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Q&A from our October 9, 2012 Webinar – You asked and we’ve answered… finally!

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Categories: Adopters, APIs, Best Practices, Events, LRS, Tin Can

Posted 6 November 2012

 

Our first Tin Can API webinar back on October 9th was a huge success. We had over 1800 folks sign-up to attend and ended up with over 800 attendees. Jeff and I were working feverishly to answer as many questions in real-time as we could, but it was impossible to get to all 250+ questions that were submitted (we’re good, but not that good!).

In between supporting out customers, designing and developing some new Tin Can tools & applications, and preparing for DevLearn12, we’ve taken some time to answer all of your questions… and they’re finally ready! We hope you find these informative and helpful. If you have follow-up questions to any of these, or brand new questions we’ve yet to answer, please let us know. We’re happy to help.


Q&A – October 9, 2012 Tin Can API Webinar



Who’s supporting, or has plans to support the Tin Can API?

We received several of these types of questions, so we decided to lump these all together and provide a single answer.

Q: Any idea if WBT Systems (Dublin) has Tin Can on their radar?
Q: I am curious about Oracle Learn (previously Learn.com) plans about adopting Tin Can?
Q: What version of SumTotal supports Tin can?
Q: Will Adobe Captivate support this?
Q: We use Elvate as our LMS is Tin Can compatible?
Q: We use Cornerstone on Demand as our LMS. Have they been an adopter?
Q: Are open-source LMS systems (e.g. Moodle) adopting Tin Can?
Q: What about Saba LMS? Can we use Tin Can on this LMS?
Q: When will Adobe Captivate support Tin Can export?
Q: Any plans for Moodle or Oracle to implement the Tin Can API?
Q: I don’t see the Desire2Learn platform on the list of adopters. Are they on the radar? If not, I will be a huge squeaky wheel with them!
Q: Are you aware if SkillSoft has any plans to adopt Tin Can?

A: We can’t speak to any of these vendors plans for adoption as they have not made any public commitments. We have spoken with many of them as part of our outreach efforts to ensure that everybody is aware of Tin Can and its implications. We encourage all end-users who’d like to take advantage of the Tin Can API to speak up to their vendors and request that they support this new standard.

… and the rest of them.

Q: What about with OnPoint’s CellCast Mobile Distribution system?
A: Yes.  We believe so: http://tincanapi.com/what-is-tin-can/use-cases/#onpoint

Q: How would one go about beginning to track interactions/sending information from something like proprietary software? Or even begin to over-lay statement sends onto native mobile apps?
A: First, we’d encourage anyone interested in working with the Tin Can API to become familiar with the current Tin Can API Spec.  A logical next step may be to check out and experiment with some of our Tin Can prototypes in our Github repository.  Also, ask questions.  Many of our earliest adopters relied on us as a knowledge base and we welcome it.

Q: Does Tin Can work with learning systems built on php/mySQL and are there resources/instructions for installing on php/mySQL-based systems?
A: Yes. Tin Can is programming language agnostic.  You can also use whichever language, framework, and database you choose. Currently, we are not aware of any resources or instructions specifically for php/mySQL-based systems.  If a reader of this answer knows of any, please let us know and we’ll provide this as a resource on TinCanAPI.com.

Q: I have Articulate Storyline, I publish to Tin Can API because I want iPad support. But when I upload to my LAMP stack it doesn’t play due to not yet implementing TCAPI or the LRS. Where should I start implementing the TCAPI/LRS or is there a lite weight LMS that could just act as the player for the articulate package with TCAPI/LRS?
A: Give SCORM Cloud a try: http://tincanapi.com/our-solutions/hosted-lrs/

Q: We implemented SCORM Cloud in our LMS earlier this year. What is involved in becoming a TinCan early adopter?
A: SCORM Cloud already supports Tin Can and when using Tin Can at a “SCORM parity level”, the transition should be seamless. Simply upload a Tin Can course as you would a SCORM course and it will be treated the same way. More fully embracing Tin Can in your LMS requires a bit more work. Give us a call if you’d like to talk in more depth about it.

