xAPI. You want it. You need it. But how do you actually go about getting a Learning Record Store (LRS) up and running so you can actually start using it?
Here at Learning Pool (formerly HT2 Labs), our expert team of sales executives, solutions consultants and developers work closely with clients to develop a course of action to efficiently implement our Learning Record Store, Learning Locker.
Whether we are looking at one source of data or multiple systems, we find it best to create a customized diagram and detailed plan to integrate xAPI.
Since we commonly come across organizations whose current infrastructure does not support xAPI, we work swiftly to develop a plan on how to implement this emerging and important technology by helping you answer a number of key questions about what you are looking to achieve.
Based on a number of recent conversations with new Learning Locker clients, we feel that the wider community would benefit from an overview of our implementation plan, so here we lay it out in 5 simple steps…
(Feel like you still need more info on the xAPI before you feel confident implementing an LRS? Have a read of our Learning Technology Managers’ Guide to xAPI.)
How to Implement Your First LRS in 5 Easy Steps
Step 1: Define your Success Measures
I like to put this step first, as it is often overlooked, but is essential for the success of implementing an LRS. Frequently, we hear that organizations constantly collect data in multiple different formats and different areas but not necessarily use the data they are collecting.
Fundamentally this boils down to answering the question of: What is the problem you’re trying to solve? (What types of answers would you like to get from your data?)
Often, we ask people to determine their definition of success – to write it down, and consult with their team and other stakeholders.
Though you might find this relatively intuitive, we actually find that a large number of organizations looking to implement a new Learning Record Store cannot vocalize adequately their measure of success.
This exercise of reflection synthesizes the entire team’s goals and streamlines the remainder of our process. Additionally, we find it inspires more factors of success.
Step 2: Overview of Systems and Infrastructure
In this step, we develop a diagram of our proposed ecosystem architecture.
This visualization of your systems and infrastructures creates understanding across your team of the complications and process surrounding your data flow. This will also help identify which systems should be prioritized.
Some questions that will help complete your diagram include:
- What systems and platforms do you use currently?
- Will you add any additional systems in the near future?
- Which of these additional platforms are necessary to accomplish the goals you set in the first step?
- Are these platforms xAPI-conformant?
- If not, who will be responsible for that integration: the platform provider, the client or the LRS provider?
Step 3: Start Small (but be Thorough)
Once the initial ecosystem plan has been identified, we will begin to dive into the workflow of the primary platform.
This process will involve the client demoing a typical user journey, which will allow us to better understand the platform as well as provide suggestions on the types of event that they might be interested in capturing in xAPI statements.
Step 4: Scaling-Up / Additional Integrations
Once the first platform/tool is creating the appropriate xAPI statements and this data is flowing into the LRS, you may consider adding additional platforms.
Using the action plan developed in Step 1, you’re then ready to decide which additional platform to integrate and add to Learning Locker.
Typically, we recommend clients who are integrating multiple platforms utilize two separate LRSs; one for Production and one for Development. This way we can test and confirm that the integration runs smoothly before adding it to the production environment.
Step 5: Review and Repeat
The final step is to look back at your initial goals, to review and determine if we have met your measurement of success.
At this point, we may uncover other goals that you would like to address, as ask questions such as what is your new measurement of success now that you are integrating multiple systems?
Once your LRS is up and running, you can continue to add additional platforms or sources of data as you wish. Try thinking out of the box, client surveys, communication tools, assessments and CRM’s are all interesting sources of data that can be standardized to gain valuable information.
Just remember, that the more sources of data you’ve got flowing in, the more statements you’ll be creating and the more data storage you’ll need!
Managing Your LRS Implementation
As Customer Success is our number 1 priority at Learning Pool (formerly HT2 Labs), it’s only natural that we have a team of Solutions Consultants within our team who dedicate their days to diving into your data and goals while ensuring we meet and exceed your definition of success.
A day in the life of these Solutions Consultants is never the same, with the role covering many elements including:
- Gathering development requirements from customers and creating technical specifications for our developers
- Researching the best software options, detailing methods for implementation, and generally providing guidance and technical specifications for preferred system architectures for customers who are looking to integrate multiple systems and are looking for new ways to capture data
- Writing integration scripts to transform non-xAPI flat file data into the correct format to create statements to go into Learning Locker
- Customer training on understanding their data within Learning Locker, including explaining the structure of statements, how to build useful dashboards and journeys etc
- Analyzing customers’ learner data in order to help customers understand possible trends, helping them demonstrate the benefits of their learning programs to their superiors and wider teams
Along with our broader Customer Success Team, our Solutions Consultants are on hand to help you through the whole implementation process – from pre-sales to post-implementation and beyond – and are happy to talk to your internal technical/IT teams to answer any questions and queries they may have regarding broader systems integration, hosting, support and security considerations.
Ready to implement a new LRS within your organization?
Get in touch to Arrange a Learning Locker Demo and we’ll kick things off with a discovery call and get you to run through our LRS Implementation Questionnaire to ensure that you’ve got all the information you need to start your project.
Nicole heads up our North American team in Boston. With over 10 years’ sales experience, she discovered her passion for sales and customer service while working at high-end retailers during college. Over the last few years, she has focused her interest in the evolving world of software and technical sales.
Nicole holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Boston College and a Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School. Though originally from Minnesota, the educational hub of Boston is now where she calls home. She enjoys occasional 5k runs, visiting local breweries and taking her dog Spencer to the beach.