The first, originally developed for the Department of Defense, but now an International standard is SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model). This API has been around for many years and allows for a standardized means for learning content to pass information about both the learner and learning event to a Learning Management System (LMS). This standard has gone through a number of iterations over the years but the two most prevalent versions used are SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004 3rd Edition (Although they stopped development at 4th Edition). There is a significant difference in how they communicate to the LMS. SCORM 1.2 which uses a “black Box” model for learning objects (SCOs can’t talk to other SCOs) and SCORM 2004 which does allow this through globals and allows for much more adaptive instructional events, but is also inherently much more complicated to implement correctly. (Hardly any LMS Vendor has implemented the Sequencing and Navigation Model of the standard correctly).
The update or follow-on API to SCORM was called the “Tin Can API”, which it still is by its original developer (Rustici), but that the Government ADL (Advanced Distributed Learning) Initiative has labeled the “Experience API” or xAPI for short. The primary difference between these two standards is that xAPI is not tied to an LMS per say, that you have to log in, etc. your activity recorded, and you log out. the xAPI allows users to experience any number of events from games to YouTube videos as part of their learning, which can be done on or offline, and that data can be passed by the event or a users mobile device when online again to what’s termed a Learning Record Store or LRS. This API has verb lists that a learning developer can add just about any activity as a learning event, including interacting within a 3D game or Environment/Simulation.
The whole point to me of PLAYCANVAS is in making WebGL approachable to artists and designers who aren’t inherently programmers, which would include most Instructional Designers, although many like myself can do a decent amount of scripting, incorporating major APIs is just a tad bit out of my league. Information about both of these standards can be found at ADLnet.gov and I would hope that the developers who have been gracious enough to give us such an amazing development platform for 3D on the web, would think that adding support for these learning APIs would add a much needed and certainly desirable new set of features to an already outstanding tool.