Q: This looks like a nightmare for reporting. Somehow all of these disconnected, free-form events have to be associated and categorized for reporting, don’t they?
Q: What are the current thoughts on transforming all of the statements into meaningful data?  Reporting on an event based structure presents numerous challenges

A: Tin Can creates a lot of challenges for reporting and figuring out what to do with all of this data. How we create value from information is yet to be seen. I think there are two ways to look at the problem the first is to consider how we form a better picture of an individual, the other is how we understand our organization. In looking just at the individual, I’d argue that simply viewing the stream of statements provides valuable insights. Just like scanning a person’s Facebook wall gives us a picture of who that person is, scanning a stream of what and how somebody has chosen to learn will provide at least some level of insight. In seeking to understand a group, there are a lot of unsolved problems to figure out how to answer questions based on a pile of unstructured data. Many of these “big data” problems are being worked on by the best and brightest computer scientists today. I look forward to seeing some of these advances applied to our industry.

Q: Re: your comment that you do not need to start in the LMS… If the learning event is not scheduled in the LMS, then how is the information managed/tracked when the external learning event is completed and data is sent back to the LMS?
A: In order for an LMS to receive Tin Can Statements it will need to include an LRS.  The LRS does not need to be aware of the learning activity prior to receiving statements.  However, the Activity Provider does need to be authorized to write to the LRS.

Q: And the Tin Can spec is available now for use?
A: Yes.  You can view it here: http://tincanapi.wikispaces.com/.  You can see current adopters here: http://tincanapi.com/what-is-tin-can/adopters/

Q: Are specs publicly available to build a privately hosted LRS?
A: Not really.  The spec leaves this up to the LRS developer.  However, you can see an example LRS here: https://github.com/adlnet/ADL_LRS

Q: So is it correct to say that the learning provider/developer will be defining the parameters of the verbs-actors-actions that a particular LRS recognizes and stores?
A: The answer is slightly different for actors and verbs. Actors: It will be up the the LRS to decide whether it wants to maintain information for a particular actor. An LRS could limit what it stores only to known actors, or it could maintain all records it recieves just in case it gets to know an actor later on. Verbs: An LRS should accept statements containing any verb, even unrecognized ones. This is a key component to the extensibility of Tin Can. When an LRS stores an unrecognized verb, it then allows speciailzied reporting and analysis tools to pull that data out later on.

Q: The latest version of Articulate Storyline does provide a Tin Can output option.
A: Correct. Articulate Storyline is an early Tin Can adopter and their latest update includes Tin Can support.

Q: In scorm we use suspend_data to track alot of retreivable lesson progress data, inc 3 possible states for each page, (there maybe 50 pages), can we do same with TC?
A: You can track whatever you’d like with Tin Can. It’s up to the content creator to decide what gets tracked. Tin Can also includes a “state API” that allows for buckets of state data to be stored.

Q: Would be nice to have a list of end-user tools enabling us to build Tin Can compliasnt content and also describe what is needed (server side) for Moodle.
A: You can see the adopters we are aware of here: http://tincanapi.com/what-is-tin-can/adopters/.  Moodle would need to include Tin Can support in the form of an LRS.  It would also need to know how to handle Tin Can courses.

Q: Any interoperability with LTI?
A: IMS LTI offers a complimentary set of functionality to Tin Can with very little overlap. There is a good possibility that the two standards could be effectively used together.

Q: What specific encryption and authentication methods are used to prevent data tampering and using the pizza for a friend method?
A: Tin Can requests can be sent over SSL to prevent data tampering. Unfortunately all electronic learning (or any electronic communication for that matter) is subject to the vulnerability by buying my buddy a pizza to do my training for me. Without a trusted proctor monitoring the user, there is no way to ensure that person taking the training is actually the person you think it is.

Q: (I have more of a statement) The transition to Tin Can would be much easier if reporting to LRS and SCORM could be done in parallel
A: It can be! There is no reason that a SCORM conformant course cannot also make simultaneous Tin Can calls to an LRS. In fact we suspect that content authors will start to do this early to facilitate analytics. The content will be deployed to a SCORM LMS, but still relay Tin Can statements to a central LRS that the content author uses to monitor how their content is being used. We also have updated our SCORM Engine product to translate SCORM results into Tin Can statements. This will allow people to use a Tin Can LRS as an authoritative data store for both SCORM and Tin Can content.

