Tin Can API is a new and improved version of SCORM that has the potential to open up a world of experiences in the field of learning. Tin Can makes tracking much more meaningful, and helps overcome several shortcomings of SCORM.
For starters, it recognizes the fact that learning happens through interactions with learning material, people and several other avenues. And it is not restricted to a browser.
Information that Tin Can tracks is relayed to learning record source (LRS), which can exist within an LMS or independently, by itself. It is, simply put, a repository of learning records. SCORM has limitations to the kind and amount of data stored. Tin Can will help overcome these limitations.
What makes Tin Can better?
1) Tin Can is in sync with e-learning industry dynamics. With Tin Can there is a possibility of tracking simulations, mobile learning, informal learning, experiential learning, social learning. This is much closer to how the learning industry is progressing beyond LMS enabled, Web-based learning courses.
2) Tin Can is device agnostic, platform agnostic, and delivers richer instructional experiences.
3) Tin Can helps you record formal or informal learning, as well as performance. So from a YouTube video to an informative blog, every bit of learning is accounted for, thereby giving a truer picture of your learning interactions, over and above formal learning.
4) It records performance. Not only can it track what you have learned, but it also has the potential to measure how the learning has impacted your performance, thus making calculation of ROI possible.
5) Tin Can makes data accessible. LRS’s can share data with analytical tools, reporting tools and what more, with other LRS’s.
What benefits accrue from adopting Tin Can?
1) You are not tied to a platform. You can access content from your tablet on the way to work, resume learning on your office computer and possibly take the rest of the course on your smartphone.
Intermittent network connectivity to an LRS will serve the purpose, continuous network connectivity is not mandatory. Tin Can thereby supports mobility in learning in true spirit.
2) Learning content need not be delivered only through an LMS. You are free to host content online or offline. Experiential learning, social learning and learning from non-conventional formats can now be keyed into an LRS. It will hold records of your learning and achievements. Every course does not have to run on a single platform. Parts of a course can run on the learner’s mobile phone, the other chunks can be based on social learning for instance. Diverse sources can come together to deliver a single course, something that SCORM could never help us achieve.
3) Uninhibited use of the best technology possible. While SCORM compliance meant using certain browser-based technologies, Tin Can totally liberates content authors to use the technology that can best deliver learning, and stay reassured that Tin Can would allow tracking. So if you think a mobile game, a serious game, or a simulation can explain a concept better, go ahead and create the learning from the learner’s point of view.
4) Detailed tracking - With SCORM, you can only track status of course completion. With Tin Can, you can dig much deeper: track performance for parts of a course, spot problem areas or areas where the learner is above average.
5) Make learning dynamic - If you are training engineers for on-site operations and business acumen in an industry as volatile as oil and gas, you can ensure that the changing external inputs reflect in the course by pulling in data from external sources or from within the course itself. This gives a huge impetus to on-the-job support. Especially for people who work on-site or who are employed in sales.
—More info: scorm.com/tincanoverview/