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SCORM vs XAPI

To date it is still the standard for result tracking, but the latest version of SCORM (2004) is already more than a decade old. The world of eLearning has seen a lot of changes since then, from mobile learning to gamification, the world of eLearning is rapidly changing. So the question on everyone’s mind, is SCORM still the only option? The answer: no, we now have XAPI (formerly known as TinCan)

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What does XAPI bring to the table that SCORM doesn’t?

The biggest issue with SCORM is that it can only track and trace within an LMS. With the rise of mobile learning and the notion that information should be available to learners whenever and wherever, the LMS and in extent SCORM are slowly fading from view. XAPI on the other hand allows for tracking and tracing outside of an LMS. Publish your course/quiz on a blog, a website or within an app on your smart phone. XAPI will still track the results!

How does it work?

XAPI is short for ‘eXperience API’. An API is a method that enables software to exchange information. SCORM was built to capture learning results, XAPI goes a step further and is meant to exchange and capture the entire learning experience. The key difference is that SCORM only showed the results, but XAPI will record the entire journey. It will keep track all of the learners data and store it within an LRS (learning record store). The way it works is that is generates statements: I (author), did (verb), this (activity). For example: Easygenerator wrote a post on SCORM vs XAPI

So what do I gain from this?

At the moment, not much. Everyone loves the concept of tracking and tracing results from anywhere, but actually doing it in such a way that it can be seen as added value is the next step. Simple and useful applications will have to be built around the concept and this is where authoring tools like Easygenerator will play a major role in the future.  For example, we will be adding the ability to add assignments to courses. These assignments will not take place behind a screen, but will be performed in the “real world”. Learners will go out into the world and report back once they are done.