Q: Who controls how LRS data is shared with LMS/other LRS, etc? Content developer, learner, instructor?  How does a learner control who his records go to?
A: It depends on the LRS and who owns the LRS. If my company owns the LRS, then they will control the records that are in it just like they control the data in their LMS right now. If there is a Personal Data Locker that learner stores records in, then it will be up to the learner to allow others to read/write records. I suspect we will start to see LMS’s that have an “import/export my records” feature exposed to the the learner that will allow them to sync the data from the LMS with their personal data locker.

Q: How does a provider become authorized to write to an LRS, how does it know which LRS to write to?
A: Part of the administrative interface to an LRS will allow it to issue credentials. These credentials can be issed as HTTP Basic Authentican username/ password combinations, or trust relationships can be established via OAuth. LRSs can choose how restrictive they want to be with allowing people to write statements. Activity providers will have to be configured to point to particular LRSs. We think that the problem of having many providers trying to write to many LRSs makes a strong case for the existence of a single de facto personal data locker for capturing informal learning events.

Q: Any idea if this can interface with sharepoint?
A: Yes, Tin Can can be integrated with SharePoint, however, we are not aware of an integration at this time.  We would be happy to speak with you about possibly working on an integration.

Q: Is SCORM going to go away?
A: Not for a long time. DVDs were introduced almost 20 years ago, but I just recently got rid of my VCR. Just like my home entertainment system had the ability to play VHS tapes for decades, LMS’s will continue to be able to play legacy SCORM content for many years to come.

Q: Is Tin can limited to apple app store or other mobile devices?
A: Tin Can can be integrated with any app on any mobile platform.

Q: What version of SCORM does tin can work with?
A: None.  Tin Can is a new learning specification, however, old courses can be converted.  The converted courses can track everything SCORM tracks and more.

Q: Can current Tin Can LMS (Rustici) be implemented into current LMS, or must developers created based in the standard…is there plans for open source LMS?
A: There are examples of LMS vendors doing their own Tin Can integration, i.e. Docebo.  Others are choosing to use our Tin Can Engine solution: http://tincanapi.com/our-solutions/installed-lrs/

Q: How can you separate private activity streams and job-related?
A: In a personal data locker, the application would have to give you the ability to filter statements into groups that can then be shared or kept private. You could filter based on activity provider, date, subject, etc, but these would have to be functions of the PDL.

Q: How can we be assured that TC-compliant LMS is standardized.  I have had many issues with GOTS LMS(s) that are extremely buggy when my courseware works fine on all others?
A: No standard is perfect. We’ve tried to incorporate many of our lessons learned from working with SCORM over the last 10 years into Tin Can. Tin Can is also a simpler standard. We hope that will improve interoperability, but nothing is ever perfect. The interoperability of a standard often comes down to how well the vendors choose to implement it as well. In our experience, most SCORM problems weren’t the fault of the standard itself, but rather vendors who only implemented it half-heartedly and who were not committed to making their implementations interoperable. Don’t let your vendors get away with that kind of behavior.

Q: What happens if youtube video (bookmarked as learning Key) is taken down…how does that effect re-usability?
A: Well you certainly can’t reuse something if it has been taken down. Tin Can allows for metadata about the activity to be stored on the statement, so even if the learning activity goes away we can still know something about it.

Q: Would a safe assumption be that the Tin Can API is going to be presented as something that should be integrated in applications that go beyond courseware and learning?  It seems that this is mandatory to passively track learning experiences in regular activites.
A: Yes!

Q: I don’t understand how Tin Can will help me if I use an LMS that does not use Tin Can?
A: You’re right, it won’t help you if you don’t use products that support it.

Q: To me this sounds a bit like the “like” button for facebook?
A: There are some strong similarities, yes.

