Put simply, xAPI—Experience API—is a specification for how we send, store, and retrieve detailed records about learning and performance, with the data then being sharable across platforms. xAPI promises far more than its predecessor, the SCORM standard, which tracked e-learning activity in learning management systems. While xAPI is not new in its technology, it is gaining greater traction in the L&D field because of what it gives us: the ability to share across platforms as well as the capacity of measuring far more than e-learning modules.
Megan Torrance and Rob Houck, the authors of “Making Sense of xAPI,” liken the sharing across platforms to an update you might make on LinkedIn, which you can automatically add to your Twitter posts. And because you can measure more than e-learning courses, L&D professionals—and organizations as a whole—can gain far greater insight into a broader array of learning activities, the actual performance of job tasks, and how learning correlates with performance.