What Is Learning Record Store?

Learning Record Store, or LRS, is an application that stores records about learning. From a data perspective, an LRS sits at the center of your learning ecosystem and brings data together from all your learning systems, applications, and content. It also will often connect to operational systems to gather data about job performance.

Not every database of learning records is an LRS, though. The term “LRS” refers to a specific type of application defined by the Experience API (xAPI) specification. And because xAPI sets strict rules around the core functionality of LRSs, it’s important to use an LRS that strictly conforms to those parameters. A non-conformant LRS will cause problems when you try to connect other applications via xAPI or use the data later.

If an LRS was part of a house, for example, it would be the plumbing—not the window. In other words, learners don’t typically interact with or see an LRS as it collects data about their interactions and influences their learning experiences behind the scenes.

What can I expect from my LRS?

All LRSs must support certain core functionality required by xAPI. This includes:

There are applications that may implement some of this functionality, but not all of it. For example, an app might receive learning records to trigger an action, but it won’t store the records or return them. Another app might not be able to receive records from external applications, limiting it to only providing availability to records it created. And, while an LMS might store learning records generated internally, it won’t support the ability to receive or send records to other systems.

While these applications might fulfill important use cases, they can’t be considered LRSs. If you’re in the market for an LRS, ask:

“Can your product receive learning records from external xAPI applications, and can it return learning records to external applications when requested via xAPI?”