What is SCORM and xApi? - TalentLMS

What is SCORM & xApi?

SCORM stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model and is an international set of technical requirements for eLearning content. SCORM standards ensure Learning Management Systems and eLearning content recognize and interact well with each other.


There are two key aspects in SCORM:

SCORM packaging: A SCORM package, or SCORM course, is a ZIP file that contains all the information your LMS needs to import and launch content, as defined by the SCORM standard.

The SCORM package helps the LMS recognize the content and know which content to launch and when.

Run-time communication: After the content is launched, it starts to “communicate” with the LMS. The LMS unfolds the course depending on a learner’s actions.

For example, when a learner finishes a quiz successfully, the LMS displays the results and automatically initiates the next video session. This information is communicated via the SCORM file.

Why should I use SCORM?

When you create SCORM compliant content, you can be sure it will be compatible with a SCORM LMS and can be used as it is without modifications. How sure? The same way almost all operating systems can read a PDF file, most Learning Management Systems can read SCORM files. (So the answer is “pretty sure.”)

Since SCORM courses are compatible with most Learning Management Systems, you can shift from one training platform to another without worrying about losing your courses. SCORM compliance is also a big selling point if you decide to sell your course to a third party.

Another reason to use the SCORM standard is that it allows you to create superior learning experiences: the course has a clear structure and path, learners receive automatic feedback, and learner progress is saved.

What is xAPI?

The Experience API, better known as xAPI, is the newest eLearning standard. Previously known as Tin Can, xAPI is an open-source API that lifts many of the restrictions and limitations of SCORM.

First and foremost, the inability to support a seamless mobile learning experience.

Apart from mobile learning, xAPI additionally facilitates social and collaborative learning, as well as AR and VR activities like simulations and games.

Another advantage of xAPI is its advanced reporting capabilities. xAPI tracks and records learner activity not just on the LMS but across all different platforms where learning can occur, so you can have a complete picture of the learner experience.

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