What Data Sources Provide the Best xAPI Data?

Watershed can receive data from any Learning Record Provider following the xAPI specification and then display that data in a range of flexible reports, giving you actionable insights into the performance of your learners and learning materials.

Not all Learning Record Providers are equal.

Some Learning Record Providers (LRPs)—formerly known as “Activity Providers”—send more useful data than others. For example, one xAPI-conformant e-learning course might simply record that learners completed a course. Another course, however, might send detailed records of learners’ interactions within the course, including how they answered questions and scored and how long it took to complete the course.

While both of these LRPs will work with Watershed, you’ll get more insight out of the one that sends more data. (NOTE: Be aware that a minority of LRPs send technically conformant, but confusing data.)

Get started with data sources.

So how do you know which LRPs produce the best xAPI data that result in the best Watershed reports? We’ve put together a list of Certified Watershed Data Sources that we’ve tested and confirmed send good data. For each data source, we’ve included instructions for configuring both the data source and Watershed for optimal results.

Keep in mind, this list is just a start. There are many LRPs that will work well with Watershed, which we hope to test soon. If you have any questions about these products or think your product should be on our list, leave a comment below and we’ll be in touch soon.


Google Cardboard & eLearning Studios

This virtual reality simulation is more of a demo than a product. It illustrates the kind of immersive learning experiences you can track and report on in Watershed. To try it, you’ll need an Android phone and a Google Cardboard headset, which you can buy for about $10. Here’s how.

H5P

H5P is an open source authoring tool that plugs into WordPress and Drupal content management systems. It includes a variety of content types from simple multiple choice questions to interactive games. While we haven’t tested every content type, we specifically recommend the multiple choice and content presentation content types used in conjunction with the WordPress plugin. Here’s how to connect.

Lectora

Lectora’s xAPI implementation offers flexibility not found in other authoring tools, while at the same time sending useful statements with default settings. We’ve tested the latest version of Lectora Online, and the data works great with Watershed. Dive into detailed question analysis of quizzes, rank learner performance by score and time taken, and explore correlations between repeating the course and assessment success. Here’s how.

Opigno

Opigno is an open source LMS based on Drupal. Opigno quiz results, course views, course completions, and earned certificates and badges can be tracked and reported on via Watershed. Here are instructions to set up the connection.

RISC VTA

The RISC VTA LMS offers tracking of events—such as registering for, launching, completing, passing, and failing lessons. RISC VTA LMS will also generate xAPI tracking data from SCORM courses. The quality and completeness of this translated SCORM tracking data depends on the quality and completeness of data sent by the original SCORM course.

The PDF annotator tool (launched from RISC VTA LMS) offers a way for learners to markup PDF documents with notes, underlines, highlights, and other annotations. These annotations are stored in a Learning Record Store, such as Watershed, and can be shared across devices and reported on in order to evaluate both the PDF documents themselves and learner engagement with the documents. Here’s how to set it up.

SCORM Cloud

Many organizations moving to xAPI have libraries of existing e-learning content published following SCORM or AICC specifications. SCORM Cloud automatically translates SCORM data into xAPI statements that can be pulled into Watershed for reporting and analytics alongside your data from other sources. Remember, the xAPI data is only as good as the SCORM data your courses produced. You’ll only see the data in Watershed if it’s sent by the course. Here’s how to set it up.

Storyline

Articulate Storyline was one of the first authoring tools to support the prerelease version of the xAPI specification. There have been some important changes in Storyline’s xAPI tracking since then, and courses published in Storyline version 2.5 and higher (and have been configured correctly) work well with Watershed. Dive into detailed question analysis of quizzes, rank learner performance by score, and time taken as well as explore correlations between repeating the course and assessment success. Here’s how.

SurveyGizmo

SurveyGizmo is a popular survey tool that can be used for learning evaluation surveys, assessments, and anything else that requires asking questions and tracking the answers. SurveyGizmo data is especially useful if you want to report on where people complete surveys because it includes metadata about learners’ locations and devices. All of this information can be reported on in Watershed. Here’s how.

xapiapps

xapiapps is a collection of applications used to record job performance observations and attendance at events. You can track real-world experiences for analysis alongside your training data. Both the performance observation and attendance checklist can be reported on in Watershed, enabling you to dive into the detail of observation performance for groups of learners and individuals, monitor attendance at events, or rank learners based on observation scores. Here’s how to set it up.

Zapier

Perhaps our most significant integration on the list, Zapier is a service that allows you to capture data from a whole range of popular applications and report on them in Watershed. The list of potential applications is huge, and so far we’ve created examples tracking events in:

  • Salesforce
  • Slack
  • Twitter
  • GitHub
  • Trello
  • MATRIX LMS

You can report on each of these applications on their own, or in comparison with data from other Zapier applications and data sources. Setting up is easy, too. Here’s how.

[Editor's Note: This blog post was originally posted on March 21, 2017, and has been updated for comprehensiveness.]

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A Growing List of Data Sources

So that’s our list of Certified Data Sources. We regularly update our complete data source directory, so keep checking back! What Learning Record Providers would you like to see added to our list?

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