When SCORM was introduced about 15 years ago, the eLearning playing field was pretty different to today. With just one screen size and mode of delivery to think about and pretty slow Internet speeds, eLearning courses were generally a basic, page-by-page affair.
What is SCORM?
SCORM is a bit like the LEGO of the eLearning world. If you build an eLearning course and package it up as a SCORM file, you won’t have any trouble fitting it to a SCORM LMS. It’s a standardized form which means learning designers across the board can move between authoring tools and learning management systems, and package courses up in the same way to deliver learning with relative ease.
SCORM also tracks courses when they’re hosted through an LMS, giving some insight into exactly what your learners are getting up to during your course. This includes time spent on a course, pass/fail and single score – of one learner at a time, only while they’re online, too.
So while SCORM suited the eLearning world ten years ago, it’s a little bit rusty today. We now have BYOD (‘Bring Your Own Device’) strategies, loads of different device types, complex learning blends and performance support tools to consider today.
All this means eLearning is no longer a static, desk-based activity, and we need a way of tracking modern learning experiences.
Okay I get that… but what is Tin Can?
As you’ve probably heard, Tin Can (also known as Experience API and xAPI) is SCORM’s successor, a software specification made with the 21st century in mind. xAPI is capable of tracking the entire learning experience, whether that’s online or offline.
It’s a revelation to be able to track the complete picture of learning – from videos watched to games played, to how they transitioned across devices while completing a course of learning.
Tin Can tracking aims to be simple and flexible, with what’s tracked (known as statements) being written using real nouns and verbs to allow you to record basically any learning activity. Tin Can opens so many doors for learning designers, which is why the latest version of gomo (and the gomo learning suite) comes with Tin Can output built in.
The statements that come out of Tin Can courses are recorded to a learning record store (LRS), which can be shared with other record stores to allow you to amass Tin Can data from various sources – in and outside of an LMS and just about anywhere else you could ever wish to track.
The gomo learning suite allows users to host courses in the cloud, delivering them to students through one of four hosting options.
A browser-based dashboard makes sense of all of the Tin Can statements, analysing course performance. Find out completion rates, which questions students got wrong and how they’re interacting with your course across devices.
That’s a whole load more information than you’re used to with SCORM. With xAPI/Tin Can data at your disposal, you can draw conclusions, target weaknesses and begin to cater for specific devices.
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