The 7 Most Popular xAPI Compliant LMS Products Out Now

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My name is a little bit complicated. It’s weird, genderless, and very Danish.

People have been trying to give me a nickname all my life, but nothing quite sticks.

Hally? Nope, the long A sounds weird. Holly? Right sound, wrong letter, and way too Christmas-y. Hal? I’m sorry, Dave, but I can’t do that.

I don’t even have a manageable middle name people could use, since mine has eight letters and a silent D.

The_15_Most_Popular_LMS_Compliant_Products_Out_Now

So I sympathize with Tin Can API, or at least with the standard’s designers. ‘Tin Can’ was never meant to be the final name; it was just the working title of the project before it got to marketing to put the polish and labels on it.

Unfortunately, Tin Can API stuck in a way that ‘Experience’ or ‘xAPI’ never has. It’s been three years since Tin Can launched, and people are still calling it Tin Can.

But what you’ll find is that Tin Can’s name (much like my own name) matters less than what it does.

Tin Can is a series of system specifications that helps to standardize learning objectives and designs across eLearning. It’s a way of writing code that makes the code readable across different eLearning platforms. It makes sharing content cheaper and easier, and makes transporting courses and scores from one platform to another simple instead of a struggle.

In short, readiness for standards like SCORM, and its intended successor Tin Can, is awesome, and it makes your life easier.

If your LMS doesn’t support Tin Can, it’s behind the times. Even if it’s technically SCORM-compliant, your LMS needs to be Tin Can-ready to keep up. Here’s the short list of what’s ready for Tin Can out of the most popular LMS options today.

All of these software options are fully SCORM compliant and also support Tin Can API. The following vendors were chosen because they are fully SCORM compliant as well as xAPI optimized. These vendors are also the most popularly reviewed learning management systems in those categories, straight from our list of the most popular learning management software on the market. They’re presented in alphabetical order for your ease of reading.

1. Blackboard for business

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A popular choice for schools, Blackboard LMS for Business opens up the same great software to the corporate world. Reviewers love its mobile functionality, support for vast numbers of learners, and the mass learner notifications. Reviewers love the bugs a lot less, and find that admins have an easier time navigating the system than their learners, since the organization isn’t intuitive.

Review Blackboard here.

2. Cornerstone

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Extremely popular and packed with features, Cornerstone is a do-anything LMS that has great use in business settings. It’s highly flexible and customizable, according to reviewers. The LMS migration and implementation is fluid and seamless, but it’s definitely something that first-time LMS users may struggle with. It’s growing fast, and some users have reported bugs as an expected growing pain, especially on mobile.

Review Cornerstone here.

3. Docebo

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A highly globalized LMS with 32 different languages and a library of pre-built course offerings. According to reviews, Docebo smoothly handles huge amounts of data, and they love the large built-in course library and all of the third-party add-on options. Sadly, updates take a while, it lacks mobile options, and reviewers aren’t glowing about the customer service.

Review Docebo here.

4. eFront

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eFront is a strong LMS with lots of variety. Reviewers rave about how responsive the developers are to feedback, which carries over into the excellent tech support. The design is straightforward and easy to navigate, though reviewers mention that it lacks many of the features found in an older, more robust LMS. Reviews offer a word of caution: to fully customize, you’re going to need some programming knowledge.

Review eFront here.

5. Litmos

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It’s been ranked the most user-friendly learning management system in the world, and with as many features as it has, it’s no wonder that Litmos is an award winning option. The gorgeous layout it super responsive, something our reviewers are crazy for. They also tout it’s affordability, given its size. A favorite feature is that Litmos has a customer learning system as well as an employee learning system, making it super-flexible. Still, reviewers note that the reporting lacks depth, learning pathways can be confusing and rigid, and if you have over 1,000 learners, your system is going to suffer a noticeable slowdown.

Review Litmos here.

6. Moodle

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Ah, Moodle. The software so popular that, rather than trying to be it, everyone just tries to be its best alternative. Moodle is the do-it-all eLearning workhorse LMS, and I’d be remiss not to include it here. What makes Moodle so special? According to reviews, it’s how many plugins and add-ons it offers for deep customization, the huge community of support and development, and how undeniably robust and comprehensive Moodle really is. Still, there’s a lot to handle at once, and all those options can be overwhelming to some reviewers. It’s tricky to manage without in-house IT, and it’s certainly not the sleekest or prettiest LMS on the market.

Review Moodle here.

7. TOPYX LMS

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With a flat-rate for everything, TOPYX is a straightforward but comprehensive LMS favored by several large corporations, including Intel and CSX, as their homepage is happy to tell you. TOPYX is ridiculously comprehensive, reviewers say, if you want a feature, they’ve got it. It’s perfect for huge companies with lots of learners to manage at once, and has deep customization and design options. The pricing is flat-rate, and reviewers from less-massive companies really dislike that, since it’s simply not flexible enough for small businesses. Reviewers note that customer support is slow, too.

