Monday, October 15, 2012

Are you ready Tin Can

If you have been around the Moodle vle or for that matter any vle for a while, then you will have I am sure over the years developed and or deployed in support of eLearning various scorm packages. And I would judge that you are still enthusiastic about scorm, and if you are  regular to this blog then you will know that we make good use of Wimba Create for College generated content. So to get started with this particular posting, I was fascinated the other day to discover the Tin Can project.

The Tin Can Project, now at Phase 3,  page provides an interesting, though we are assured cut-down list  new features that will be available that the e-learning have been requesting, and I repeat that list here, certainly an eye catcher 

 •It needs to be simpler
 •Removal of the need for an Internet browser
 •Distribution of content/cross domain
 •Access to more data (run time data)
 •Need to be able to use “user defined variables” in content
 •Learning that’s not initiated in an LMS
 •Simulations and serious games
 •Track real-world activities, not just digital ones
 •Need to track offline or long running content
 •Platform transition (computer to mobile device, etc.)
 •Better interoperability (several new benefits in this category)
 •SCORM user interface requirements don’t achieve interoperability
 •Instructors/others need to observe/interact during training
 •Collaboration and team-based learning
 •“I want to do my own sequencing”
 •We need security/authentication
 •Need to be able to “tag” content with skills (better organization)

While browsing through the website, I was reminded that scorm is in fact now ten years anyway and what people are looking for is a more powerful while at the same time simplistic means implementation and feedback communication.

Taking the implementation issues first then

•You no longer have to deal with Javascript.
•The complexity of activities and LRS communication is greatly reduced (fewer API calls.)
•There are no more required manifest files or complex file structures.
•There are no complex requirements for the content (activity) to meet. It only needs to be able
to send the statement “I did this.”
•Since there are no user interface requirements to be met by the activity or the LRS — the
activity exists on its own and reports statements to the LRS. The learner does not have to start an activity from within the LMS, the activity just sends a statement to the LMS (LRS) once an
activity has been completed

Using scorm packages I always include a set of questions for feedback and these can be scored in a number of ways, but Tin Can provides us with a more meaning set of options based around the concept of Actor Verb and Object:-

[Somebody] says that [I] [did] [this] in the context of [ _____ ] with result [ _____ ] on


If you are feeling techie enough there is an API starter that I feel certain you will be very keen to take a look at.

Should you wish to give Tin Can a try then go to and sign up for a free account. I have already given this a go, uploaded one of my scorm packages and everything ran very smoothly. For Moodle users there is a Tin Can plug available here so that you can now connect your LMS to Scorm Cloud.

My initial impressions are I must say very good, and I am particularly interested in the possibility of utilising Tin Can for our growing use of  OpenSimulator here at the College.

If you have given Tin Can a try yet or have any comments then please feel free to post.


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