Q: It seems as if your underlying assumption is that people want to learn and want to let others know what they learned!?!?
A: Correct. Some do, others won’t.

Q: Who developed the Tin Can API? And how is this linked to Rustici software???
A: In 2010 ADL (the Advanced Distributed Learning initiative, a research lab within the US Department of Defense adlnet.gov) started looking at ways to define the next generation of SCORM. As part of that broad effort, they awarded Rustici Software a research grant to define an “experience API”. Over the course of a year, Rustici Software conducted an extensive community outreach requirements gathering effort and came up with a proposed solution called the Tin Can API. At the end of that research project, Rustici Software submitted the Tin Can API to ADL who is now moving it forward to a production release through an open community effort. Rustici Software invented the Tin Can API, but it is now owned by ADL who intends to turn it over to an open standards organization when it is complete. Rustici Software is now just an independent company like any other, but we continue to heavily participate in the Tin Can community, the evolution of the spec and evangelizing for its adoption (just as we always did with SCORM).

Q: When the content provider decides what gets recorded, how can you ever run comparable reports?
A: There is a core set of standardized verbs that describe the activities of common e-learning courses of today. It’s hard to answer the question without knowing more about what you would like to compare.

Q: Is your ‘Personal Data Locker’ effectively an e-portfolio? If so I guess that Tin Can will be useful as a way of linking learning activities with your e-portfolio?
A: Yes, they are very similar concepts.

Q: Can SCORM and Tin Can be run in parallel on the same LMS?
A: The LMS can have both SCORM and Tin Can support.

Q: How does TC integrate into a system that is required to be a validated system for compliance?
A: Good question. We aren’t very familiar with your industry’s particular requirements for a “validated system”, but please make us aware of any possible conflicts ASAP.

Q: Has the Dept of Defense accepted TinCAn?
A: ADL is part of the DoD and is creating Tin Can. There are probably some security validations that still need to be conducted before Tin Can is deployed on production military networks. This is a known concern that ADL should be addressing.

Q: So has this replaced SCORM?
A: SCORM isn’t going anywhere for a long time to come. New work will be focused on Tin Can instead of SCORM, but vendors will be supporting SCORM for a long time to come.

Q: What is the relationship between SCORM and this?
A: The Tin Can API is the next generation of SCORM. It can track everything that SCORM can track, but it does much more. See SCORM vs. Tin Can: http://tincanapi.com/what-is-tin-can/overview/scorm-vs-the-tin-can-api/

Q: I can see a problem with end users sending a record to an LRS or LMS without some kind of approval process from a supervisor or instructor. Is there an option for anrecord approval process?
A: Yes.  The activity provider has to be authorized to write to the LRS.  This can be done via oAuth or Basic Auth.

Q: For myself Tin Can is an API that allows you to connect to a lot of educational resources using different communication protocols.
A: It will connect lots of educational resources, but the point is that they will all use a single communication protocol (the Tin Can API).

Q: Is it possible to track unexpected events into a learning experience?
A: If the activity provider is able to recognize and report them, then sure, activities can be defined on the fly so an experience provider could theoretically record the unexpected.

Q: This may have already been asked, but are there 3rd party LRS systems already developed or are these basically developed by a current LMS or custom created by developers?
A: Yes, there are 3rd party LRS’s available. http://tincanapi.com/what-is-tin-can/adopters/

Q: Do you have, or know of any, Tin Can sample courses?
A: Check out our Tin Can prototypes: http://tincanapi.com/developers/resources/prototypes-getting-started/

Q: How can I develop Tin Can content to integrate with Moodle?
A: Moodle will need to add support for the Tin Can API to integrate Tin Can content with it. There is some talk on the Moodle discussion boards about making this happen, but no commitent that we are aware of yet. In the interim, the SCORM Cloud Moodle plugin provides a solution for adding Tin Can support to Moodle. http://scorm.com/moodle

Q: Hi all, where can I find the lastest LRS implementation?? I saw a js one but is quite old and I’m not sure if this is the latest (I have founded it at https://github.com/adlnet/TinCan_Prototypes )
A: You can see our Public LRS statement viewer here: http://tincanapi.com/developers/resources/statement-viewer/.  SCORM Cloud is a hosted LRS: http://tincanapi.com/our-solutions/hosted-lrs/. You have the correct URL for the ADL one.

