What is Tin Can?

The Tin Can API is a brand new learning technology specification that opens up an entire world of experiences (online and offline). This API captures the activities that happen as part of learning experiences. A wide range of systems can now securely communicate with a simple vocabulary that captures this stream of activities. Previous specifications were difficult and had limitations whereas the Tin Can API is simple and flexible, and lifts many of the older restrictions. Mobile learning, simulations, virtual worlds, serious games, real-world activities, experiential learning, social learning, offline learning, and collaborative learning are just some of the things that can now be recognized and communicated well with the Tin Can API. What’s more, the Tin Can API is community-driven, and free to implement.  (TinCanAPI.com)

ADL (the keepers of SCORM) is the steward of this new specification aka “the next generation of SCORM.”

Up until now, SCORM has been the most widely used elearning standard but it falls short when it comes to capturing the entire picture of elearning. If an LMS is SCORM conformant then it can play any SCORM content and vice versa (any SCORM content can be played in any SCORM conformant LMS) however learning is happening everywhere – not just in traditional SCORM courses inside traditional LMSs. The Tin Can API gives you the ability to see the whole picture and lets you record any learning experience, wherever and however it happens.

“SCORM has served us well, but it really doesn’t capture the entire picture of e-learning.” ~ TinCanAPI.com

What are the differences between SCORM & the Tin Can API?

Both SCORM and Tin Can API allow track completion; track time; track pass/fail; and report a single score. Tin Can API however allows so much more: report multiple scores; detailed test results; solid security; no LMS required; no internet browser required; keep complete control over your content; no cross-domain limitation; use mobile apps for learning; platform transition (i.e. computer to mobile); track serious games; track simulations; track informal learning; track real world performance; track offline learning; track interactive learning; track adaptive learning; track blended learning; track long-term learning; and track team-based learning.

Who’s using the Tin Can API?

Providers have come to realize that learning experiences happen everywhere (not just in the LMS) and Tin Can adopters want to give their users the ability to easily track these experiences. Many elearning providers have already adopted this new specification (including TalentLMS and very shortly eFront Learning too) for a full list click on this link.

For more on Tin Can API, please read this blog post: Tin Can Demystified and this page.

  • Dan

    Will Tin Can be implemented in your free open source version of eFront too?

  • Athanasios Papagelis

    I am afraid we have not yet decided on this front. We will keep you informed as things progress. (Make sure you won’t miss the eFront intermediary update this week)