Why the Experience API (xAPI) Is Crucial to Your eLearning Success


The Experience API (xAPI) is an updated standard for tracking eLearning; it shows a more complete picture of your learners’ activity than SCORM does. xAPI was created by Rustici Software to replace SCORM (an earlier set of technical standards for eLearning software products).

Let’s talk about the background of SCORM and xAPI for a minute.

The ADL—or Advanced Distributed Learning—recognized the need for a set of standards to ensure that programmers write code that can play well with other eLearning software. First, they created SCORM—Sharable Content Object Reference Model. Years later, when SCORM couldn’t do everything needed, the ADL asked Rustici Software to create an updated standard: The Experience API or xAPI.

Rustici Software says they called xAPI the Tin Can API at first because “it was meant to be a two-way conversation between us and the e-learning industry. It’s only fitting that the solution be named the Tin Can API – an elegant solution for letting us communicate with one another.” The ADL now calls the Tin Can API by the name Experience API because it fits the eLearning community better; xAPI’s purpose is to store and provide access to learning experiences.

With xAPI, you can track experiences like:

• Mobile learning

• Serious games

• Simulations

• Informal learning

• Real world performance

By tracking all kinds of learning experiences, xAPI can help you measure the ROI from your online training.

With xAPI, you can find out which training methods are successful and which aren’t worth continuing. Data is based on completed eLearning modules, completed simulations, and results of an assessment on the topic.

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