Unlocking the World of SCORM and xAPI

If you’re familiar with e-learning, you’ve probably heard about SCORM. A set of technical standards defines how learning management systems (LMS) should work with course content. However, another standard in town is gaining popularity: SCORM xAPI.

In this blog post, we’ll compare SCORM and xAPI to help you determine the right standard for your e-learning needs by exploring their history and key concepts, such as statements, verbs, objects, contexts, and actors. We’ll investigate the roots of these protocols and why they were developed.

We’ll also look at key concepts like statements, verbs, objects, contexts, and actors – all essential components for building effective e-learning experiences using either standard. You’ll learn how to create SCORM conformant systems and implement SCORM xAPI solutions to track learning activities beyond traditional LMS boundaries.

By the end of this post, you will have gained an advanced understanding of SCORM and xAPI to make informed decisions on which standard to use based on your specific requirements.

Table Of Contents:

Understanding SCORM, AICC, and xAPI

SCORM, AICC, and xAPI are all standards used in the eLearning industry. SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) is a set of technical specifications that define how to create content so it can be tracked and reported on.

It was created in 1999 to replace Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee (AICC). Although it has been widely adopted by the eLearning industry, its complexity and limitations have led to the emergence of a new reporting standard called Experience API (xAPI).

xAPI offers extensive tracking abilities beyond course completion and team learning without a web browser. It allows for more detailed data collection, such as time spent viewing content, interactions with elements within courses, learner feedback, etc.

This allows instructional designers to create immersive 3D experiential learning scenarios for self-paced or instructor-led courses, micro-learning modules, employee onboarding programs, soft skills training activities, and gamified learning experiences. Additionally, xAPI enables role-play simulations, allowing learners to practice real-life scenarios while receiving instructor guidance if needed.

In conclusion, SCORM is an older standard that remains popular but has limited capabilities compared to newer technologies such as AICC or xAPI. Both AICC and xAPI offer greater detail when tracking learner progress. They come with unique features, making them ideal solutions depending on your specific needs as an instructional designer or learning & development professional working with an e-learning agency.

A thorough understanding of SCORM, AICC, and xAPI is essential for instructional designers to create effective learning experiences. With that in mind, let’s explore the differences between SCORM and xAPI.

“Experience API (xAPI) offers more detailed data collection than SCORM for immersive 3D experiential learning scenarios. AICC & xAPI are great solutions depending on your needs.” #eLearning #SCORM #AICC #xAPIClick to Tweet

Differences Between SCORM and xAPI

SCORM and xAPI are two e-learning APIs that have significant differences. SCORM is designed to track formal training activities within Learning Management Systems (LMSs), such as course completion rates or quiz scores. At the same time, xAPI collects data about a broader range of learning experiences beyond traditional eLearning environments.

Regarding tracking abilities, SCORM is limited in what it can capture compared to xAPI. For example, SCORM only captures each activity’s start and end times. In contrast, xAPI has the ability to capture more granular information, such as how long a user spent on a particular page or how often they attempted an activity before completing it successfully. In addition, with xAPI, you can also track informal learning activities outside of an LMS, such as webinars or job shadowing sessions, which cannot be tracked using SCORM.

The data collection methods used by these two standards also differ significantly. While both use XML format for communication between the content and the LMS/server where the data is stored, xAPI goes further by allowing users to send their own custom statements to collect more detailed information than possible with SCORM alone. This makes it easier for organizations to get insights into their learners’ behaviors without relying solely on pre-defined variables like quiz scores or course completion times.

Finally, when examining compatibility, there are distinctions between these two specifications. Most modern browsers support SCORM 1 and 2004 versions, but not all systems are compatible with newer versions like AICC or TinCan API (xAPI). Additionally, many popular mobile devices do not support either standard, so developers need additional tools if they want their courses to be accessible across multiple platforms and devices.

