SCORM and Tin Can API: The difference between DVDs and Netflix

Melanie Moffett, eLearning Industry, Nov 22, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I'd like to think that we can go a bit beyond Nedtflix, but I appreciate the analogy behind this post comparing SCORM and xAPI. SCORM - the Sharable Content Object Reference Model, was designed as a way for published products, like courseware, to report back to a host system, like a learning management system (LMS). Originally known as Tin Can, xAPI, the 'Experience Application Programming Interface', allows multiple services to report on student activities. "The Tin Can API vocabulary is powerfully simple, capable of identifying actors, verbs and objects - the most basic building blocks to convey meaning." And as the author notes, "according to the Brandon Hall Group webinar, businesses are using Tin Can API to develop a learning architecture that supports the following key elements: experience tracking, content brokering, learner profiles and competency networks.

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