Q: Ok, I’ve already seen your LRS, thx, but I would like to install and use an specific instance of an LRS in my server, is the adl js version the latest one I can find (https://github.com/adlnet/TinCan_Prototypes)?
A: We have an installed LRS solution available: http://tincanapi.com/our-solutions/installed-lrs/  Get in touch with us if you’d like to learn more about this.

Q: I have various vendors who have their own Product Knowledge courses on their own LMS for our sales staff, in addition to our in-house LMS… with Tin-Can, would I be able to track their progress on all LMS into a single LRS installed on SharePoint? If so, how or where will users info be tracked if they have different usernames for each LMS?
A: That is the idea. There is a lot that needs to happen to make it a reality (for instance, those LMS’s need to publish their data). LRS will need “actor merging” functionality to consolidate different identifiers (or personas) for an actual person.

Q: Why wouldn’t a major LMS vendor NOT adopt the Tin Can API?
A: I think they all will, in time. Right now Tin Can is still not even a finalized specification. Some companies like to be innovative and pioneer the leading edge. Others prefer to wait until things are well established and stable before incorporating them into their products. I suspect all vendors will adopt Tin Can at a SCORM parity level. Fully embracing Tin Can will be hard for some LMS vendors because it will force them to rethink some fundamental components of their system design.

Q: Who will have access to all this data?
A: Whoever the LRS permits.

Q: You just asked if course can report SCORM and Tin Can at the same time – doesn’t Claro from dominKnow do that?
A: Claro certainly can report in both SCORM and Tin Can. I don’t know if it reports them at the same time or not.

Q: How does Tin Can get consistency in the learning catalog for reporting for the learning activity? So the same learning activity has consistency for reporting?
A: Tin Can statements have a specific structure, and verbs will need to be managed and consistent.

Q: Is there an actual Tin Can implementation that I can try out?
A: Yes, SCORM Cloud is a fully functional and free LRS that you can use. Check out the Tin Can API Resources page for more demonstrations and prototypes to play with.

Q: Does Tin Can API support something like ‘suspend data’ like we have in SCORM or some other way of saving the state of the application for a user?
A: Yes, Tin Can has a state API that allows for storage of buckets of state data.

Q: Do you use Tin Can for all applications to replace use of SCORM?
A: You could, but you don’t have to.

Q: Will I be able to set up my own personal LRS in addition to a corporate LRS so I can ‘clip’ my own personal learning as I go? Will there be an Evernote equivalent with TinCan?
A: Yes, we just announced the launch of Watershed.ws, the personal LRS.

Q: Will Tin Can allow a way to track without needing an LMS?
A: You will need an LRS to store Tin Can statements in. An LRS can be independent of an LMS, but it doesn’t have to be.

Q: What is the LRS Record Format? XML? Pipe and Tilde? Proprietary?
A: LRS’s can store statements in whatever format they choose to.

Q: Are Software Vendors like Articulate Studio adopting Tin Can?
A: Yes.  You can see all of the authoring tool adopters here: http://tincanapi.com/what-is-tin-can/adopters/

Q: Are there fees for acquiring development information and then using TC, and if so how are they structured?
A: No, Tin Can is a completely open spec. Get started with everything you need to know at http://tincanapi.com/developers/tech-overview/.

Q: LRS – Sounds like an LMS by a different name
A: Perhaps. We intentionally used the term LRS to connote the specific part of an LMS that tracks and stores Tin Can statements. As people start to use independent LRS’s, their feature set might grow to become more like an LMS.

Q: LRS – so far sounds like a competitor even though saying not an LMS
A: There is a chance that independent LRS’s are disruptive to the LMS industry.

Q: How would something like Bookmarking be captured with Tin Can? If things are so subjective how will LMS’ know what a particular LRS is calling their bookmarking “verb”?
A: Bookmarking would be done using the state API portion of Tin Can that allows for storing buckets of state data. An LRS shouldn’t have any need for examining state data.

