At the annual Medbiquitous Conference in Baltimore, OpenLabyrinth provided the underpinnings for a workshop demonstrating the capabilities of the Experience API (xAPI).
Using a simple Arduino computer, the team of Ellen Meiselman, Corey Albersworth, David Topps and Corey Wirun were able to track the stress levels of workshop participants as they played a very challenging series of OpenLabyrinth mini-cases. Sensors on the Arduino continuously measured heart rate and galvanic skin response which, even on these cheap ($30) kits, were easily sensitive enough to detect subtle changes in stress levels.
We intentionally set a very tight set of timers on the case series so that participants were increasingly pushed to make very rapid decisions. The data from the sensors were collected in our GrassBlade LRS, along with xAPI statements from our OpenLabyrinth cases.
Seeing such simple technology providing quite sophisticated tracking of learner stress levels prompted a lot of vigorous discussion in the workshop on how such activity metrics can be used in other ways.
We really appreciate the collaboration and help we received from the xAPI community in pulling this workshop together. We had naively thought that, since both Arduino and xAPI are simple to work with, this would be a nice quick effort. Corey A ran into a lot of tiny but time consuming quirks and put in many hours in getting this all to work smoothly.
We especially want to acknowledge the detailed help we received from Pankaj Agrawal (GrassBlade LRS) and Andrew Downes (Watershed LRS) for their patience and troubleshooting. For some parts of the project, we had some quite sophisticated statement pulls from GrassBlade to Watershed, due to the collaboration of these folks. It really showed us how much more you can achieve by blending the capabilities of these various devices and platforms, using xAPI.
More on the xAPI stuff… and perhaps a wee bit of clarification about terminology.
OpenLabyrinth was just admitted to the official group of Tin Can Adopters:
Tin Can API was the original name given by Rustici Software. It is now more properly known as the Experience API or xAPI but many still call it Tin Can. It is the same thing and the terms are synonymous. Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) was the group who first commissioned the development of xAPI by Rustici so I guess they get to name it.
But most importantly, the API will remain open and non-proprietary.
Our work with activity metrics and the Experience API (xAPI) continues apace with the OpenLabyrinth platform. We have been able to integrate xAPI statements into our CURIOS video mashup tool.
Now when you insert a video mashup into one of our OpenLabyrinth cases, you can track how your users are using your videos, which bits they watch and replay again.
This will dovetail nicely with some of the xAPI features that we can now access with the H5P widgets. It will also allow us to track activities across a widening range of educational activities.
A couple of weeks ago, we described how we were using H5P widgets here on our WordPress web site. Well, now we also have them fully integrated into OpenLabyrinth itself.
So, what’s the big deal, I hear you say…well, it means that we now have access to a whole new way of interacting with our users. It makes our nodes and pages much richer, with some nicely crafted HTML5 interactive content.
There are many pre-built H5P widgets on their main web site, which you can then easily modify to include your own content. We won’t bore you with descriptions of everything they have because H5P does it better. But the really cool part is that you can download H5P widgets from other web sites and insert them into your own cases and pages.
Given the interest in our recent work on Activity Metrics and xAPI, we are also delighted that H5P widgets provide xAPI tracking. So you can study how your learners interact with your widgets and cases in even greater detail.