SCORM and xAPI: the story of two friends. Discovering e-learning standards

scorm xapi

SCORM e xAPI are two fundamental e-learning standards. Knowing what they do and what to use is at the very least appropriate, not only for an e-learning specialist, but for any modern Corporate Training and Development Manager.

It’s not difficult to find detailed and technical explanations online about what SCORM and xAPI are (for instance, here and this link, too). However, in this post, we want to help even the less technical users to understand why there are two e-learning standards, and perhaps give some tips to L&D Managers on which one to use according to personal needs and requirements.

Both SCORM and xAPI are communication protocols for monitoring learning-related activities. However, the flexibility with which SCORM and xAPI are able to do this is significantly different.

But, as we mentioned in the beginning, leave the technical stuff aside and let’s begin from a story.

A friends’ story, with different ages and personalities.

SCORM: a creature of habit.

SCORM is that friend of yours who sticks to the routine to the point that he never changes his usual restaurant…nor haircut! He spends the holidays in the same location and he doesn’t make new friends easily, but not because he is grumpy or has a bad attitude. Not at all! He is a reliable and honest friend. He simply gets along well with his long-time friends, and for him true friends can be counted on the fingers of one hand and must match his requirements.


In a nutshell, don’t ask him to step out of his routine!

Sometimes, you try to include him in something new, but nothing…In short: in the end you love him, with his virtues and flaws, because – whenever you need it – SCORM is always there for you. ?

xAPI: the party animal.

Well, xAPI has a whole different attitude. Let’s say he’s a specialist of public relations. ?

We all have that one friend who’s able to talk even to rocks, don’t we? Yes come on, think about it. He’s the kind of person who – when there’s a party or a night out at a club – knows everyone (and everything about everyone).

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s xAPI. The extroverted one. ?

You can even take him to the other side of the world, crash a party to which you have not been invited (perhaps without speaking the local language)…just give him a chance, and he will be able to get to know and befriend all the people there and learn about life and time…of everyone!


As we mentioned above, he’s a specialist in public relations, so he’s a natural talent networking. He not only makes new friends, but he makes connections and connects people with each other. That’s just the way he is.

In short, he’s really very social, and moreover, he’s a big tech enthusiast…always with the latest Smartphone model in his pocket. It may be a coincidence, but when everyone lacks connection, he still manages to iMessage you!

And here is the story of two friends with different attitudes, ages and tempers, but who can peacefully coexist together and help each other. Time, then – we know, plays its part. As in all stories.

Now, if you want to learn more about the features of SCORM and xAPI and which of the two to use for your e-learning project, we prepared a brief guide for you, where you’ll also find a summarizing table (page 7, FYI).

Greetings from SCORM e xAPI. ?


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