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Tracking Learning Experiences- How is Tin Can Different from SCORM?

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Tracking Learning Experiences - How is Tin Can Different from SCORM?

In my earlier blog, I have discussed the benefits of Tin Can API and the reasons why it is the latest trend in the eLearning industry. Learning today can happen anywhere, anytime, and this standard enables the acquisition of knowledge beyond the traditional training sessions.

Tin Can API, the successor to SCORM, can be used to track learning experiences that occur at any place. You can track learning that takes place through all devices, and it is doesn’t matter whether the training is formal or informal.

But then SCORM is the most widely accepted and used eLearning standard so far. SCORM is seen as the most mature standard of eLearning development as compared to Tin Can. Any Learning Management System (LMS) that is SCORM conformant can play any SCORM compliant content. It enables content or eLearning courses to communicate with the LMS and facilitates tracking.

So, what are the differences between SCORM and Tin Can API? In this blog, I want to highlight the differences between SCORM and the Tin Can API in terms of tracking and storing data.

Tracking Details SCORM Tin Can API
1 Course completion status Yes Yes
2 Time spent by learners on the course Yes Yes
3 Whether learner has passed/failed Yes Yes
4 Reporting of single scores Yes Yes
5 Reporting of multiple scores Yes
6 Detailed quiz results Yes
7 Tracked even when learners are not logged into LMS Yes
8 No internet browser required Yes
9 Learner has full control on the content Yes
10 No cross-domain limitations Yes
11 Can use mobile apps for learning Yes
12 No Platform transition restrictions (i.e. computer to mobile) Yes
13 Serious games and simulations can be tracked Yes
14 Informal learning tracking Yes
15 Tracking of Real-world and disconnected learning scenarios Yes
16 Offline learning tracking Yes
17 Adaptive learning Tracking Yes
18 Blended learning tracking Yes
19 collaborative learning tracking Yes

These are some differences between the two standards. Tin Can captures the complete picture of learning in all its forms, which is not possible using SCORM. But then, adopting Tin Can standards will greatly impact the way we think of training, creating eLearning courses and hosting them, and the organizations should be ready for a lot of training needs analysis and decision making.

What do you say? Do share your views with us or comments, if you wish to add to the list.

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  • Ingo Dahn

    Hi,
    I would add the fact that TinCan/xAPI, unlike SCORM, is to a considerable extent flexible to adapt to new challenges by introducing new verbs. On the other hand, TinCan addresses only tracking – which is just one of the 20+ SCORM objectives listed in the SCORM books.
    I am not sure to agree that in TinCan the learner has full control on the content – usually the learner cannot access the LRS to see the the statements made about her learning. In general, access authorization policies for LRSs are not defined in the spec. That affects also the cross-domain usage you mentioned, when a learner’s records is in several LRSs and needs to be aggregated – which involves a whole bunch of privacy issues yet to be discussed.