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Andrew Downes

Picture of Andrew Downes
As one of the authors of xAPI, Andrew Downes has years of expertise in data-driven learning design. And, with a background in instructional design and development, he’s well versed in creating learning experiences and platforms in both corporate and academic environments.
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Recent Posts

Create Custom xAPI Statements in Storyline with xapi.ly [How-To]

By Andrew Downes | Dec 11, 2018

Watershed and TorranceLearning have been friends for a number of years now. TorranceLearning does great consulting work in the Experience API space, encouraging people to tinker with the specification via the xAPI cohorts that provide opportunities to collaborate with like-minded professionals from all over the world on xAPI projects.

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Ask the Expert: How to safely open a CSV file in Excel

By Andrew Downes | Dec 04, 2018

True or False: Opening a CSV file in Excel can change the data it contains. If you answered true, then you know how Excel automatically tries to change numbers and dates in your data into a format that it thinks you would prefer. 

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Ask the Expert: How to Launch xAPI Courses from Moodle Websites

By Andrew Downes | Nov 12, 2018

By far and away, one of the most common questions I’m asked by Essentials LRS users is about launching xAPI courses from their Moodle websites. Generally, people who ask me this have installed the xAPI launch plugin, but are having difficulty getting it to work.

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Ask the Expert: How to write xAPI statements for quizzes and questions

By Andrew Downes | Jun 27, 2018

Whether it’s from L&D vendors or organizations building custom e-learning courses or assessments, the xAPI statement question we’re asked most often is, “How do I design xAPI statements for quizzes and questions?”.

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Certified Data Sources

By Andrew Downes | Mar 13, 2018

Watershed LRS 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.

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Ask the Expert: What’s a Certified Data Source?

By Andrew Downes | Mar 08, 2018

When you’re looking to buy a new learning technologies product (whether that’s an authoring tool, LMS, or something else), gaining a real understanding of its functionality and quality can be difficult. This is especially true of xAPI implementations. The product may say it implements xAPI, but what does that mean?

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Ask the Expert: Learning analytics platform, BI tool, or both?

By Andrew Downes | Feb 06, 2018

Many of our enterprise clients use Watershed’s learning analytics platform (LAP) alongside their organizations’ business intelligence tools to analyze and report on their learning and performance data. At first glance, there are many similarities between an LAP and a BI tool. But, as you look below the surface, you find significant differences that make the two product classes suited to different tasks as well as points of integration that make using these tools together both possible and fruitful.

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How to Demo Real xAPI Data without Compromising Privacy

By Andrew Downes | Dec 12, 2017

We love hearing about clients doing new things with Watershed. It’s such a flexible platform, that we’re often surprised and inspired by what they create and the insights they uncover along the way. So, we were absolutely thrilled to hear how Bryan Rose, a technical architect at Visa, has been using Watershed for something very different indeed: tracking his activity and performance in Rocket League.

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Making a Statement: The DoDI officially "commits" to xAPI

By Andrew Downes | Oct 19, 2017

On Oct. 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced some exciting news regarding the adoption of the Experience API (xAPI), publishing an instruction mandating xAPI implementation for its distance learning systems. That might not sound like a huge deal (especially if you don’t work with the U.S. military), but to understand why this is important for the L&D industry, let’s review SCORM's history and how a similar instruction published several years ago impacted its adoption across the e-learning industry.

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Ask the Expert: How do I find the most impactful training content?

By Andrew Downes | Aug 01, 2017

Whether you have thousands of users, thousands of learning resources, or both, pinpointing the most beneficial training content and courses can be overwhelming for any L&D practitioner. In this post, we'll show you a simple way to get started and take a deep dive into the world of long-tail distribution. 

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