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The Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative

TJ Seabrooks iFest Presentation

Making Meaning in xAPI: Beyond a Specification, the Case for Reference Standard Profiles

TJ Seabrooks

With conformance and certification for LRSs arriving, semantic interoperability is the next requirement for confident and wide adoption and deployment of xAPI.

Though a profile specification for xAPI is under active development and consideration by ADL and the broader xAPI community, there has yet to be presented a clearly defined set of concepts that could serve as a reference standard for learning analytics derived from LRS-based ecosystems.

This lack of core concepts is currently limiting intelligent data capture and will eventually limit the potential of xAPI-based reporting and analytics. Developing an authoring tool for Learning Record Providers without a baseline for useful concepts is especially difficult.

We will review the current state of conformance and certification for LRSs and discuss challenges associated with extending it to Learning Record Providers with a specific focus on profiles. We will suggest some potential extensions of LRS behavior that could be used to better accommodate support for profiles.

We will also review IMS Caliper’s metric profiles, current Communities of Practice, Rustici Software’s Registry, and authoring tool capabilities and make a compelling case for the need for a set of standard profiles.

A reference standard set of profiles will advance the strategic goal of semantic interoperability quickly and in important ways.


TJ Seabrooks has served as Rustici Software’s Director of Products since 2014. He is responsible for setting product direction for Rustici’s eLearning standards-based products as well as managing the software development team. TJ played an integral role in the contribution to two Broad Agency Announcements (BAA) awarded to Rustici Software by Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (ADL) in 2015 and 2016. As a software developer, TJ was a key contributor to the xAPI specification beginning in 2012. TJ continues to shape the future of Rustici Software’s approach to the ever-changing eLearning landscape.


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