Review TOPYX LMS here.

More?

So what did I miss? Is there an LMS that you adore that didn’t make the list? Please note that all Pros and Cons were pulled from our product reviews, so make sure to review your favorite (or least favorite) LMS as well as commenting below! 

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About the Author

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Halden Ingwersen

Halden Ingwersen is a former Capterra analyst.

Comments

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Hi Halden,

I would suggest ProProfs Tin CAN LMS (https://www.proprofs.com/training/tin-can-api-compliant-lms-software/) for your list. I have used other LMS tools in the past but decided to switch to ProProfs Training Maker after in-depth research.

I love the flexibility which ProProfs Training Maker offers to record learning experiences (like chapter read or quiz taken by students) even if the course was created with a third party tool using Tin Can API. The data import feature is impeccable.

One of the other key advantages of using this tool is that it supports integration with other Saas platforms and single sign-on.

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I’m interested in creating a standalone personal learning dashboard app for xAPI compliant LMS’s that allows learners to track their own progress on their learning journey. Previously we’ve focused on analytics around adoption and performance, but I’m keen to offer analytics integrations for learning activities too.

If any customer is looking for a solution or if any vendor is looking for a collaboration please do get in touch.

Toby Beresford
CEO, Rise.global
The Success Tracking Network
http://www.rise.global
@tobyberesford

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My two cents …. I know that RISC Inc. (http://risc-inc.com/) has been xAPI compliant since the 0.95 release and the first LMS I am aware of to be cmi5 compliant. Both their mobile apps and browser-based Learner portals send xAPI statements to their embedded LRS and to 3rd party LRS.

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Nick is right. These are some great resources and really show how users – practitioners and vendors – are working together to implement xAPI in creative ways.

A couple other resources are:
http://datainteroperability.org/ is working for the ADL initiative for xAPI certification and performance to ensure data portability and interoperability.

The Torrance Learning xAPI Cohorts are in their third season connecting users and developers on real world applications for xAPI http://www.torrancelearning.com/2016/06/01/registration-open-for-the-fall-2016-xapi-learning-cohort/ @MMTorrance is also super active on the conference and webinar circuit as an xAPI evangelist.

Finally, Watershed has been fantastic as an LRS vendor that will test various data sources – aps, LMS, content, etc. that show demonstrated interoperability.

As Nick mentioned, never hesitate to reach out if there is anything I can do to support the community. @duncanwiv

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Thanks Halden. It’s exciting to see so many systems starting to adopt Tin Can / xAPI. The list of systems that support both SCORM and some level of xAPI is a lot longer than this one even. I’m really looking forward to the work DISC (http://datainteroperability.org/) and ADL are doing to define xAPI conformance criteria. It will be enormously helpful to have a shared understanding of what it means to be an adopter and the minimum standards required for certification.

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Hey Halden,

If you are going to be at DevLearn in Vegas, Riptide would love to sponsor your ticket to participate in an all day xAPI Camp. It would be a great introduction to the community and vendors who are working with enterprise clients and xAPI to scale.
http://connectionsforum.com/devlearn-las-vegas-nv-november-15-2016/

More info here about the spec
Curated Case Studies
http://www.tryxapi.com/
News about xAPI
http://xapiquarterly.com/

Please feel free to contact me directly.


Nick Washburn
Director, Learning Division
Riptide Software, Inc.
learning.riptidesoftware.com

Brandon Hall Group, Best Advance In Learning Management Technology – 2015
Top 100 Training Technology Company – 2013, 2014, & 2015
Amazon Technology Partner
CMMIDev/4 Appraisal #22875

Twitter: @riptidelearning

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Ali,

That’s a good point about my word choice since there’s no official certification yet. What terms would you suggest I keep in mind to use next time?

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Art,

Thanks for the feedback. It actually does look like Cornerstone supports xAPI, as you can see here on a recent internal help desk update: https://help.csod.com/help/csod_0/Content/0_Whats_New/162/LMS/Tin_Can_xAPI_Support/Tin_Can_Support_162.htm

The update is from July, so you may have missed it since it’s so recent.

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You understand that Cornerstone does not currently support xAPI, right? So how do they end up in this list? How many others on this list do not support xAPI?

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Hi. There is no such thing as an xAPI or Tin Can compliant LMS or LRS (or any vendor) because conformance and certification do not exist yet. I suggest you update your article and/or the social media marketing surrounding it.

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I’d recommend including Curve by a company called Thrivist, based out of Nashville, TN. They’ve combined an LMS with the reporting piece all under one umbrella and it’s xAPI compliant as well.

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