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Tin Can: A New and Better Way to Track eLearning

Online Forums 2012 - October 12, 2012
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Nikolaus Hruska

Technical Team
ADL

Andy Johnson

Tech Team Software Engineer
ADL

Many organizations track learner progress and achievement with eLearning content — not just while the content is being consumed, but to be stored for each learner’s time of service at the organization. However, many online learners will use multiple learning systems at any given organization. How can you uniformly aggregate, compare, and describe learning-tracking data across these systems? The Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative has been working on these types of problems for over a decade. ADL’s Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) was and still is a practical way to track eLearning in an interoperable manner, although it is now showing its age.

Participants in this session will explore SCORM’s successor, the Tin Can API, which offers a new means of tracking experiential learning that goes beyond just the “score, passed, and completed” notions of traditional eLearning to learning that happens anywhere and not necessarily just in front of a computer. The API can track mobile learning, game-based learning, and even learning that takes place in social networks. Tin Can is also much leaner than SCORM, and doesn’t carry some of the “big box Learning Management System” requirements typically seen for online learning.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How eLearning standards can make tracked learning content interoperable
  • What an activity stream is and how it can be used to track uniformly
  • How you can use the Tin Can API to support informal learning
  • How you can extend a Tin Can vocabulary without your tracking system “understanding” the data

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