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Getting Started with a Unity 3D xAPI Pilot

Today we are please to announce access to the Beta release of our Unity API asset for using xAPI in games and simulations. This article is provided to community members as guidance on how you can get started with a small pilot project implementing GBLxAPI into a K-12 game/application that has been developed using the Unity 3D engine with our community API for Unity. The instructions that follow assume that the product is a learning game however the same guidance would apply for use with using xAPI to collect data in a non-learning project. 


Getting Started xAPI and Unity


For an initial pilot, we recommend the following steps:


1.    Join the standard  (https://gblxapi.org) or jump directly to signing up via the Beta Access form.  Joining provides you early access to tools including the API and future updates.  The Unity API is currently a beta release being released to community members upon request.


2.    Play the Game Demo, if you have not already.  It is a great way to get a feel for how learning and non-learning data is captured.


3.    Review the larger xAPI standard for general background if you have not already. GBLxAPI is based on the xAPI specification.  It is meant to capture learning everywhere.  Here are some suggested links.


a.    xAPI Specification
b.   xAPI Overview
c.   Short GBLxAPI Presentation


4.    Review the GBLxAPI core vocabulary structure and explore the additional URIs that support these new xAPI context extensions. The additional URIs are IDs in the GBLxAPI vocabulary that are used in a context extension like Domain.  They are core to the standard and provide the interoperable transparency that are community goals for the K-12 community.


5.    Review the Unity GBLxAPI API documentation found on the community GitHub site in the wiki. 


6.    Pick a Unity game to pilot that has learning outcomes. It doesn’t need to have many learning outcomes and if your project has extensive telemetry activities you should start with a smaller subset of data to track at first.


7.    Organize the learning events you would like to track.  In many cases these will already exist or perhaps be found in a design document. We have provided an Excel sample template tool that is used with the GBLxAPI game demo that you can further customize or use your own method.  This available through the Beta access form.


8.    Declare your specific URIs for your organization and game activities in the template.


9.    Select the learning and non-learning events with corresponding xAPI(GBLxAPI) URIs for your verbs and activity types.


10.  Request a sandbox learning record store(LRS) be created for you on the community learning record store or setup your own store. Dig-iT! Games is hosting an LRS for community use for free at this time.  They are using an open-source LRS created by Learning Locker.  You can make this request on the Beta access form


11.  Implement the API in your game following the guidance documentation and using the information in the template.  The API is designed to simplify the process.  You should probably start with one or two events and verify it is all working correctly.


12.  Test to confirm all your statements are transmitting to the LRS once have them set in UNITY by looking at the source data stream in the LRS.


13.  Create some basic visualization reports in the LRS and perhaps export some of the data to view in other formats.


At this point you have successfully implemented GBLxAPI in your UNITY application. Congratulations!  Your product is producing xAPI statements to an LRS.  You now have data being generated that is transparent and interoperable in the community.  You can export your LRS data to another LRS at any time. 

 

Advanced xAPI Reporting and Analysis

If you want to delve deeper into reports and analytics, a community enterprise class business intelligence has been setup for advance reporting and more.  Take a sneak peak at a sample report created with the tool from the game demo here. If you would like the opportunity to use this tool you simply need to request access for your LRS data to be setup with an account using the Beta access form.

14.  Obtain a sandbox account for the BI server if you have not already been provided one.


15.  Request your organization/store in the LRS be linked to the BI server.  This will generally be linked up by the BI administrator for the community.  This will import your LRS JSON data and pre-process it for further data analysis.


16.  A designer seat will be provided to you initially so you can create your dashboards and widgets.  Additional viewer seats can be provided.
Listed below is an example of the GBLxAPI data structure after pre-processing  on our BI Server for advanced reporting.  The core vocabulary context extensions for GBLxAPI are placed in individual tables. 

17.  Create your dashboards and then the corresponding widgets. The community manager can provides some samples.

The figure below represents the GBLxAPI data structure after pre-processing  on the BI Server for advanced reporting.  The core vocabulary context extensions for GBLxAPI are placed in individual tables.

xAPI JSON Table Processing
xAPI JSON Table Processing

 

Resources Needed

Educator/Designer & Developer are generally the types of individuals that are involved in implementing GBLxAPI in to your product.

Estimated Time to Implement to LRS:  40hr or less (your resources – Community organizer Dig-iT! Games can provide assistance through the Google Community Groupand via skype)


Please note that we do not recommend that you do your initial pilot with a production product. Create a copy of the game for the pilot testing and make it accessible to an internal group for testing.  Once you are satisfied with your testing then move to production. 


Ready to get started? Contact us to get your pilot started and all the tools you need to get up and running.


 
The GBLxAPI standard vocabulary can be used in other products developed outside of the Unity 3D game engine using other APIs in the broader xAPI community.  We have would like to publish a Javascript version of our Unity API.
 
 
THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED TO THE COMMUNITY WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY.

 

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