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308 Learning Analytics – How xAPI Data Informs Decision Making

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PT
Wednesday, October 25

Tracks: Data & Measurement

In the modern age of big data, xAPI, and system integration, what skills do L&D professionals need in order to determine what is crucial data? How can learning and performance data be used to inform business decisions? These questions can be daunting, especially when adjusting to a rapidly-changing technology landscape, the growth of xAPI, and the rapid expansion of learning experiences outside the LMS. Analytics and reporting are the way that learning and development can speak the language of business and contribute to critical decisions. In order to do this, it is imperative to establish governance and develop a learning data strategy.

In this session we will explore how forward-thinking organizations are already leveraging learning and performance data to make business decisions. Participants will understand how to evaluate their current learning ecosystem and identify what data is critical to capture in their organization. Once the data and its source has been identified, we will consider how data should be shared for maximum impact. To close the gap, we will follow a four-step process for designing xAPI-based interactions to get the data you need. In addition to student-focused analytics, we will explore using xAPI as a tool for evaluating learning experiences through the same process. We’ll make a deep-dive into one company’s process for evaluating learning content and how this new insight fundamentally changed their employee development processes. Join us for a fast-paced and interactive session and leave confident to begin your journey into learning analytics.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to identify key learner and performance data to capture
  • Knowledge to adapt content with xAPI for evaluation
  • How to design xAPI-based interactions for capturing learner data and behavior
  • How to analyze learner data to develop an action plan
  • How xAPI drives interoperability of learning ecosystems

Technology discussed:


Duncan Welder

Director of Client Services


Duncan Welder is a director of client services for RISC. He is an educational technology geek, having spent over 20 years implementing learning management systems, domestically and abroad, to manage regulatory compliance. As an xAPI evangelist with a career grounded in instructional design and eLearning, Duncan has provided presentations to professional organizations including the Connections Forum, The Learning Guild, and the Association for Talent Development. Duncan is an active member of the Houston ATD, currently serving as director of special interest groups.

Art Werkenthin



Art Werkenthin, president of RISC, built his first learning management system (LMS) in 1988 and now has over 25 years’ experience working with LMS in the oil and gas, retail, finance, and other industries. Art is keenly interested in the xAPI specification, and RISC was an early adopter of this technology. Interested in expanding the xAPI to the LMS, Art has served for the past three years on the ADL cmi5 committee. In 2015, RISC demonstrated the first implementation of a cmi5 runtime engine embedded in its LMS. Art has presented on cmi5 at several conferences, including mLearnCon, DevLearn, and xAPI Camp.