Andrew Downes

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

How to Write xAPI Statements for Quizzes and Questions [GUIDE]

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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What Data Sources Provide the Best xAPI Data?

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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What’s an xAPI Data Source for Learning & Development?

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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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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5 Pitfalls of Using Excel to Report on Learning

By Andrew Downes | Jan 23, 2017

Many organizations use Excel or other spreadsheet software to evaluate and report on their learning programs. And, as you might imagine, this tedious reporting process comes with several challenges.

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What's Hiding in Your Data?

By Andrew Downes | Dec 19, 2016

What interesting discoveries will you find when you start digging into your learning data? Maybe you'll get a clearer picture of what’s really happening with learning programs. Or, maybe you'll find answers to questions you didn’t even know you should be asking.

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Who says xAPI has to be technical?

By Andrew Downes | Dec 06, 2016

There’s no doubt there was an xAPI buzz at DevLearn this year. The pre-conference xAPI Camp was a resounding success, vendors promoting related products were swamped on the expo floor, and there were so many sessions that it was impossible to attend them all—even if you went to nothing else. This is a really exciting time for our industry!

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