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xAPI Spotlight 4: Just Do It, Already!


quicken xapi

 

 

SPEAKERS:
Rob Way, Quicken Loans
Team Leader, Instructional Technology

Dane Pentreath, Quicken Loans
Senior Instructional Technologist 


THINK IT'S TOO HARD TO GET STARTED WITH xAPI?

Hear how Quicken Loans jumped in with xAPI to start building their ecosystem one piece at a time in this 20-minute case study by Rob Way and Dane Pentreath, which is followed by 20 minutes of Q&A from attendees. 

Q&A with Rob Way and Dane Pentreath at Quicken Loans

Here are the questions attendees asked Dane Pentreath and Rob Way from Quicken Loans during his live broadcast on April 26. Below are their answers. 

1. Dane, since you have been away and come back, what big changes have you seen? Also, I work in the DOD, can you explain how big this would be world wide? When will this adventure get faster from the DOD announcement?

2. What are the specific systems you’re working on getting data out of, and what data are you pulling out?

3. What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced so far, and how have you overcome them?

4. Do you currently have a Learning Experience Platform along with LMS?

5. In your search use case, are you trying to create a content curation solution or just a measure of where people are going to get content?

6. What is the best use [of xAPI] you have seen at Quicken?  How did you sell it to top leadership?

7. Have you been able to demonstrate a change in KPIs back to the business?

8. Did you start by installing your own LRS, or did you use a "demo" or cloud-based sandbox?

9. Did you have to change the team used to make content or retrain your team? What skills did you need?

10. How did you go about adding xAPI support?

11. What are you able to do now that you couldn’t do before?

12. How do you plan to connect your learning data to business data?

 


1. Dane, since you have been away and come back what big changes have you seen? Also, I work in the DOD, can you explain how big this would be world wide? When will this adventure get faster from the DOD announcement?

So, the sad thing was that not much had changed at all when I came back a couple years ago. Training was being delivered and tracked in the same ways as it was before. What I did start to notice was a rise in many niche tools that tackle some of the more modern learning approaches. Things like boost learning tools, microlearning platforms, and gamification engines helped deal with parts of the needs of a more modern approach to learning. It’s not till looking into xAPI that I saw some really major shifts in mindset toward learning, though, and realizing we can get BIG DATA on learning as a whole. This is the largest shift I’ve ever seen in my 15+ years.

I believe the DOD announcement is a huge deal. When it did the same for SCORM back in 2006 is basically mandated it’s use, which meant vendors had to adopt to play in that distance learning space, and is very lucrative for some big players. It didn’t take long (couple years) to become the de facto standard every learning system now uses. With this updated version, and DOD now mandating xAPI rather than SCORM, I believe we will see xAPI go the same way of being the new standard for all learning. It’s also forcing some of the larger vendors to start making some very big changes to legacy systems that have been built on SCORM. Part of the xAPI specification deals with data being OPEN and available (which is not the way most vendors handle your data), so it’s forcing a change in their business models too, which I think is great for everyone.

2. What are the specific systems you’re working on getting data out of, and what data are you pulling out?

Right now, we're mostly using our own legacy systems—our LMS, assessment tools, etc. As for the data, we are getting what we can from those systems. Most are limited in what data is available (e.g., for CBTs, we are only getting what SCORM data our LMS is capturing and storing), so we are getting as much as we can get access to.

3. What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced so far, and how have you overcome them?

I think we spoke to this on the broadcast, but the biggest challenge has been changing how we view learning (versus training) as well as deciding and pulling the trigger on our first baby step.

4. Do you currently have a Learning Experience Platform along with LMS?

We don’t today. One of the things with an LXP being a content curation tool, and linking out to other systems for the delivery of content, is those underlying systems need to be great in terms of user experience for us first before putting the LXP layer on top. We are working on those parts right now and making sure they have the best UX and then will tie them together (on the front end) with an LXP. And, again, you don’t need the LXP to start building the ecosystem. We have the core/base—which is the LRS—then the systems that it connects to, and finally the front end UX (LXP), which to me would be the last piece of puzzle.

5. In your search use case, are you trying to create a content curation solution or just a measure of where people are going to get content?

Just a measure. Getting insight into behavior (e.g., what are people searching for) and then being able to tie it back (e.g., did they search for something in the place we expected them to, or did they go somewhere else) to results.

6. What is the best use [of xAPI] you have seen at Quicken?  How did you sell it to top leadership?

The best use so far has been the ease of access to data in a singular place and being able to tie reporting together on full programs/curriculums from those varied systems (i.e., meeting the No. 1 need of the teams we support).

We sold it as a solution to the No. 1 request/need we got from the business, which was to get all training data into one place and make it easy to access that data. And we always kept in mind our larger vision of changing the entire learning ecosystem/stack, which xAPI and the LRS are the core components, but for sure meeting the business need was the sell. xAPI just happened to be the way to do that.

7. Have you been able to demonstrate a change in KPIs back to the business?

Not yet.

8. Did you start by installing your own LRS or did you use a "demo" or cloud-based sandbox?

We started with a few free cloud-based solutions, such as SCORM Cloud. And we’ve played with some local installs to begin with.

9. Did you have to change the team used to make content or retrain your team? What skills did you need?

Not yet, but the conversations about modern learning are starting to show the need to make changes as we move closer to that model. We have definitely retrained our team around xAPI itself. When it comes to skills, I would say it's most important to have a good mindset around modern learning approaches and how content is created to meet those needs. And for us, curiosity is the most important, and not accepting the status quo. 

10. How did you go about adding xAPI support?

It can honestly be as simple as the “four lines of code example” and having somewhere to send the statements. There are many LRSs you can use for free or test before making any larger decisions. Start small and then figure out what your business is looking for and start plugging other things in.

11. What are you able to do now that you couldn’t do before?

Tie programs together (that are delivered using various systems). Getting all the data in the LRS has made it easy to provide insight and reporting, which took a lot of manual work before.

12. How do you plan to connect your learning data to business data?

Using business intelligence tools, we are going to pull that data into the LRS (or push from LRS to BI tools) using xAPI.

 


 

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