SCORM vs Tin Can API
What is Tin Can API?
The Tin Can API has been making significant progress in saving the learning management industry from the archaic industry standard called SCORM. Created over 30 years ago, the Sharable Content Object Reference Model is still widely accepted, referenced, and used across the online learning industry today, even though it’s notorious for offering a bland learning experience. Baffled at how a software standard remains so ubiquitous even after this long? So are we. Its deep connection with the industry remains true even though most learning modules made for SCORM are often time-consuming affairs with outdated graphics and features.
You can understand why people are ready for a breath of fresh air when it comes to anything related to switching away from SCORM. The Tin Can API is the first feasible option for a better future. At its very core, Tin Can API — also known as Experience API or xAPI, used in a Tin Can-compliant learning management system — is a middleman between older, SCORM compliant learning content and today’s more modern learning management systems. Tin Can API literally expands the vocabulary of words that you can use when passing along information between SCORM learning modules, other APIs, and learning management systems. Tin Can promises to report volumes of new information to the learning management system from learning modules made for SCORM once they are formatted to the new standard.
SCORM existed for so long thanks to its ubiquity when using learning management systems. In a time where every LMS spoke a different language, SCORM was the universal language translator between these separate systems. As long as learning content, or “modules” as they are commonly called, was SCORM compliant, it could work with a whole host of learning management systems rather than just the one or few software platforms that supported that ‘language.’ Today, we no longer need SCORM’s translating abilities. Most learning management systems have authoring tools to create their content within the LMS itself so the transfer of data is not needed. Lessonly is one of these systems that provides easy-to-use authoring tools within the same software system that gives our customers the ability to assign and track the learning. We’ve worked to make sure that no information is ever lost in translation or transmission. Tin Can API works with SCORM compliant learning objects to give more in-depth reporting to modern learning management systems. The two standards are so closely tied together that the question of SCORM vs Tin Can isn’t really applicable. Tin Can API is seen as an update to the SCORM standard, a newer version that aims to fix many of the issues that a thirty-year-old software has these days.[/vc_column_text]
Is SCORM Cloud Still Relevant?
Tin Can API expanded its vocabulary of learning reporting knowledge by picking up a few words that allow it to communicate with Learning Record Stores. These LRS platforms are smaller versions of learning management systems that don’t store as much information as their older, more mature software counterpart. To keep up and track as many features as modern learning management systems, many SCORM customers had long since turned to SCORM Cloud for their training management systems. SCORM Cloud has since updated its software to include a learning record store within its offerings. This allows Tin Can API to report more detailed information to SCORM Cloud so that it can be stored and tracked within the SCORM format more efficiently.
As much of a step forward as Tin Can API is for SCORM compliant learning management systems, all the extra reporting features that come with this upgrade do not come easily. Content must be formatted from its earlier SCORM state into something that the Tin Can API can speak to more fluently. SCORM learning modules are notorious for reporting who took something and when they took it. That’s about it. If the existing content isn’t formatted to work with the more modern Tin Can API, none of the extra learning points will be tracked and reported onto the administrators looking to keep control of their content as needed. With a modern learning management system like Lessonly, this isn’t a problem with authoring tools, assessment tools, and tracking software built into a singular learning management platform. Lessonly users never have to worry about their content not being mobile accessible or responsible across multiple devices including phones, tablets, or laptops. We believe we’ve simplified the entire process by including the easy-to-use authoring tools within the same software we use to assign, track, and grade learning. If you can write an email, you can make an engaging and informative lesson within the Lessonly software — ease of usability and learner-first focus are a few of the core tenets that make up our design philosophy. Allowing us to fulfill our promise of a modern learning management systems means our clients never have to worry about pulling their lessons down from the cloud onto their desktops, laptops, or even mobile devices. Everywhere lessons can be accessed, tracking and reporting of grades and progress is included.