What Made xAPI More Acceptable Than SCROM and Popular?

May 11, 2022

Over the last few years, xAPI has established itself as the cutting-edge new standard for online training delivery. xAPI is sometimes referred to as the SCORM evolution. While the SCORM standard is unlikely to disappear very soon, xAPI has redefined some key principles for documenting learning events. However, what are SCROM and xAPI? And why are so many industry professionals certain that xAPI will eventually become the de facto industry standard for eLearning content?

Understanding what is SCORM

SCORM, Sharable Content Object Reference Model, was created in 1999. Back then, eLearning material could only be utilized on a single system, since various technologies lacked the ability to communicate consistently with one another. As a result, a new protocol for recording learning activities was created called SCORM.

The new SCORM standard ensured that any SCORM-compliant material could be used with any SCORM-compliant eLearning Learning Management System. This communication capability, referred to as interoperability, is what has propelled SCORM to become the most extensively used eLearning standard to date.

SCORM 2004 enables tracking of achievement levels, pass/fail rates, individual scores, and time spent on an eLearning platform.

What went wrong with SCROM specifically?

As an eLearning content standard, SCORM was innovative in terms of allowing businesses to provide and monitor learning inside the LMS. However, learning occurs everywhere these days — and SCORM does not provide a mechanism for capturing this knowledge.

The advent of the xAPI as an eLearning solution.

ADL introduced the SCORM standard in 1999. SCORM soon established itself as the foundation for a whole industry of writing tools, Learning Management Systems, and content production. However, as eLearning evolved, SCORM tried to reinvent itself in order to keep abreast with the current industry requirements. While SCORM 1.2 remains the most widely used authoring standard in eLearning, its shortcomings prompted the creation of xAPI.

Rustici Software is a firm believer in the adage that "learning occurs everywhere." This conviction motivated Rustici to do a study on how the SCORM standard may be updated to accommodate the future generation of eLearning. xAPI is the outcome of that effort. 

Rustici adopted the project name "Tin Can" to reflect the two-way talks that the technology would monitor and how it would facilitate the communication of learning systems.

Understanding what is the xAPI protocol

Since its April 2013 introduction, the Experience API (also known as xAPI or Tin-Can) has dethroned SCORM from its long-held throne.

xAPI, like SCORM, is a protocol for monitoring educational activities. The major distinction is that xAPI enables tracking of learning in almost any setting, not only the LMS.

xAPI facilitates features of recording, monitoring, personalization, and improvement of online and offline learning activities. It provides a more sophisticated view of how individuals interact with integrated eLearning solutions. Additionally, it may be utilized to establish direct correlations between individuals' learning experiences and on-the-job performance.

Not only is it more specified than the SCORM API, but it also makes use of modern technology. This makes it more user-friendly, developer-friendly, and robust.

A look at LRS and xAPI connection

Each xAPI ecosystem is built on a cloud repository that keeps all of the experiences generated by the Activity Providers, linked to it. This repository is referred to as the Learning Record Store (LRS). Before publishing, each Activity Provider (xAPI course) must have an LRS address given so that it knows where to report. It basically collects and saves statements in a single list, provides learning analytics and reports, and therefore functions as a database for learning activities.

An analysis of the xAPI's operation

An application programming interface (API) enables data to be exchanged across multiple systems, apps, and websites, among others.

An xAPI specification defines two entities: a client entity (a course, app, or simulation), also known as an Activity Provider, that makes xAPI statements; and an LRS Endpoint that accepts and saves xAPI statements.

The client, as the activity provider, submits xAPI statements to the LRS.

An Activity Provider may be a learning management system (LMS), a standalone course program, a simulator, a game, a video, or even a medical gadget. The xAPI statement may be communicated concurrently with the completion of the activity or at a later time. Additionally, the Activity Provider may conduct an activity in the real world that is not tied to any tracking system, and then update the statement using the Tin Can API.

If you have a portion of learner information in your corporate database and require it for analysis, in addition to the most current results, you may also use the xAPI to send the chosen data objects to the LRS.

Quick xAPI vs. SCORM comparison

The primary distinction between xAPI and SCORM content is the kind of learning that each format supports. While SCORM is restricted to documenting online learning, xAPI is capable of tracking almost any activity. 

As a consequence, xAPI used in an eLearning solution provides a far more complete perspective of learner progress inside and beyond conventional online and offline learning contexts. It can monitor an almost unlimited variety of types of learning, including reading a website, attending an event, renting a library book, blended learning, game playing, and team-based learning.

Although xAPI was intended to be the next generation of SCORM, there are far too many discrepancies between them in reality. xAPI is capable of recording all of a learner's actions and stages, while SCORM is meant to be used with packaged courses that primarily employ quizzes as an evaluation technique.

On the other hand, xAPI does not define the structure or packaging of the course, while SCORM does. It was purposefully omitted from the standard, since a single sign-on method may be used to transfer learners across systems. xAPI is expressly used to transfer tracking data to an LRS, where it may be analyzed and reports are generated.

Each standard was developed at a certain period and for a specific purpose, and they are generally constructed on top of one another's capabilities. cmi5 is a "modern version of SCORM" that explains how to package xAPI functionality.

VK Creative Learning (VKCL) creates eLearning platforms, with xAPI standards incorporated within them so that data integration and learning can become easy.

May 11, 2022

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