Tin Can API: Future-proofing eLearning Industry

Over the past three decades, the eLearning industry has experienced rapid growth and development. The benefits of a Learning Management System (LMS) were not only recognized by educational institutions but also by numerous other industries. Today LMS is used by Governmental institutions, Software Development Companies, Healthcare and Manufacturing players to a name a few.

An LMS is powered by eLearning specification and Tin Can API (eXperience API – xAPI) is one of them. What makes Tin Can API stand out is its potential to be integrated with many different learning experiences, no matter if they are happening in an online or offline environment. Let’s find out what Tin Can API is all about and how it beneficial for the eLearning Industry.

What is Tin Can API

Tin Can API is a new specification for the learning technology that is currently pushing SCORM out of the picture. It is attractive to LMS vendors because it can track and record all sorts of experiences a person has while using the online or offline content. The captured data is in a consistent format, irrespective of the device type or OS version it was capturing data from.

The flexibility of Tin Can allows it to be integrated with:

  • Mobile learning
  • Social media and forums
  • Simulations
  • Virtual world
  • Serious games
  • Real-world activities
  • Experiential, Collaborative, Social and offline learning

Tin Can API is community-driven and can be implemented for free.

How Tin Can API Works

lrs diagram

Tin Can API can –

  • Capture and track people’s interactions with other people and content. With no restrictions in terms of where this experience is happening, Tin Can API recognizes it at as a possible learning event and then records it.
  • Record every activity in the Learning Records Store (LRS). Every activity is stored in the form of a “Noun-verb-object” statement.
  • Utilize LRS to communicate with other LRS and/or improve LMS. LRS stores all of the statements resulting in many learning experiences. LRS is also a flexible solution and it can be used to share all the data with other LRS’.

What Makes Tin Can API Versatile

The versatility of Tin Can API comes from the way it was built – to be multi-purpose and not dependent on hardware. Here are the key reasons what makes Tin Can multi-faceted –

  • As we have mentioned above, the learning experience is stored in the form of nouns, verbs and object statements. This structure allows anyone to record any activity with no restrictions whatsoever.
  • Tin Can API can use information from more than one LRS. The ability to use the data from different LRS’, created at different points of time, allows more precise and actionable insights on learning experience. Furthermore, you can set Tin Can API to record learning experience for each learner individually so that you can improve and customize the learning experience for each of the learners separately.
  • You can enable almost any device to capture and send learning experience in the form of statements – CPR dummy, mobile phone, simulators etc.
  • Extend learning experience tracking beyond LMS. This way users of Tin Can API can track their learning experience even outside a virtual classroom.

Benefits of Using Tin Can API

Tin Can eLearning specification offers these below-mentioned advantages –

  • Track every learning experience with no device or web browser restrictions.
  • Increased application fields.
  • Track activities beyond eLearning content, real world content becomes course material.
  • There is no absolute need to know what content a user has to learn in advance.
  • It works offline.
  • You can create your own data models.
  • Works as a stand-alone solution or inside an LMS.
  • It can be used for group and individual learning.
  • Track learners’ needs and streamline a better eLearning strategy.

How Tin is proving to be a boon for the eLearning Industry

Api lrs feature

  • The eLearning Industry can benefit from Big Data, thanks to Tin Can API. Since Tin Can API can track any activity and record it as a statement, organizations that use it will, over time, gain access to Big Data derived from their overall learning experience. How is this important? With access to Big Data, organizations can track different details and analyze them in order to improve the experience and identify the pain points in their work processes.
  • By tracking the learning experience, it becomes easier to gain a detailed insight on training ROI. The training and professional development of employees are incredibly important. In most cases, it depends on the budget set for this purpose. Since Tin Can API tracks informal activities, organizations can now check if employees are able to achieve positive results from the training.
  • We can empower native apps to track learning. Mobile learning does not belong to the future, it is happening here and now, whether we want to acknowledge it or not. Tin Can API removes the must-use-web-browser restriction from mobile learning and makes it better. Native apps on mobile devices can now collect data regarding learning experiences and send it to the LRS once the device goes online.
  • Learning games can now be fully utilized as Tin Can have created opportunities for it. In the past, the main problem with learning games was the fact that you did not know if a user completed them or not. With Tin Can, developers can now build learning games and put them in the proper context.
  • By tracking pre-course and post course job performance, organizations can measure the efficiency of the training. With Tin Can eLearning, organizations can assess the efficiency of both employees and their training. More importantly, since Tin Can is able to track activities outside training, it is finally possible to tie training to real job performance by comparing performance before and post training completion.

Thanks to Tin Can API, trackable learning activities can now include everything. This has created a new frontier in the eLearning industry. Now that we can track activities across the board, it is quite clear that Tin Can will surely improve the user and employee experience engaged in the eLearning industry.

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