Anyone who has developed and/or delivered computer-based training in the past decade or more has come across the standards of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model, or SCORM (What is SCORM?). This model for defining the communications between the learner (client) and the delivery system (host) in the eLearning environment has dictated the evolution of web-based training for more than a decade.
The first version of SCORM was actually the result of an executive order tasking the Department of Defense to develop standards for eLearning in both the federal and private sectors. SCORM 1.1 was introduced in January 2000 to the specifications developed by the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative. Now in its 13th year, SCORM has delivered on its promise to bring standards of development and implementation to web-based eLearning.
This next evolution in the development of eLearning standards solves many of the restrictions that SCORM brought with it. For example, mobile devices can now serve as Tin Can API-enabled learning devices. Content can be distributed seamlessly across domains and platforms. Collaboration and team-based learning can now be tracked, measured and recorded. But perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the Tin Can API (TCAPI) initiative is its ability to track and measure real-world activities, not just simulated digital ones. But the SCORM model has its limitations as well. The technology that was available at the time SCORM was conceived of and developed has continued to evolve. Some of the ways that eLearning delivery has changed were not even imagined when SCORM was introduced. So a new initiative was developed based upon input from the eLearning community and experts in eLearning technology. And the successor to SCORM was born.
By using the TCAPI standard, Learning Management Systems (LMS) and the Learning Record Stores (LRS) within them, can be made to track experiences, not just events. By incorporating a simple structure of Actor, Verb, Object – the TCAPI based system can log things like, “Helen completed diversity training.” In situations of hands-on training, this system can have a verified observer input the completion of a task, such as equipment operation by inputting, “David completed forklift skills training.”
Also, the actor in the sequence doesn’t have to be the learner or a qualified instructor either. In fact, software can be made to report into a TCAPI-based system. Imagine a CPR dummy with sensors and a recording device that can then signal the successful completion of life-saving skills training. Or, think about a complex piece of medical equipment that can send the results of a successful user training directly to the TCAPI-enable LMS system. With TCAPI, reporting and data flow are not separate entities, but are a part of the overall system.
The future of eLearning will continue to evolve, and your LMS system should be capable of seamlessly integrating with the new standards. TOPYX® social LMS is an award-winning system that was designed to meet the needs of tomorrow’s eLearning environment, today. TOPYX was just voted 2012’s “Best Social Learning Solution” and is currently SCORM certified with work being done to provide Tin Can API. You can see TOPYX for yourself by requesting a free, personal LMS demo.
The developments of Tin Can API with help advance learning management to ultimately allow for low cost content delivery and accessibility by increasing compatibility options to match up with client’s and user’s needs.
Vice President, Business Development