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Experience API

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Experience API (xAPI) is an e-learning software specification that records and tracks various types of learning experiences for learning systems.[1] Learning experiences are recorded in a Learning Record Store (LRS), which can exist within traditional learning management systems (LMSs) or on their own.[2]


The Experience API (Tin Can API) is meant to succeed SCORM,[3] the Sharable Content Object Reference Model, which is a standard for packaging e-learning content.[4] The new Experience API allows trainers to deploy several new capabilities that were not supported with SCORM at the time,[5][6] such as:

  • Recording learning from non-browser activities, such as games and simulations.[7][2][8]
  • Platform transition; e.g. start e-learning on a mobile device, finish it on a computer[7][1]
  • Team-based e-learning[2]
  • Tracking learning plans and goals[9]

The Experience API spec is open source.[10] xAPI uses a Restful web service with JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) for its data format. The web service allows software clients to read and write experiential data in the form of “statement” objects. In their simplest form, statements are in the form of “I did this”, or more generally “actor verb object”.[6][11] More complex statement forms can be used. There is also a built-in query API to help filter recorded statements, and a state API that allows for a sort of “scratch space” for consuming applications.


In 2008, it was determined that the interoperability standards were too limited for SCORM. LETSI appears to request community ideas, as a result of this SCORM 2.0 comes out.[12]

In 2011 Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL), the United States Department of Defense-sponsored stewards of SCORM, recognized the need for a newer and more capable software specification than the original SCORM specification, which was then more than ten years old.[2] To address the need, ADL issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) asking for assistance in improving SCORM, and the BAA was awarded to Rustici Software, a Nashville-based software company experienced with SCORM.[13]

Rustici Software conducted interviews with the e-learning community to determine where to make improvements, and then developed the research version of the Experience API specification. This process was called Project Tin Can.[14] The moniker "Tin Can API" was derived from Project Tin Can, and is still used interchangeably with the name "Experience API".[15]

The Experience API was developed by a community working group and released as version 1.0 in April 2013. There are currently over 160 adopters (19 January 2016).[16]

Current status[edit]

The current version of the specification is “IEEE 9274.1.1-2023” – also referred to as xAPI 2.0 - released 10 October 2023 by the IEEE.[17][18]

Previous versions include: 1.0.3, 1.0.2., 1.0.1.,[19] 1.0.0.[20] version 0.8 (official output of the BAA)[21] and version 0.9 (research version specification) 0.95 (second research version specification).


Client Libraries
Name Language Licence
xAPI-Java Java Apache-2.0 license
xAPI.js JavaScript MIT license
TinCanPHP PHP Apache-2.0 license


  1. ^ a b Brandon, Bill. "Making History: mLearnCon 2012 Rocks Attendees". Learning Solutions Magazine. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Brusino, Justin. "THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCORM: A Q&A WITH AARON SILVERS". American Society for Training and Development. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  3. ^ "The Experience API (SCORM)". Retrieved 2017-04-22.
  4. ^ Batt, Brian (18 April 2011). "How to Explain AICC, SCORM 1.2, and SCORM 2004 to Anyone". elearningfreak. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  5. ^ Whitaker, Andy. "An Introduction to the Tin Can API". The Training Business. Archived from the original on 10 March 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Saltbox Developers Discuss Tin Can". Float Mobile Learning. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  7. ^ a b "(press release) eLogic Learning Partners with Rustici Software to be an Early Adopter of the Next Generation of SCORM Standards Known as the 'Tin Can API'". SFGate. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  8. ^ Gautam, Amit. "Tin Can: My First Impressions From mLearnCon 2012". Upside Learning. Archived from the original on 27 August 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  9. ^ Downes, Andrew. "I Want This: Tin Can Plans, Goals and Targets". Archived from the original on 24 July 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  10. ^ "The Open Source Landscape". xAPI.com. 2013-07-11. Retrieved 2022-04-19.
  11. ^ Ali Shahrazad & Russell Duhon of Saltbox Talk about Tin Can Alley at mLearnCon 2012, retrieved 2022-04-19
  12. ^ "The Next Generation of SCORM: A Q&A; with Aaron Silvers". 2014-08-22. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  13. ^ Tillett, Jeff. "Project Tin Can – The Next Generation of SCORM". Float Mobile Learning. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  14. ^ "ADL Project Tin Can Research Summary". Advanced Distributed Learning. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  15. ^ "Experience API (Tin Can API) | Training Industry". www.trainingindustry.com. Archived from the original on 2013-02-05.
  16. ^ "Tin Can API: Current Adopters". TinCanAPI.com. Rustici Software. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  17. ^ "xAPI officially Becomes a Published IEEE Standard".
  18. ^ "xapi-base-standard-documentation". IEEE. Retrieved 2 May 2024.
  19. ^ Johnson, Andy. "From ADL Team Member... Andy Johnson: Experience API (xAPI) version 1.0.1 released". ADL. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  20. ^ Downes, Andrew. "TinCanAPI.co.uk". Archived from the original on 22 April 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  21. ^ "ADLnet.gov Tin Can Draft Specification". ADLnet.gov. Advanced Distributed Learning. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.

External links[edit]