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Understanding eLearning Standards: SCORM, CMI5, AICC, and Tin Can (xAPI)

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In the context of eLearning, compatibility and interoperability between different platforms and content are crucial factors for successful knowledge delivery. eLearning standards, such as SCORM, CMI5, AICC, and Tin Can (xAPI), provide a set of guidelines and specifications that ensure the seamless exchange and integration of learning materials across various systems, including BrainCert LMS.

This knowledge base article aims to provide an in-depth understanding of eLearning standards SCORM, CMI5, AICC, and Tin Can (xAPI), focusing on their history, purpose, and file formats. By understanding these standards, you can effectively utilize BrainCert LMS to create, import, and manage eLearning content that adheres to these widely accepted specifications, ensuring a smooth and efficient learning experience for your users. Let's delve into the details of these eLearning standards and discover their significance in the context of BrainCert LMS.


SCORM is a set of technical standards for eLearning software products. It defines how online learning content and Learning Management Systems (LMSs) should communicate with each other. SCORM enables interoperability between different eLearning systems, allowing content to be easily reused and shared across various platforms. The primary purpose of SCORM is to standardize the way that eLearning content is created, launched, and tracked.

SCORM content is usually packaged as a ZIP file, containing a collection of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, media files, and an XML file called the "imsmanifest.xml." This manifest file provides metadata about the course and defines the structure and organization of the content. When a SCORM package is imported into an LMS, the LMS reads the imsmanifest.xml file to understand how to present and launch the content.


CMI5 is a modern eLearning specification designed to replace some of the older SCORM standards. It builds on the concepts of SCORM but leverages the Experience API (xAPI) for communication between the content and the LMS. CMI5 provides a more flexible and extensible framework for eLearning content, allowing for more advanced tracking and reporting capabilities. The purpose of cmi5 is to create a bridge between traditional SCORM content and newer xAPI-based learning experiences, offering improved functionality and better support for mobile and offline learning.

CMI5 content, similar to SCORM, is packaged as a ZIP file containing HTML, CSS, JavaScript, media files, and a JSON file called "cmi5.xml." This file serves a similar purpose as the imsmanifest.xml file in SCORM packages. It provides metadata about the course, defines the structure of the content, and specifies how the content should communicate with the LMS using the xAPI standard.


AICC (Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee) is an older set of eLearning standards initially developed for the aviation industry but later adopted by other industries as well. The AICC standards focus on the interoperability of computer-based training (CBT) content and LMSs. AICC guidelines specify how eLearning content should be structured and how it should communicate with an LMS. While AICC standards have largely been replaced by SCORM and other modern specifications, some legacy systems may still use AICC. The primary purpose of AICC was to provide a standardized method for creating, launching, and tracking eLearning content across different platforms, similar to SCORM.

AICC content is typically provided as a set of files, including an AICC Course Structure file (CRS), which is an INI-like formatted file, and content files such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and media files. The CRS file defines the structure, organization, and metadata of the course. AICC content is usually not packaged as a ZIP file like SCORM or CMI5, but rather, the AICC files are often hosted on a separate web server and integrated with the LMS using the AICC HACP (HTTP AICC Communication Protocol) standard.

Tin Can (xAPI)

Tin Can API, also known as the Experience API (xAPI), is another eLearning standard like SCORM, cmi5, and AICC. However, unlike those standards, Tin Can doesn't rely on a specific file format or structure for packaging content. Instead, it focuses on tracking and reporting learning experiences through a Learning Record Store (LRS).

In Tin Can, learning activities generate statements in the form of "Actor, Verb, Object" (e.g., "John completed a course"). These statements are then sent to an LRS, which stores and manages the data.

While Tin Can content can be delivered in various formats, it often uses standard web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This makes it more flexible than SCORM or AICC content, which requires specific file structures and manifests.

BrainCert comes with Learning Record Store (LRS) integration to track and manage learning data. The LRS is a data storage system designed to collect, store, and manage learning experience data generated by learners engaging with online content. xAPI, also known as Experience API or Tin Can API, is a standard specification for tracking and analyzing learning experiences across various platforms and devices. Click on the following links to learn more about LRS integration in BrainCert: SCORM Cloud, Veracity, and Watershed.

To conclude, the eLearning standards, including SCORM, CMI5, AICC, and Tin Can (xAPI), play an integral role in shaping the online learning landscape. By adhering to these standards, you can ensure that your eLearning content is compatible, interoperable, and easily accessible across various platforms, including BrainCert LMS. These standards facilitate the exchange of data, tracking of learner progress, and integration of learning materials, which ultimately leads to a more effective and engaging online learning experience.

We encourage you to explore and implement these eLearning standards within your BrainCert courses to enhance the online learning experience for your users. By leveraging these standards, you can create dynamic, interactive, and trackable content that not only engages learners but also allows you to monitor their progress and adjust your teaching methods accordingly. Don't hesitate to make the most of these powerful eLearning standards to elevate your online learning offerings in the BrainCert Unified Training Platform.

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