage related to mobile learning technologies and applications is that they can be used to integrate formal and informal learning and to track progress in both, a feat that is not possible when tracking learning with a traditional SCORM-driven learning management system (LMS).

The free white paper elaborates on the types of technologies suitable for mobile learning, including microlearning, learning videos, social networking technologies, and other mobile learning experiences such as context-aware learning, ubiquitous learning, and location-based augmented reality. It also provides a handy list of mobile learning development tools such as Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Claro, gomo learning, and our own rapid authoring tool Obsidian Black, and briefly describes the capabilities of each tool.

As mobile learning evolves, so, too, must the traditional SCORM-based LMS. As the white paper explains, developers are moving toward what are sometimes referred to as “mobile SCORM” standards – xAPI and cmi5. In and of itself, xAPI is not a replacement for SCORM; it is essentially a data and transport mechanism that provides learning record management and “defines communication between a learning experience and the learning record store (LRS)”. It does not, however, allow scheduling, sequencing, bookmarking, user management, etc. Enter cmi5, which can best be described as “a set of rules for using xAPI in the ‘LMS launches content’ scenario. [It] defines how learning content is imported, launched, and tracked by the LMS using anxAPI LRS.”

The white paper presents two case studies which illustrate the potential of xAPI in real-world situations. In the first, RISC, Inc. proposed a strategy wherein xAPI was employed in a LRS to allow the annotation and tracking of training manuals converted to PDF documents. The annotations could be saved and used to improve the quality of the documentation. In the second case study, Obsidian Learning developed a mobile application that used xAPI to track the user experience (i.e., interactions launched, videos viewed, activities undertaken, work orders submitted, etc.), thus providing valuable data to the corporate office on the effectiveness of the learning deliverable.

As mobile technology becomes ever more part of our daily lives, and the lines between formal and informal learning ever more blurred, tracking the full range of content viewed, accessed, and interacted with has been revealed to be beyond the capability of traditional learning management systems. Fortunately, xAPI and cmi5 are here to fill in the gap. As early adopters of these new standards, Obsidian Learning and RISC, Inc. are uniquely qualified to provide a big-picture view of their potential, a service that their collaborative free white paper amply fulfills.

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