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cmi5 Overview and Way Ahead

March 17, 2021

Brian Miller, Bill McDonald, and Andy Johnson (ADL Initiative, SETA Contractors)

Video screenshot of slides with presenter in corner

cmi5 xAPI text with connectors graphic

Overview: While the benefits of xAPI are well known, the practical steps to bring it into the existing paradigm of Learning Management Systems (LMS) are not so clear. cmi5 bridges that gap, giving very specific details to design and implement solutions that can be leveraged by both authoring tools and LMSs. Because cmi5 incorporates xAPI, users essentially get xAPI for free with a cmi5 solution. In the cmi5 Working Group, cmi5 is affectionately known as a gateway to xAPI.

Subject: The xAPI (the Experience Application Programming Interface) specification enables the capture of both human performance data and traditional assessment data. These data can be used to drive decision-making through advanced data analytics. But what is the first step one should take into the world of xAPI? cmi5 is arguably the first xAPI Profile that existed, and it can be readily implemented by many users of traditional LMSs. While the xAPI specification is highly generalized to support many different use cases, a set of so-called extra rules (called an xAPI Profile) is needed to ensure interoperability for a given use case. The cmi5 specification ensures plug-and-play interoperability between learning content and LMS systems, arguably the primary use case for xAPI.

Audience: Both technical and nontechnical users are encouraged to join this webinar. Technical people will see details of cmi5 and its usage and will be able to ask technical questions, while less technical people will appreciate the overview and news about tools that will soon make being a technical expert far less important.

About the Speakers

Members of the ADL Initiative, Rustici Software, and the cmi5 Working Group will tag-team this special presentation of cmi5. The collective expertise of this team spans over 50 years of distributed learning, implementing AICC, SCORM, xAPI and many other technical standards. Each speaker also has a unique perspective when it comes to conformance test suites and their importance.

Brian Miller is one of the world’s foremost xAPI thought leaders and has been a chief contributor to the cmi5 Working Group. He is the architect and principal engineer for the ADL Initiative’s CATAPULT project, which includes an open source cmi5 content player, course templates, and conformance test suite for use by DoD stakeholders and eLearning technology vendors. In 2012, Brian joined Rustici Software with a focus on learning technology standards and open-source libraries, while also leading the Rustici Engine team.

Bill McDonald is the cmi5 Working Group leader. He is the former chair of the AICC (Aviation Industry Computer Based Training Committee) Test Lab and CMI subcommittees. Bill has led the development of the cmi5 specification since its inception in AICC through its transition to the ADL Initiative today. He has over 30 years of experience in the learning technology development, primarily in the aviation industry.

Andy Johnson is a SETA contractor and serves as the Specifications and Standards Manager at the ADL Initiative. His current focus at the ADL Initiative is on the identification of new standards and specifications that promote interoperability across DoD systems. Andy has led many working groups and standardization efforts, including those for the Experience API (xAPI). Andy has worked with the ADL Initiative for over 15 years and was one of the previous developers of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) and its accompanying research and tools.

Contact: If you have any questions about the webinar, please contact the Technical Webinar Coordinator, Liz Bradley, at

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