skip to main content

The Netflix of eLearning Revisited: xAPI and Creating Discovery Pathways

In: Designelearning

I came across a really interesting article from the Bibblio staff last week on Medium, which piqued my curiosity. I took a peak at Bibblio and saw to my delight that they were shipping on the idea of the Netflix of eLearning! One of the things I like about their Search vs Discovery article was this emphasis on discovery as being vital to the learning process. They suggest that real learning happens when you design that learning experience that gives the learner the freedom to explore. Discovery also depends on being able to give a learner what they need at the right time.

To solve the role of the librarian and deliver successful discovery, we need to answer at least two fundamental questions. What are the goals and interests of the learner? What relevant knowledge is most closely aligned to this? The first part of this process aims to understand the context and intentions of the learner; the second attempts to map this understanding against resources that could expand their world.


As I recall my little Netflix of eLearning experiment, I remember a lot of conversation at the time around xAPI and the ability to track learning outside of the LMS. As I continue to be more involved in xAPI conversations at work, I can see the potential of the technology to make a human-centered learning experience in which people could create their own learning tracks by mixing and matching content to reach their own goals. While curriculum certainly has it’s place, particularly when you’re learning something technical (thank goodness for places like Free Code Camp and Treehouse for JavaScript!) there are certainly times when it would have been really interesting and rewarding to make my own path with several resources. Of course, a person could undoubtedly do this themselves with some bookmarking and smart scheduling.

But I think the real value added with a service like Bibblio or a new kind of LMS, enhanced with xAPI is in both the curation of resources from many different places AND that discovery part. It’s this combination of providing an experience where I can create a path while the platform is getting to learn about my interests and sending me interesting things that I think provides a great way forward for learning experience design. I don’t think we have to ditch the curriculum, you might even provide recommended pathways while still allowing people to edit and create their own. But consider the boon to adults and children alike when we can enable them to create their own learning experiences from all of the wonderful content on the web. I can’t wait to see that happen. What do you think about a Netflix-like interface for learning? What would it look like for you or your organization?