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Community Champion

xAPI (Tin Can) in Canvas

A shotgun question, but does anyone know if Instructure is working on Learning Record Store (LRS) capabilities in Canvas? That would allow for tracking of a variety of user engagement .

10 Replies
Community Champion

I would be interested in the answer to this question also, so I am pinging  @James ‌, API wizard.

I remember hearing a lot about Tin Can when it was first getting started, and it sounded intriguing. 

Community Champion

rgibson1, I'm not an expert on this, but laurakgibbs pinged me, so I'll share what I've seen. I don't have any special insight beyond what I've read in the Community or API documentation.

Canvas has been pushing the Live Events based of the IMS Caliper specification. How Do I Configure Live Events for Canvas Data? You have to set up your own data store with Amazon Web Service to use it, though. It's not for learning activity streams.

Canvas has already implemented a small portion of xAPI. xAPI with LTI tools - Canvas LMS REST API Documentation. The documentation is extremely limited. It reminds me a little of SCORM -- Canvas felt they needed to do something, but the functionality is minimal.

As they exist in Canvas right now, they appear to do two completely different things, though. Live Events seem Canvas-based, so you can track what's happening within Canvas and take actions when certain things happen. xAPI is external, which would be more appropriate for learning. I think IMS Caliper is designed to be used for learning activity streams, but it doesn't seem to be in Canvas just yet. I believe I heard something about Caliper sensors nearing completion back at the 2015 InstructureCon, but if there has been an official notice, I missed it and the Community is pretty void of mentions of it.

When I set up H5P, I told it to use xAPI and set up my own LRS to keep track of it as I didn't see a useful way to get the information out of Canvas.

Not necessarily germane to the question, but I wasn't impressed by the results of the LRS I used, but I'm not sure if that's a result of H5P, the LRS (Learning Locker), or that I implemented it through WordPress, or that I didn't call it as an LTI so I didn't know who was doing what. It was one of those "this looks cool, let's try to get it working for tomorrow's class" things that I was just happy to have working at the time.

Community Champion

Thank you  @James ‌! That is so interesting to hear about, esp. in terms of your own experiment/experience. I am really interested in ways that we can cross the inside/outside LMS boundary, and the way I've been going at that is with tools like RSS, embedding, etc.

This summer I really want to learn more about APIs to appreciate this new way of sharing across the inside/outside boundary.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello rgibson1‌...

It's been two months since there has been any new activity in this discussion thread, and so I thought that I would check in with you.  We've not heard from you since you first posted this question on April 9th and then received some replies from both laurakgibbs‌ and  @James ‌.  Have you had an opportunity to review these responses?  If so, have any of them helped to answer your question?  Or, are you still looking for some help with this?  If one of the above replies helped to answer your question, please go ahead and mark it as "Correct".  However, if you are still looking for some help with this question, please come back to this thread to post a message below so that members of the Canvas Community can continue to help you.  For now, because there hasn't been any new activity in this topic for quite some time, I am going to mark your question as "Assumed Answered", but that won't prevent you from posting additional replies below.  I hope that's okay with you.  Looking forward to hearing from you, Rob.

Community Champion

And Chris's comment is an excuse for me to share here a really cool post from Tim Klapdor about LMS and API generally 🙂

Beyond the LMS – Heart | Soul | Machine 

tim klapdor lms _ api

Some context in my blog post here:

Fun and Foward-Looking LMS Moments from Domains17 

Community Participant

Any update on the plans for implementing support for sending more xAPI events? If not, is there interest from others in having additional support added? Perhaps we could contribute pull requests to add them?

Community Member


It's been a while since the last response. I was curious if there any developments or news regarding xAPI use in Canvas.

At the University of Twente we are going to start a pilot with xAPI statements from Canvas and from H5P.

So if anyone has some best practises or guides we are very interested.

Community Participant

I am also interested if there has been any movement on this? 

We are looking to integrate SurveyGizmo with Canvas: 

Community Member

Hi all,

  I would be interested in an update, too. My institution has blocked us from accessing the Canvas SCORM LTI and won't budge, so I figured my next option would be to look into xAPI integrations between content (created in Articulate 360 / Rise 360 in our case) and Canvas' gradebook. So far I have come upon a good deal of posts that have asked about xAPI and Canvas some several years ago, followed by a few inconclusive responses and then silence. Has anyone here heard anything new about Canvas' plans for xAPI integrations by any chance?