Tin Can or xAPI – What Do You Call It?

Today I would like to revisit a topic that I have written about in the past.

To be honest, I’m actually quite surprised that this is still a topic that can be written about, which is perhaps why I feel the need to point it out (again).

Simply put: it has been over three years since the release of Tin-Can API, and there is still confusion as to what to call it.

There are some that call it “Tin Can API”.

There are some that call it “Experience API” (or xAPI for short).

In previous articles I have written about why this lack of a concrete identity is an issue in the elearning industry.

It caused confusion and slowed industry-wide adoption from the get-go. It made educating stakeholders that much more complicated and could be one of the reasons why people still cling to SCORM.

From a technology standpoint, Tin Can API is a winner.

From a “marketing” standpoint it has been a bust.

There was a time when Tin Can API was the clear frontrunner in terms of what this protocol should be called. Now it’s not so clear as the Experience API camp has grown considerably.

So much so that tincanapi.com now allows you to choose your preference:

When you select your preference, the entire site updates with new colors, logos, and verbiage.

It’s nice that the site lets you do this, but when you think about it the entire thing is kind of silly and just further highlights the issue at hand.

So what do you call it – Tin Can API or Experience API?

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

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