In this article, we discuss xAPI, LRS, the difference between xAPI and SCORM and the benefits of xAPI for your LMS. 

In the world of online learning, SCORM has been recognized as the universal language. SCORM has been considered standard for online courses for a very long time. A major issue, however, is that it doesn’t record most of your online learning experiences. The experiences of a user are incomparably wider and deeper than the collection of a browser session. This is exactly what the creators of SCORM sought to correct. 

Recognizing the importance of universal language like SCORM, while still working to incorporate the various ways you learn-they have developed the Experience API, also known as xAPI (formerly known as Tin Can API).

What Is xAPI

API stands for Application Program Interface. This allows devices to speak to each other. Various software programs, gadgets and really anything digital can listen to or talk-with an API. 

xAPI is a way of collecting data about experiences offline and online. Its can track activities across events, system, and interaction in a standard data format-this makes it more powerful. Coupled with variety in analysis, design and technology practices.

There are numerous APIs available in the world and your organization will use lots of them. The xAPI is developed upon common API formats. It stretches the functionality and let us talk of things we do in learning for e.g. understanding who was a learner’s instructor or asking for evaluation results. It depicts the future language of the online learning industry, developed for learning people by learning people. 

People communicate and learn in many ways. They learn from interaction with other people, content and beyond. The xAPI details a set of techniques for communicating the activity of a user to a database, known as the Learning Record Store (LRS).  

LifterLMS xAPI lets you integrate LifterLMS with Experience API. It allows you to manage your h5P content, LifterLMS activities, and competencies.

How to Use xAPI in LifterLMS

You can integrate your LifterLMS powered WordPress website with xAPI by installing LifterLMS xAPI addon. It allows you to manage your h5P content, manage your LifterLMS activities and competencies. 

To install LifterLMS xAPI Plugin follow these simple steps:

  • Download the LifterLMS xAPI addon. 
  • Navigate to WordPress Dashboard
  • Go to Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin > Choose File
  • Locate and select LifterLMS xAPI zip file, then click the Open button
  • Click the Install Now button to install the plugin.
  • After installation, click the Activate Plugin link

LifterLMS xAPI comes pre-configured for use with the LifterLMS LRS demo system. It is a public LRS, where all administrators can see the details. Hence, it is recommended to use this only for test purposes. To change your LRS Settings, follow these steps

  • Go to LifterLMS
  • Select LifterLMS xAPI
  • Click on LRS Settings, a new LRS Settings page will open
  • Click the Update button
  • Change the information in the fields with the information provided after you subscribe to the service. 

What Is the Difference Between SCORM and xAPI?

SCORM was a standard of online learning for a very long time. But, it comes up with some limitations-your students can learn only within your LMS, and students or users cannot use SCORM content if not logged into the LMS. Students cannot learn offline or record if they have found any solution on any website.

SCORM need a local database in your LMS to store learning record, and you are permitted to report on a fraction of that data-not entirely. The main challenge in SCORM was reporting and the prime reason of xAPI development. 

When it comes to collecting reporting data SCORM provides limited functionalities-xAPI is the other way around. With xAPI you can send as little or a much reporting data to LRS as you want. If you have collected large quantities of data and it has to reside in your local WordPress database, it could possibly push your server to the edge of total collapse.

LifterLMS xAPI assures your WordPress site stays light and quick. It doesn’t interfere with your LifterLMS database with xAPI learning records. LifterLMS has eliminated any custom hosting requirements by adopting an external LRS database and reporting service. Now you can keep hosting LifterLMS in a standard hosting account. 

According to Experience API, there are numerous differences between SCORM and xAPI, we have made a table for you that sums it up pretty well. 

 

Features

SCORM

xAPI

Track Completion 

Y

Y

Track Time

Y

Y
Track Pass/Fail Y Y
Report a single score Y Y
Report Multiple Scores N Y
Detailed test results N Y
Games and Simulations N Y
Detailed Test Results N Y
Solid Security N Y
No LMS required N Y
No internet browser required N Y
Complete control over your content N Y
No cross-domain limitation N Y
Mobile apps for learning N Y
Platform transition  N Y
Track Serious games N Y
Track Simulations N Y
Track Informal Learning N Y
Track Real-world Performance N Y
Track Offline Learning N Y
Track Adaptive Learning N Y
Track Interactive Learning N Y
Track Blended Learning N Y
Track Long-term Learning N Y
Track Team-based Learning N Y

 

Benefits of Using xAPI

xAPI has opened up an entirely new world of possibilities in an e-learning world.  With xAPI, you can understand learning behavior and the effectiveness of learning experiences much better.

As xAPI is a more recent development, it is less prone to error as SCORM. Another great benefit of xAPI is the breadth and depth of learning activities it tracks This makes it more suitable for the current world where learning happens everywhere. Moreover, it lets you generate reports with more reliable, richer and more human-readable data. 

With LifterLMS, LifterLMS xAPI lets you report to any LRS from any of the following content types

  • LifterLMS quiz questions, quizzes, lessons, and courses.
  • Uploaded eLearning courses created with authoring tools.
  • Linked courses, content and web pages available anywhere online can be used or reselled. 
  • H5P content that gives a completion status, h5p content for video communication and tracking videos.
  • Vimeo and YouTube embedded video URLs in lessons.
  • Integration of LifterLMS and Zapier services via LRS service. 
  • Create your own custom competencies-assign them to any xAPI or any course, lesson and quiz.
  • Create your reports, and visualize your reporting data in your LRS.
  • Make your LRS reporting data more understandable for humans.
  • Export your reports from LRS.
  • For any LifterLMS course, lesson quiz or any linked-learning course it lets you turn on or off reporting for each of them. 

xAPI is a universal learning language that describes your or your students learning experiences. Those experiences can be understood with the depth of understanding that is unimaginable with SCORM. However, it would need to be used properly with discipline and planning to make it effective and more useful. We hope this article will help you in understanding xAPI and its benefits. 

We’d love to hear if you found this article useful. Please comment below with your thoughts so we can continue to create helpful posts. If you need any assistance with the LifterLMS, don’t hesitate to drop us a line here or through our contact form and one of our Ninjas will be in touch asap.