SCORM and xAPI offer different tracking abilities, data collection methods, and compatibility options that can benefit instructional designers. Therefore, it is important to understand the benefits of using xAPI over traditional standards in order to leverage its enhanced analytics capabilities, flexibility across multiple platforms, and improved user engagement.
Key Takeaway: SCORM and xAPI are two e-learning APIs with stark differences; At the same time, SCORM is designed to track formal training activities, and xAPI collects data about a broader range of learning experiences. Additionally, the data collection methods used by these two standards differ significantly and their compatibility across multiple platforms and devices.

Benefits of Using xAPI over Traditional Standards

xAPI offers organizations a range of benefits over traditional standards like SCORM and AICC. By using xAPI, organizations can enjoy enhanced data analytics capabilities, flexibility across multiple platforms, and improved user engagement.

Enhanced Data Analytics Capabilities:

With its ability to collect data from any compliant environment through an extra bit of software called the Learning Record Store (LRS), xAPI provides far more comprehensive data than SCORM or AICC. This means that instead of just tracking course completion via browsers, you can also track activities completed in dedicated mobile apps and other eLearning platforms. This allows for deeper insights into learner behavior and performance which is invaluable for improving learning experiences.

xAPI’s versatility enables it to capture learner interactions across various platforms, including web-based applications, virtual reality simulations, 3D worlds, and game consoles. As long as these environments comply with xAPI specifications, they can capture learner interactions, making it ideal for creating immersive learning scenarios where learners interact with content differently on different devices.

Another benefit offered by xAPI is improved user engagement due to its ability to track activities at a granular level rather than just course completion rates like SCORM does. This enables organizations to understand better how users engage with content and make changes based on their findings, which would not be possible without using xAPI technology.

Additionally, this detailed analysis helps identify areas where learners may need additional support or guidance so that appropriate measures can be taken quickly to ensure successful outcomes for all involved parties.

The benefits of using xAPI over traditional standards include enhanced data analytics capabilities, flexibility across multiple platforms, and improved user engagement. Cmi5 makes it compatible with LMSs by providing a standardized protocol for sharing learning experiences between systems.

Key Takeaway: SCORM xAPI offers organizations many benefits over traditional standards like SCORM and AICC, such as enhanced data analytics capabilities, flexibility across multiple platforms, and improved user engagement. With SCORM xAPI, you can gain deeper insights into learner behavior, track activities completed in dedicated mobile apps or other eLearning platforms, and identify areas where learners may need additional support guidance for successful outcomes – giving your organization the edge.

How Cmi5 Makes It Compatible with LMSs

CMI5 stands for Computer Managed Instructional Material System and is an essential companion to xAPI, the new standard reporting language. It makes xAPI compatible with traditional LMSs that were previously unable to work with it. To understand how Cmi5 works, we must first examine what SCORM and AICC are.

SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) defines a set of technical standards used by web-based eLearning content and Learning Management Systems (LMSs). It enables the communication between the two systems so that data can be tracked when users interact with online learning materials. AICC (Aviation Industry CBT Committee) is another popular set of standards used in eLearning but has been largely replaced by SCORM due to its more advanced features.

SCORM xAPI (Experience API), on the other hand, was developed as a successor to SCORM and AICC because it offers greater flexibility than either one alone could provide. Unlike these older models, SCORM xAPI allows tracking activities beyond those within an LMS environment, such as mobile devices or physical simulations outside the digital world.

However, this means that many existing LMSs cannot yet support xAPI without additional help from Cmi5 – hence why they are often seen together in modern eLearning solutions today. So how does Cmi5 make all this possible? It bridges legacy systems like SCORM/AICC and newer technologies like xAPI by providing the common ground to communicate effectively.

This way, organizations can continue using their current LMS while taking advantage of all the benefits offered by newer forms of experiential learning, such as micro-learning modules or gamified training scenarios made possible through xAPI technology.

Cmi5 provides a standardized way to integrate learning experiences with Learning Management Systems, making it easier for instructional designers and e-learning agencies to create immersive 3D experiential scenarios. As the demand for more personalized and mobile learning increases, so does the need for better integrating emerging technologies into existing LMSs through APIs such as CMI5.

