Blog posts

OpenResty Overview

A brief overview of OpenResty, a web platform that integrates Nginx, LuaJIT, and various Nginx modules. With it, you can build scalable and very high-performance web applications, web services, and dynamic web gateways. Maybe you have not heard about OpenResty, and indeed, this web platform is not as widely known as others. But in various forms it is used in very demanding environments by very high-profile companies. Perhaps one of the reasons why it has gone under the radar for many, is because its genesis and initial growth took place in China.

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Quasar Framework for front-end development

Quasar is an open-source framework based on vue.js that facilitates the creation of responsive websites and apps of various types. With Quasar you get a complete set of visual components that will speed up the creation of your app. The same codebase can be deployed in different ways: Single Page App (SPA) Server-Side Rendered app (SSR) Progressive Web App (PWA) Android, iOS, etc. mobile app (through Cordova or Capacitor) Multi-platform Desktop App (using Electron) On most web developments I focus on the backend, architecture, deployment, etc.

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xAPI and Instructor-Led Training - a prototype (xAPI Cohort, Spring 2018)

Introduction to the xAPI Cohort, by Torrance Learning, and to one of the projects in the Spring 2018 “semester”: xAPI and Instructor-Led Training. With an interactive video! (It is recommended to read the article first to get the context, but if you want you may jump directly to the interactive video) Twice a year, in the Spring and in the Fall, Torrance Learning organizes the xAPI Cohort. It is a learning initiative in which participants freely form groups of interest around various xAPI-related topics.

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New xAPI plugin for Adapt

Yesterday I released a “new” xAPI plugin for Adapt. Its functionality is almost the same as the existing adapt-tkhub-xAPI, but the main change is that the dependency on adapt-trackingHub has been removed, so there is only one plugin to install and configure. This makes the new plugin much easier not only to install and set-up, but also to understand and to modify, should anyone need to customize it to fit his or her specific requirements.

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SPIN Selling and xAPI

“SPIN selling” is a sales method from the eighties which is explained in a book of the same name. From the eighties! Why on earth did it trigger this reflection on xAPI? I recently reread an old classic: “SPIN Selling”, by Neil Rackham. The edition I have is from 1988, that is from almost 30 years ago, some 12 or 13 years before SCORM came into being. Old. That is why I was surprised when, toward the end of the book, it started to make me think about xAPI.

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xAPI is not magic: VIII - Implications for IDs and Conclusion

xAPI holds great potential for Instructional Designers. Hopefully, as xAPI matures, they will have to worry less and less (or nothing at all) about the technical details. A specification that is born in the L&D community and that focuses on stating and recording facts about experiences -mostly learning experiences- shoud naturally pique the interest of Instructional Designers. However, xAPI is really a technical specification, and for a long time discussions have centered mainly on technical issues.

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xAPI is not magic: VII - xAPI enables your Personal Data Locker

The idea of the LRS as a database of experience data leads some to proclaim the advent of an era where, thanks to xAPI, everybody can store and control their own training and experience records. Let's consider three key characteristics of an xAPI environment: the LRS, as a central system to store experience data (and possibly other documents) the possibility to copy experience data from one LRS to another, and also to export and/or import statements in bulk the possibility that Activity Providers can send statements to more than one LRS (there are no restrictions in xAPI about this) Given some or all of these characteristics, it would be technically feasible that individuals owned personal LRSs, and could control access to their experience data.

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xAPI is not magic: VI - xAPI makes your LMSs obsolete

You hear that, to work with xAPI, you need a type of ‘server’ called an ‘LRS’, where all the tracking data are stored. Then, what about your LMS? do you need it? The answer, as usual, is ‘it depends’. Since the xAPI specification introduces a new type of system called LRS (Learning Record Store) that has a central and prominent role in the xAPI ecosystem, some are quick to draw the conclusion that LMSs are irrelevant and obsolete, and therefore no longer needed.

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xAPI is not magic: V - xAPI correlates learning and performance

To correlate data from two different sources, you must first gather data from both sources. Another topic that is sometimes mentiond in the context of xAPI, and that needs to be examined with critical eye, is the correlation of learning with performance. This is in a way the holy grail of training. We want to demonstrate that training has a positive impact on real world performance. Some are quick to say that xAPI almost “solves” this problem.

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xAPI is not magic: III - xAPI can track anything

The potential for tracking enabled by xAPI is phenomenal. So, yes, with xAPI-enabled systems you can track anything. So can you with non xAPI-enabled systems. Learn about tracking per se vs. xAPI, and about the value that xAPI adds. Another aspect of xAPI that is often conveyed too loosely is related to the ability it provides to express any experience or event. Indeed, due to the flexible Actor + Verb + Object structure of a statement, a critical construct in the specification, xAPI systems can express pretty much anything.

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