Last week I heard rumour about the first serious steps in Project TinCan. A perfect moment for me to write a blog about it, as I expect that within a year we will all be ‘TinCanning’ in e-learning.
What is project TinCan?
Project TinCan is a project of ADL (the creators of SCORM) in collaboration with Rustici software (from SCORM.com). Project TinCan is intended as a replacement (successor) of SCORM. While SCORM is a static standard, TinCan is a dynamic API that allows a learning object to communicate with a Learning Record Store (LRS). An API is an Application Programming Interface, which is nothing more than a series of commands with which different systems (objects) communicate with each other. In this case the communication is between an e-learning module and a registration system.
We currently upload an e-learning module as a SCORM package to a Learning Management System. The SCORM package passes on the participants’ results to the LMS using static SCORM fields. Project TinCan is an API that is added to a learning object. The participant opens the learning object and the results of his/her actions are passed on to the LRS by the TinCan API. The big advantage is that the learning object and the LRS do not have to be in the same ‘place’.
What does project TinCan mean for e-learning?
If you let the above settle in then the possibilities are limitless. By adding the TinCan API to a mobile app, for example, the app suddenly becomes a learning object that transmits results to a record store. Or viewing certain (social) media can be ‘tracked and traced’.
Take a knowledge base in any organization. If the knowledge base or rather, the objects contained in it, contain the TinCan API, the management can see exactly who consults which objects from the knowledge base. Over time, this creates an image of the knowledge gaps in the orgnization. As a result, management knows how to adjust the learning strategy. Learning on demand, learning on the job, learning nuggets and all other forms of learning can finally be offered as an e-learning. The future of learning takes shape with project TinCan. The ‘Bring Your Own Device’ principle is finally possible with project TinCan.