Integrating Programs with a Learning Management System (LMS) Using xAPI

Overview

In most organizations, learning management systems (LMSs) play a central role in the onboarding and ongoing training of employees and partners. To better optimize the learning experience for sales audiences, CommercialTribe (CT) Readiness integrates with LMSs that support the Experience API (xAPI) eLearning specification. The CT Readiness integration provides the following:

  • CT Readiness video-based programs can be directly added as LMS course materials.
  • Learners are launched from the LMS to CT Readiness for practice and certification.
  • As learners make progress in CT Readiness, learner status is passed back to the LMS enabling standard reporting to be centrally managed from the LMS.
  • User administration is simplified with Just-in-Time user provisioning.

 

What is xAPI? 

xAPI is a specification for learning technology that makes it possible to collect data about the wide range of experiences each individual has using a particular learning system. Systems use xAPI to securely communicate by capturing and sharing a stream of activity statements using simple vocabulary. Statements are in the form of “noun, verb, object.” For example, "User A attempted the sales pitch activity," would be sent when User A records a practice. xAPI was designed to overcome many of the limitations of previous eLearning specifications and is being adopted by most leading LMS vendors. You can learn more at xapi.com.

 

Learner Benefits and User Experience

One key advantage for learners is the common access point for eLearning. Most modern LMSs support personalized learning paths that provide guidance to the mastery of specific topics making them natural learning hubs. CT video-based practice programs can be easily embedded as courses in new or existing learning paths or added as standard pillars in your curriculum. 

When a CT Readiness course is launched, the web application loads in a new browser tab. Users interact with CT Readiness as usual, whether they are viewing model presentations or practicing and submitting video responses. As each user makes progress with an activity, statements are sent back to the LMS and their progress is tracked. When a user exits the activity or finishes the program, the CT Readiness browser tab closes, and the user is directed back to the LMS.

 

Configuration

Overview

The configuration of the xAPI integration is accomplished with the following steps.

As a CT Readiness system administrator:

  • From the Admin > Site configuration screen, choose your LMS provider in the xAPI section.
  • For any program that you wish to import into your LMS, obtain the xAPI export file or the xAPI launch link.

As an LMS administrator:

  • Import the xAPI manifest file, or register the xAPI launch link.
  • Link the newly imported course to a learning path, curriculum, or course catalog following the process established for your organization and LMS.

 

CT Readiness Configuration

The first step in the integration is selecting the LMS provider in the Admin > Site configuration screen (see below). Note: CommercialTribe is actively adding new LMS providers based on customer demand. Please work with your account manager if you wish to integrate a system that is not currently supported.

xAPI_Site_Settings.png

 

Program Configuration Options

CommercialTribe provides a couple of simple configuration options for each program that you wish to integrate with your LMS via xAPI. Navigate to your program via Admin > Programs to edit your program. Access Program Settings via the gear icon. The xAPI settings are located at the bottom of the settings drawer (shown below).

xAPI_Program_Settings.png

 

Send Completion Statements

These configuration options establish when CT Readiness informs the LMS that the course has been completed. There are three "completion statement" options.

  • On Watch: "Completion" is sent when the activity is watched (or read).
  • On Submit: "Completion" is sent when the learner submits a video practice.
  • On Complete: "Completion" is sent when the submission is reviewed and/or scored.

On Submit is appropriate in situations when your organization is driving learners to the completion of a program by a specific due date and when the final score for the submissions should not affect the completion status. The LMS will consider the work complete as soon as the submission is made. Any follow-up on a submission that does not meet performance standards can be handled by assigning a remediation program later. On Submit prevents reviewing and scoring from becoming a bottleneck for the learner's forward progress.

On Complete is appropriate when the review and scoring process is required. This may be true for onboarding programs that should not be marked complete until the submission is reviewed and scored.

Whenever CT Readiness computes a score, that score is passed back to the LMS. The LMS may be configured separately to determine if a score results in "pass" or "fail" or is simply used for reporting purposes.

Obtaining the xAPI Export File or Launch Link

xAPI Package File

The most common way of integrating an xAPI learning object with an LMS is by using the xAPI Package. The xAPI Package is a zip file that will always contain a file named tincan.xml known as the xAPI manifest file. To obtain the zip file from CT Readiness, navigate to the Program screen, and select xAPI Export from the Actions menu.

xAPI_Export.png

This action will download a zip file that is prefixed with "xAPI" and appended with the name of the program. For example, a program named "Messaging Certification" will have a generated file name "xAPI_Messaging_Certification.zip" and will be saved to the downloads folder associated with your web browser.

 

xAPI Launch Link

An xAPI launch link is an alternative way to integrate with an LMS. Some LMSs allow you to register the link in addition to supporting the import of an xAPI package. To obtain this link select Copy Link from the Programs action menu. From the modal, select the X-API LAUNCH LINK tab and copy the link.

xAPI_Launch_Link.png

 

LMS Configuration

The process of importing the xAPI Package file into an LMS varies by LMS. For Docebo please refer to How to Upload xAPI Content. For other systems or additional technical support, please contact your CT Readiness account manager or CT Support to request assistance.

 

Learning Workflow

The learning workflow is illustrated in the diagram below. As the learner makes progress in CT Readiness, statements are sent back to the LMS (e.g. "Experienced," "Attempted," "Submitted," "Completed"). In this example, the program was configured to send completion statements On Submit. See the Program Configuration Options section above for further explanation.

LMS_CTR_Flow_-_Complete_on_Submit__1_.png

 

 

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