What is tin can api?

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Tin Can API, also known as Experience API or xAPI, is a specification that allows learning experiences to be tracked and recorded in a consistent and standardized manner. It is designed to capture a wide range of learning activities, both online and offline, and provide valuable insights into learners’ experiences. In this article, we will dive deeper into the details of Tin Can API and explore its features and benefits.

What is Tin Can API?

Tin Can API is a set of protocols and specifications that enable the tracking and reporting of learning experiences. It was developed as an evolution of the older SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) standard, which was limited to tracking e-learning activities within a Learning Management System (LMS). Tin Can API, on the other hand, allows for tracking learning experiences beyond the boundaries of an LMS, making it more flexible and versatile.

How does Tin Can API work?

Tin Can API works by using a simple yet powerful structure called “statements.” A statement consists of three main components: an actor, a verb, and an object. The actor represents the person or entity performing the learning activity, the verb describes the action being performed, and the object represents the target of the action. For example, a statement could be “John completed a quiz.”

These statements are sent from a learning experience provider, such as an e-learning course or a mobile app, to a Learning Record Store (LRS). The LRS is a database that stores and manages the statements. It acts as a central repository for all learning experiences, regardless of the platform or system used to deliver them. The LRS can be hosted locally or in the cloud, providing easy access to the learning data.

Benefits of Tin Can API

Tin Can API offers several benefits over traditional tracking methods like SCORM. Here are some key advantages:

Tracking Beyond the LMS: Tin Can API allows tracking of learning experiences that occur outside the boundaries of an LMS. This means that activities such as reading a book, attending a workshop, or even performing on-the-job tasks can be recorded and analyzed.

Rich Data Collection: Tin Can API captures a wide range of data, including not only completion status but also detailed information about the learning experience. This can include scores, time spent, location, and even contextual data like the device used or the browser version.

Offline Tracking: Tin Can API supports offline tracking, allowing learning experiences to be recorded even when there is no internet connection. Once the connection is restored, the data can be synchronized with the LRS.

Flexible Reporting and Analytics: With Tin Can API, learning data can be analyzed and reported in a more flexible and customizable way. It allows for the creation of personalized dashboards and reports, providing valuable insights into learners’ progress and performance.


Tin Can API, also known as Experience API or xAPI, is a specification that enables the tracking and reporting of learning experiences in a consistent and standardized manner. It offers numerous benefits over traditional tracking methods, such as tracking beyond the LMS, rich data collection, offline tracking, and flexible reporting. By leveraging Tin Can API, organizations can gain valuable insights into learners’ experiences and improve the effectiveness of their learning programs.


– ADL Initiative: adlnet.gov
– Rustici Software: rusticisoftware.com