Key Takeaway: Cmi5 bridges the gap between legacy systems like SCORMAICC and newer xAPI technology, allowing organizations to use their existing LMSs while taking advantage of more advanced eLearning experiences. By providing a common ground for both technologies to communicate effectively, Cmi5 is essential in modernizing today’s learning environments.

Future of eLearning APIs

The future of eLearning APIs is exciting, focusing on developing more personalized learning experiences. Mobile learning has become increasingly popular in recent years and will continue to grow as organizations strive for greater flexibility and access to their training materials.

API development is advancing to include compatibility with modern technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, enabling users to engage with content in novel ways. This integration enables individuals to engage with their material in unprecedented ways.

Personalized learning experiences are also becoming more commonplace due to the ability of xAPI-based systems to track user behavior across multiple platforms. With this data, instructional designers can create tailored courses based on each individual’s unique needs or preferences.

For example, suppose a learner struggles with a certain concept. In that case, they may be provided additional resources or activities specifically designed for them instead of going through the same material again if they had been using SCORM.

Integration with emerging technologies such as AR/VR opens up entirely new possibilities for learners who want an immersive experience when it comes to completing their coursework or training modules.

By incorporating 3D elements into traditional 2D content, instructors can provide students with interactive simulations that allow them to get hands-on practice without ever leaving their homes or offices. Using xAPI also makes it easier for developers and designers alike to create complex scenarios without having any coding knowledge–something previously impossible when working within SCORM’s limitations.

Key Takeaway: The future of eLearning APIs is exciting, with xAPI-based systems paving the way for personalized learning experiences and integration with ARVR to provide learners with immersive simulations. Developers can now create complex scenarios without coding knowledge thanks to xAPI’s capabilities – a game changer previously impossible within SCORM’s limitations.

FAQs in Relation to Scorm Xapi

Is xAPI replacing SCORM?

No, xAPI is not replacing SCORM. While xAPI (Experience API) has the capability to track more detailed and complex data than SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model), both technologies have different purposes. They can be used together in a complementary manner. With xAPI, learners’ activities outside an LMS are tracked, while with SCORM, only interactions within an LMS are tracked. Therefore, organizations may use both technologies depending on their specific needs for tracking learning activities.

Why is xAPI better than SCORM?

XAPI is a more advanced, versatile, and modern e-learning standard than SCORM. It allows collecting data from any learning activity and provides greater flexibility to track learner progress across multiple platforms. xAPI also supports mobile learning, offline tracking, virtual reality experiences, simulations and games, and social media interactions in ways that SCORM does not. Additionally, xAPI offers easier integration with third-party applications, such as analytics tools, that provide learner performance insights.

Is SCORM the same as xAPI?

No, SCORM and xAPI are not the same. SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) is a set of technical standards for e-learning content that allows interoperability between different software applications. On the other hand, SCORM xAPI (Experience API or Tin Can API) is an open-source standard used to track learning experiences across multiple systems more granularly than SCORM. Both can be used together to create powerful learning experiences but serve different purposes.

Is xAPI SCORM compliant?

No, xAPI is not SCORM compliant. While both are standards for tracking learner interactions with learning content for scorm API, they differ in how data is collected and tracked. SCORM xAPI tracks detailed information about a user’s experience, while SCORM only captures basic metrics such as completion status and score. Hence, it is vital to be cognizant of the essential standard your e-learning platform necessitates prior to deciding on one or the other.


Using SCORM xAPI over traditional standards such as SCORM and AICC offers numerous benefits for instructional designers, learning and development professionals, e-learning agencies, and other stakeholders. It provides a more powerful way to create immersive 3D experiential learning scenarios that can be used in self-paced or instructor-led courses, micro-learning modules, employee onboarding programs, soft skills training activities, gamified learning experiences, and roleplay simulations.

The addition of Cmi5 makes it compatible with most LMSs, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues when implementing Scorm xapi solutions into your organization’s digital ecosystem. With its increasing popularity in the educational technology industry today, the future looks bright for eLearning APIs like scorm xapi.

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