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The Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative

xAPI Community of Practice (COP)


The ADL xAPI CoP directory was launched in order to help facilitate the creation and sharing of xAPI work within various xAPI communities and interest groups. In the xAPI Specification it requires a CoP to establish a controlled vocabulary, provide human-readable description of the intended usage, and make these accessible at an IRI location. However, there are no guidelines for leading a CoP effort or creating a controlled vocabulary. The purpose of this CoP website and directory is to provide these evolving guidelines and further identify other relevant artifacts and metadata needed for for a CoP to ultimately to develop use cases, a controlled vocabulary, and domain-specific design profile(s).

Joint xAPI CoP Meetings

ADL will host a monthly CoP meeting where each CoP can provide updates or present challenges their CoP is facing. The meetings are on the first and third Tuesday of each month, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM (ET). Register here: and join the google group here:!forum/xapi-profile-cop


The following definitions are provided to familiarize anyone new to the ADL xAPI CoP process.

**Community of Practice (CoP): ** A group, usually connected by a common cause, role or purpose, which operates in a common modality.

Controlled Vocabulary: A controlled vocabulary is a restricted, agreed-on list of words or terms developed by a CoP and used for a specific domain of knowledge. The objective of a controlled vocabulary is to ensure consistency in the development and implementation of xAPI statements to to avoid ambiguity and ensure the use of consistent language. It is controlled because only terms from the list may be used for the subject area or domain. It is also controlled because, if it used by more than one person, there is control over who adds terms to the list, when, and how to the list. The list could grow, but only under defined policies by a CoP. Source: Hedden, H. (2010)

Domain Profile: A reusable template that conveys domain-specific or use case requirements, documentation, vocabulary, and sample statement(s) for how to capture specific types of learning experiences using xAPI.

CoP Process and Guidelines

  1. Identify your group's collaboration and communication tools. You are not required to use any of the following, but here are some ideas for tools you could use:
  2. Invite potential members and schedule your kick-off meeting
  3. During the kick-off meeting and follow-on meetings work on the following:
    • Discuss charter using xAPI CoP Charter Template and determine the following:
      • Group leaders
      • Objectives and purpose
      • Use Cases
      • Deliverables
      • Meeting schedule
  4. Create at Community support page with your charter information and other artifacts.
  5. Once any of the above have been completed, submit your CoP to the ADL xAPI CoP Directory to list your community.
  6. Grow your community by telling others about it on the xAPI CoP Google Group, the xAPI Design Group, the xAPI Spec Group, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  7. Meet as a group and define use cases for your domain (e.g. < Cases and Scenarios>), develop a controlled vocabulary and design profile(s) as a group. Use ADL xAPI controlled vocabulary templates and profile.
  8. Provide CoP updates and brief progress during the ADL xAPI CoP Monthly Meeting

Communities of Practice Index