xAPI and beyond!

Smart Approaches to Interoperability for Learning Analytics

Leeds, UK: September 4, 2018

The SAILA workshop invites researchers, developers, and TEL practitioners to discuss xAPI related findings, solutions, and challenges.

  • Frameworks and architectures
  • Integrating complex learning environments
  • Organisational and legal aspects
  • Challenges for interoperability beyond activity tracking

Submit via easychair.org

by June 30th 2018


In 2013 the ADL Initiative released the first version of xAPI and promoted it as a replacement for its SCORM framework. The specification seeks to integrate learning experiences and outcomes from a wide range of systems and environments, including mobile learning, games, and simulations. The xAPI combines data structures and service interfaces for so-called activity streams. This created new opportunities for transparent and plugable solutions for recording, analysing, and orchestrating complex and non-linear learning trajectories that are going beyond the boundaries of single devices.

In 2016 xAPI has been adopted as part of the CMI5 specification and, thus, became a core requirement for technology-enhanced learning in government, industry, and commerce. In 2018 IEEE accepted xAPI for the standardisation track. Despite its short history, xAPI has gained much interest by commercial providers of technology-enhanced learning. It is also the latest development in over twenty years of standardisation in technology enhanced learning. Therefore, this workshop includes viewpoints on the lessons learnt from TEL standardisation and the implications for xAPI and its ecosystem.

Why this workshop?

The European TEL community started engaging with xAPI, using it to support learning analytics research, but also to drive rich learning interactions across platforms and modalities. At a time when the IEEE has accepted xAPI for the standardisation track, it’s timely for TEL researchers and practitioners to come together to take stock of their experiences with xAPI and the implications for innovating our field.

Much of the knowledge around best practices, challenges and pitfalls that exists in European groups has not been documented in academic publications, and can be fruitfully shared in an open forum. It is also important for us as researchers to provide input to the standardisation process about our needs in order to foster the dialog with industrial partners and other stakeholders. Collecting our experiences will make our voice much stronger in international fora.

Finally, researchers in Europe face new challenges around GDPR and other legal aspects of data storage, which we should address as a community.

Workshop goals

We aim to kickstart an important initiative regarding the collecting of relevant data for learning analytics and for orchestrating rich learning experiences. Right now various research teams to come up with solutions to the same challenge of harvesting data for their learning analytics but also teams that use the specification for more complex learning experiences. We are looking for smart ways to join forces and work towards a standard that can benefit the objectives of the community. We do so with having the history of the complex standards like IEEE-LOM and IMS-LD in mind, that developed superficial standards that has been used mainly for research purposes but saw little uptake in educational practice. Therefore, this workshop seeks to bring together different perspectives in order to join efforts and connect our answers more comprehensively.

Call for proposals

We invite contributions from researchers and practitioners to discuss findings, solutions, and challenges on xAPI related questions. These questions include but are not limited to:

  • How to represent very granular data in xAPI (collaborative editing, multimodal sensors etc.)?
  • What are best suited architectures for xAPI, including for long-term storage?
  • How does GDPR affect xAPI (access control, anonymization, right to be forgotten, secure sharing across systems)?
  • How can we achieve reusable dashboards or algorithms?
  • What do we learn from other related interoperability initiatives, e.g. IMS-Caliper?
  • How does xAPI enrich learning tool interoperability (building on or going beyond IMS-LTI)?
  • How to us xAPI for supporting student learning?
  • What are approaches for describing collaborative, constructivist learning using xAPI vocabularies?

The workshop accepts research findings, practices, and demonstrations. Mere product presentations will not get accepted.

How to submit?

The workshop accepts submissions in three stages:

  1. Submission of an initial position statement.
  2. After acceptance, at least one author of the submission needs to register for the workshop at the EC-TEL Conference.
  3. Accepted submissions have to submit an extended version of max. 7 pages including references.

Where to submit?

Submissions are accepted only through the Easychair submission system (https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ectelsaila2018).

Submission format:

All submissions should comply to the Springer Format. Please find the template for your text processing system here: http://www.springer.com/computer/lncs?SGWID=0-164-6-793341-0

The initial position statement must be max. 3 pages long and include the following points:

  • The context of work
  • A statement on the maturity and type of work
  • The relation to xAPI (e.g., concepts, applications, or challenges)
  • Preliminary findings, solutions, or practices

Accepted submissions are expected to submit a full contribution (max. 7 pages including references)

The active participation in the workshop is mandatory (one author needs to be present at the workshop).

Important dates:

  • Submission deadline: June 30th (24:00 PST).
  • Notification of acceptance: July 15th.
  • Submission of full submission and registration to the workshop: August 15th (24:00 PST)
  • Workshop: September 4th


If sufficient papers get submitted we aim to publish the proceedings as open access under ceur-ws.org workshop proceedings.

Getting help

Please write to ectel-saila@googlegroups.com for any questions or comments.


This workshop is organised by:

  • Stian Håklev, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Hendrik Drachsler, University of Frankfurt, DIPF, Germany
  • Christian Glahn, HTW Chur, Switzerland

International Program Committee

  • Dennis Gillet, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Yannis Dimitriadis, Universidad de Valladolid, Spain
  • Jessie Chuang, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
  • (additional members to be confirmed)