You are here:

The Evolution of SCORM to Tin Can API: Implications for Instructional Design


Educational Technology Volume 56, Number 4, ISSN 0013-1962


Integrating and documenting formal and informal learning experiences is challenging using the current Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) eLearning standard, which limits the media and data that are obtained from eLearning. In response to SCORM's limitations, corporate, military, and academic institutions have collaborated to develop a new standard, the Experience Application Programming Interface (xAPI, or Tin Can API) and in the process they have removed the barrier that has separated eLearning from other learning activities. The Tin Can API integrates digital and nondigital learning activities, emphasizes flexible learning plans, and embraces informal learning. The Tin Can API changes how learning activities are stored, moving from the idea of a Learning Management System (LMS), required by SCORM systems, to the Learning Record Store (LRS) that catalogs user learning actions. This change presents opportunities and challenges for professionals such as instructional designers. This article covers Tin Can API's development by describing and evaluating SCORM alongside Tin Can API and presenting some of the advantages and challenges Tin Can API faces as it is more widely adopted.


Lindert, L. & Su, B. (2016). The Evolution of SCORM to Tin Can API: Implications for Instructional Design. Educational Technology, 56(4), 44-46. Retrieved August 20, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ERIC on February 24, 2017. [Original Record]

ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

Copyright for this record is held by the content creator. For more details see ERIC's copyright policy.