SCORM and xAPI are data exchange file formats used for tracking learning activities on e-learning platforms such as Docebo. Let’s analyze their main characteristics, functionalities, and differences so that you can choose which one to use in your digital platform.
The SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) format is a commonly used reference protocol for creating and distributing educational content, including multimedia and interactive elements, on digital e-learning platforms. This model is widely used because it can track various parameters on LMS platforms, such as viewing time and quiz responses with their respective scores. Moreover, the SCORM format allows learners to resume the course from where they left off, without having to start from the beginning.
In order to get a SCORM package, it is necessary to rely on an Authoring Tool (e.g. iSpring, Articulate Storyline, Lectora, etc.), that allow to create and publish both content and interactive activities including course quizzes. During the publication process, it is possible to choose the SCORM format compatible with the LMS being used (the Docebo platform supports SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004 3rd edition versions), and once published, the authoring tool is going to produce a .zip file to be uploaded to the platform.
SCORM packages are compatible with all major e-learning platforms, allowing for the reuse and sharing of the same training content on different LMS.
xAPI, on the other hand, is a standard for tracking learning experiences on different environments and systems, not just on LMS platforms, but also on websites, applications, and social networks. To track various activities, xAPI uses “statements” and a Learning Record Store (LRS). “Statements” are declarations set during the creation of xAPI, which contain specific requests for all the learner’s activities to be tracked (e.g. what action was taken, by whom, when, and how many times). The LRS, instead, is where the responses of the “statements” are going to be stored and then organized into both analytical and statistical reports.
In order to get an xAPI, an Authoring Tool (e.g. iSpring, Articulate Storyline, Lectora, etc.) is also needed, as per the SCORM protocol, to create slides and interactive activities for the educational material being developed. Then, the xAPI tracking must be implemented by inserting the “statements” into the corresponding slides, in order to track the various assertions in the LRS. Once the tracking is set and the xAPI is created, it can be published on an LMS platform (Docebo also supports this format), a website, or a mobile app. Finally, the LRS must be configured to collect and store all the declarations sent by the xAPI. It should be noted that the creation of an xAPI varies depending on the Authoring Tool and LRS used, it is therefore necessary to follow the specific guidelines.
When using xAPI tracking, it is possible to create very detailed reports on learner activities. Moreover, due to the flexibility of the “statement” structure, specific and personalized requests can be made based on what needs to be monitored to extract increasingly detailed reports and offer a more diversified user experience.
SCORM vs xAPI: Comparison table between the two standards
- SCORM: tracks learning experience only on LMS, lack of customization in data tracking; tracking follows a hierarchical structure.
- xAPI: Tracks any learning experience on mobile apps, social media, simulators…etc, possibility of customizing data tracking options.
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