Scorm vs Tin Can (xAPI) and Which One We Recommend

Scorm vs Tin Can (xAPI) and Which One We Recommend
December 4, 2019 Anya Anderson

The one thing we can’t deny is that technology has made many things much more accessible to us. Online shopping, for instance, has revolutionised the Retail Industry. 


Another good example of transformation due to technology is Education. Who would have thought 10 years ago that you could have an online course for pretty much anything you want to learn about? Literally, you could search “coding courses”, buy one of the many courses on offer and learn how to code. 


But today we don’t want to talk about coding. Today we want to clarify one of the biggest questions when it comes to creating e-learning content and courses. 


Scorm or Tin Can (xAPI)?


The decision between SCORM and xAPI is not one that you should take lightly and will affect the future of your content and the training experience you’re providing to those who take your courses. 


Both SCORM and xAPI are designed to track learning activity but how they do this and how flexible they differ significantly. 


Let’s briefly talk about what each one has to offer.


What is SCORM?


SCORM was established in 1999 and was designed to allow two systems to pass information between each other reliably. The SCORM standard meant that any SCORM compliant course would work with any SCORM compliant LMS. It’s this ability to communicate that made SCORM the most widely used e-learning standard to date. SCORM allows you to track completion rates, pass/fail, single scores and time spent – but that’s about as far as it goes.


As standard for e-learning, SCORM was revolutionary in enabling organizations to deliver and track learning taking place within the LMS. And as we preach here at RedSeed, training should be able to be done anywhere, anytime but unfortunately, SCORM doesn’t offer a way to capture this information.


What is xAPI?


Like SCORM, xAPI is a way of tracking learning-related activity. The key difference is that xAPI allows you to track learning in almost any context, not just in the LMS.


xAPI records, tracks, personalises and improves learning activities, both on and offline. It offers a better picture of how people engage with learning experiences. And, it can also be used to make links between people’s learning experiences and their on-the-job performance in the store! How good does that sound?!

Comparison table SCORM vs xAPI

What can you track?






A Single Score

Multiple Scores

Detailed Test Results

Games & Simulations

Informal Learning

Real World Performance

Offline Learning

Interactive Learning

Adaptive Learning

Blended Learning

Long-term Learning

Team-based Learning

In Summary… use xAPI in your learning teams! 

While SCORM is the most widely used, xAPI does offer more opportunities for tracking, personalization and improved learning experiences within your business. 


xAPI allows you to open up a world of possibilities for delivering e-learning because it gives you the opportunity to much better understand learning behaviours of your trainees and the effectiveness of learning experiences in your store with your customers! 


And even better we can host your xAPI courses on RedSeed! 


Are your learning technologies xAPI enabled?

If so, then get in touch and learn how we can host your xAPI courses on our world-class LMS!

Not sure? Get in touch and find out how we can make it happen!


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