Experience API (also xAPI or Tin Can API) is a learning technology interoperability specification that makes it easier for learning technology products to communicate and work with one another. This means you can “plug and play” xAPI-implementing content, platforms, and applications into your Learning Record Store (LRS) as easily as plugging USB devices into your computer.
xAPI is different from previous interoperability specifications, such as SCORM, because it’s not limited to only tracking courses and completions. With xAPI, you can track anything the learner does—whether that’s more innovative learning experiences (such as games, videos, or mobile apps) or job tasks that put learning into practice. Bring data from your LMS, apps, social platforms, classroom training, and real-world tasks together in one system to create comprehensive reports.
Unlike SCORM, xAPI doesn’t require you to package content into ZIP files, as you can simply host content on a server and access it via Single Sign On (SSO). Of course, you still have the option to publish and launch xAPI content packages as needed.
A Learning Record Store (LRS) is a place where records about learning are stored. Within xAPI, there are specific rules that an LRS has to follow to ensure that other applications send and retrieve the records in the same way—regardless of the LRS product being used.
Watershed LRS is an xAPI-conformant LRS. It’s also a learning analytics platform and is used to present your data for learning analytics and evaluation. As such, it covers both the data storage and data usage components of your xAPI implementation.