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SCORM vs xAPI

Online learning through different resources and technologies

In our constantly evolving world, learning is happening in more places that aren’t the classroom.

Elearning has become the norm and people are learning from their phones, laptops, games and so many other devices or materials, away from the classroom. 

With learners becoming more versatile and remote, how do learning managers track all of their learners, and their outcomes? Without data from elearning, it can be difficult to analyse and track a learner’s journey. This is key in ensuring development and growth for each individual. 

So, what is xAPI?

xAPI (also known as Tin Can) is a software specification for elearning, which enables you to record and deliver quantifiable, sharable and trackable data.

The great thing about xAPI is that it captures both online and offline experiences. As well as doing this, it can work alongside various technologies, in a consistent format. This way data can be easily transferred from various devices and across different platforms

The xAPI allows all interactions to be recorded and sent to a Learning Record System (LRS). This can sit by itself or within an Learning Management System (LMS). Even better, learners can have personal data lockers so all of their personal experiences are kept within them. 

The way xAPI records data is through the ‘actor+verb+object’ method. In more simple terms ‘I did this’. To expand on this, each piece of data contains specific information. This includes where the interaction took place, what the learner did and what they did it too. The data captures also has a unique learner ID, making each piece easily identifiable.  

A great feature of xAPI is that it can be used to track daily activity on the job, not just activity on a test or assessment. xAPI is a great way to capture data, but to really use it as a learning tool for organisations to tailor learning for each learner. 

Specific data from your learners could have been the missing piece to your learning and development strategy, saving you both time and money. Most importantly, it can allow learners to always be on the right level. It’s clear that xAPI is definitely a piece of software that won’t let you down, and will benefit both you and your learners.

How does it compare to SCORM?

SCORM is a way for elearning courses to be created. Not all courses are SCORM compatible, if they are it simply means the output of the course is a zip file, with specific elements. 

There are certain LMS and authoring tools built to support SCORM files, meaning they will be compatible with one another. The compatibility of these courses, and your LMS or authoring tool means you will be able to receive learning data. 

The zip folder you create can be uploaded to your LMS as long as it is SCORM compatible. Learners will be able to launch the course within any browser. The LMS will collect all data from the course, and report within your system.

The aspects SCORM reports on are: where learners last finished and specific information for this, the status of the lesson progress, session time and total time, score, passing score and interactions. 

All of these analytics are key in understanding learners on an individual level. Just like xAPI, these analytics will help you to ensure learners are always engaged, and learning at the right level. 

Why is this important?

As a learning and development team, instructional designer, L&D manager or any other these specifications are important. It comes down to how well you want to analyse your learners, to provide them with the correct content. 

If you already have an existing LMS, that only supports SCORM compatible content, it is essential that you create SCORM compatible content. xAPI is a great tool, as it can record both offline and online interactions and can work alongside many systems. 

Consider all of these areas before creating any courses to ensure you pick the right software for you.

Near-Life™ CREATOR

We know that the world of EdTech and Elearning is constantly evolving. Near-Life™ CREATOR has been designed to fit neatly within the existing learning and technology landscape. Our authoring tool allows you to share learning scenarios through your LMS, or any website of your choice. 

When you publish your interactive videos using Near-Life™ CREATOR, you can choose an embed code that is either SCORM or xAPI compatible. Or, you can simply embed and share as if it was normal video content. We’ve designed it so that it can be as seamless as possible for you, to get your learning out in a fast, simple way.

Get in touch, to find out more.

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