How to Create a Learning Evaluation Strategy with xAPI

Designing a learning measurement strategy with xAPI takes time and planning, but do you know where to start? In this blog post, we’ll explain the basics and give you a guide to get the ball rolling.

It all starts with a plan.

Whether it’s spending a night out on the town, finding the perfect gift, or going on holiday, there’s a whole lot of planning involved before we arrive at the big payoff. For instance, if you’re going on holiday this spring (talking to you, Northern Hemisphere people), you’ve probably already planned where and why you’re going to your destination, how you’re getting there, and what you’re bringing along.

Similarly, before you start building a learning measurement strategy, you first have to know why you’re building it, what you’re building it on, and what tools you’ll be using. And, to help you get ready for a productive spring, we’re sharing a guide that you can use to prepare and build your own measurement strategy.

“Everybody’s doing it.”

Getting buy-in (even within our own minds) for new projects and processes can be difficult. That’s why it’s so helpful to look to what others are doing. Last month, we celebrated xAPI xAPRIL during which L&D practitioners from Caterpillar, Quicken Loans, Behr Process, Verizon, and PwC shared how they track learning within their organizations. Specifically, they explained how they leverage xAPI-enabled tools to make it happen.

If you’ve watched any of the broadcasts or read the resulting practitioner Q&A, you’re likely pretty inspired to start your own xAPI-enabled measurement strategy. And, your first question after the initial excitement of seeing what your peers are doing might be along the lines of “Where the heck do I start?”.

Slow down and change your mindset.

You don’t have to start from scratch, and you don’t have to do everything at once to build a learning measurement strategy. But, to be successful, you must have the right mindset about your learning program goals. Two key recommendations that all the presenters touched on were needs to:

  1. readjust your thinking, and
  2. start small.

For example, Dwayne Thomas from Verizon recommends you start by understanding stakeholder needs and pain points, and then selecting something small from those needs to tackle (i.e., a project that you know your team can pursue to gain the rallying cry of a group of people within the organization).

The Project Guide: Evaluate what you have before you get going.

To help you start building a measurement program, we’ve created a guide that helps you identify what you currently have in place. This guide draws from Watershed’s Seven Steps of Learning Evaluation and can be used regardless of the tools or vendors your organization already works with.

During the following weeks, we’ll also be sharing tips and articles to encourage you to complete the program measurement guide—so, within just a few weeks, you’ll have a blueprint for where to go next.

The guide covers five learning evaluation areas that help you:

  1. Align program goals with organizational priorities.
  2. Define appropriate metrics for effective measurement.
  3. Discover existing successes and failures.
  4. Design how program metrics will be captured, aggregated, and displayed.
  5. Monitor progress and success of existing and future programs.

Time is running out.

If you haven't started creating a learning strategy for a modern learning ecosystem, your time may be running out. That’s because executive pressure to measure learning’s impact continues to grow.

So, start now and complete the measurement program guide so you can envision your first (or next) xAPI-enabled learning measurement strategy and have a helpful blueprint for implementing your strategy.

We’re adding an incentive to help you stay on track and complete your measurement program guide before summer arrives. That way, you’ll have the opportunity to work toward having a measurement program in place before the year is over.

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We love it when a plan comes together.

We’ve shared stories from real practitioners, we’re giving you the planning tools you need, and are even throwing in incentives for you to get started.

What more do you need to jump start your learning measurement strategy?

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