Art Werkenthin from RISC, Inc. provides an excellent introduction to the xAPI.
“The Experience API is a learning technology specification that makes it possible to collect data about your student’s learning experiences. You might say “But that’s what my LMS does. While it is true that the LMS captures your instructor-led learning and your e-learning, much informal learning occurs outside the system. Consider experiential learning, learning games, virtual worlds, social learning, simulations…are you capturing those learning experiences?”
“xAPI makes it possible to capture learning that occurs outside your learning management system.”
“Note: “Tin Can” and xAPI are the same thing. The “official” name for the standard is the Experience API, or xAPI. Technically, Tin Can was the name of the project that collected information on developing the standard, and xAPI is the result of that project. But the Tin Can name has stuck, and you are just as likely to hear adopters talk about Tin Can as you are xAPI.”