In the world of e-learning first thing comes to our mind is SCORM, LMS. Yes, SCORM is the widely used standard for e-learning. To run any SCORM conformant content LMS is mandatory. SCORM can track only the completion and status of the learning. To overcome these limitations, Rustici Software is working with Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) to develop the Experience API (Tin Can API).
The Tin Can API is a brand new learning technology specification that opens up an entire new world of experiences (online and offline). This API captures the activities that happen as part of learning experiences. A wide range of systems can now securely communicate with a simple vocabulary that captures this stream of activities.
Now does this mean that the SCORM packages developed earlier are not useful? No, we can use SCORM/AICC content in Tin Can environment with the help of LRS. There are several ways to convert the SCORM packages into Tin Can. We can use SCORM engine, SCORM drivers, tincan.js or Tin Can .Net library.
How does this API work?
- People learn from interaction with other people, content or beyond that. These interactions can be recorded with Tin Can.
- The content resides outside the LMS, so dependency of the content to upload on LMS is extinct.
- When any activity has to be recorded then at that point the application sends the secure statements in very simple format to LRS [Learning Record store]. The statement consists of Noun, Verb, and Object. For eg. I did this.
- These LRS then share the record with other LRS or LMS. The LRS resides separately or inside the LMS.
Some of the features of Tin Can are listed below:
Simple to implement: This is easier to implement than SCORM.
- No need to maintain the complex file structure and no more manifest file.
- The content activity is much easier. Require to send the simple statements like “I did this”.
Removal of need of browsers and tracks offline:
Due to these features, it really creates the big difference in the world of e-learning. It can track any type of content. Hence the native mobile apps, simulations, any serious games can track the learning. It’s just that we have to be sure that the application is programmed with the statements to send to LRS and should connect to LMS occasionally.
In traditional e-learning, the content has to upload on LMS and has to code according to that LMS, for tracking any data. Now with Tin Can, as the data resides outside the LMS/LRS there is no need to send the call to every LMS on which it resides.
Runtime data access:
LRS stores large amount of data and we can access the same data from LRS by query. LRS can query on any part of the statement [actor, verb, and object] and get data. LRS can share this data to any analytical tool, reporting tool or other LRS.
Real time data access:
Some of the learning may require the dynamic ways to access data from the external source to the course. For e.g. real time weather data or the stock pricing.
With Tin Can the multiple learners can collaborate on one learning. They can ask questions, comments, give voting, rating to each other. They can chat/video chat with each other.
Tin Can supports mobility in e-learning in true way. You can access content on tablet from home, resume the same from computer in the office and again rest of the learning from smartphone. No network connectivity is mandatory all the time. Intermittent connectivity to LRS serves the purpose.
Security and Authentication:
LRS stores variety of data and its security has been maintained by oAuth. oAuth is a commonly used specification for authentication on web.
Hence we can say that Tin Can is the future of e-learning!!