TD at Work Cover"xAPI is not revolutionary in its technology. The revolution is in the adoption of a new, broader common language for interoperability," write Megan Torrance and Rob Houck in the March issue of TD at Work, "Making Sense of xAPI." Experience API, or xAPI, enables learning and development teams to store and retrieve a wide range of data about learning and performance experiences—as the name indicates.

A central component of the xAPI is the activity statement, which records learning experiences in an "I did this" format. The statement consists of actor, verb, and object, and can include further descriptive information—context, result, and extensions, for example.

Torrance and Houck explain that traditional instructional models lend themselves to providing insight into the type of information that talent developers may want to capture and send to their learning record store, which is the database that stores and makes xAPI statements available.

For example, using the Kirkpatrick Levels of Evaluation, you may want to measure post-course reaction to learning, conduct a knowledge check, verify that learners are performing desired behaviors, or check departmental results.


Action planning in an xAPI environment enables L&D pros to measure business goals (products sold), behaviors (responding to 10 customer queries), practice activities (role play), and knowledge (an online course), for example.

Gottfredson and Mosher's five moments of learning and the 70-20-10 model for L&D also can be used in determining the learning experiences you wish to capture.

These tips were adapted from the March 2017 issue of TD at Work.