Q: How do you envision standarization of LRS data? This is all great, but if everyone stores their data differently then its not as “free” as you claim.
A: It doesn’t matter how it is stored because Tin Can provides for a standardized way for other applications to get the data out.

Q: What are the competing APIs to TC?
A: None that we know of. There are some other efforts that tackle some of the things that Tin Can also solves. We look forward to seeing how Tin Can will complement the work on ePortfolios, Open Badges and IMS LTI.

Q: If I have an existing LMS SumTotal, will I be able to use Tin Can? Or will they need to upgrade to TIN CAN api?
A: Your LMS will need to implement the Tin Can API. SumTotal is aware of Tin Can. Let them know if you want them to implement it.

Q: Packages from 1.2 ou 2004 versions will be compatible with the TC API?
A: The courses will need to be converted to speak Tin Can.  You can see Tin Can course examples here: http://tincanapi.com/developers/resources/prototypes-getting-started/

Q: How does Tin Can know that I am me? How are my Guitar Hero (gaming) prowess, and my DevLearn workshop attendance, or even my blog readings … how are all of these activities associated with “me” in the LRS?
A: The LRS will need to have the capability to merge different personas for an individual.

Q: I see Articulate is an adopter – is it possible now to publish using Articulate tools for iPad with Tin Can?
A: Yes.  You can use Articulate Storyline today and publish Tin Can courses.  These are viewable via the articulate iOS mobile player.

Q: http://tincanapi.com/what-is-tin-can/overview/scorm-vs-the-tin-can-api/ states that tin can, can track adaptive learning. are there examples of that? can it track adaptivity like www.anewspring.com supplies in its platform?
A: There might be some good examples listed amongst the Tin Can API adopters. Yes, Tin Can will be able to track adaptive learning like what anewspring.com provides. In fact, we’d love to talk to them about becoming an adopter.

Q: I’m having trouble with the verbosity and “open” character of the api. For human readabilty this is great. But a LMS (or developer) it is going to be troublesome to manage these results and do anything other than just “list” the records.
A: There is a bit more structure than you think. For instance, anything that you can report on in SCORM can already be reported on in Tin Can in a standardized way. Yes, there will be extra information that can’t be reported on in a standardized way, but common activities can all be represented in a standardized way.

Q: If someone doesn’t want to use one of your paid or licensed solutions for an LRS, are there free solutions for installing an LRS on your own server (ie, creating your own version of scormcloud to keep track of TinCan statements, etc)? The installed LRS solution you have linked to appears to have very high license fees (http://tincanapi.com/our-solutions/installed-lrs/).
A: ADL is working on an open source LRS.

Q: Is the Multiple LRS Solution communication happening between LRS’s directly or does it happen through the user’s browser? We have content pieces that have different privilege levels, will it affect the reporting?
A: LRS to LRS communication happens directly, there is no need to involve a browser.

Q: As an API do imaging there will be limitations for corporate firewalls at financial and government/defense clients?
A: There will certainly be valid cases for LRS’s to live behind firewalls and not expose any data externally.

Q: I’d like to hear how you are integrating with your own Scormcloud.
A: SCORM Cloud contains a fully functional LRS that you can use for production or as a sandbox. It also has the ability to translate SCORM course results into Tin Can statements.

Q: What limitations exist for TIN CAN adoption in older LMSes?  In other words, are there base LMS system requirements that must be met for TIN CAN?
A: The technology to implement a Tin Can LRS should be available on any development platform that creates web applications.

Q: Rustici used to support a product named Test Track to validate courseware as SCORM xxx compatible and provide a test environment for validation of SCORM calls. Is there any plan for a similar product for Tin Can (specifically an offline version for airgapped networks)
A: Right now we have some useful developer tools. SCORM Cloud contains a Tin Can sandbox that is basically Test Track for Tin Can. There is also a Tin Can statement generator and validator. http://tincanapi.com/developers/resources/statement-generator/

Q: Is there an LRS schema available?
A: No, each LRS implements their database schema differently.

Q: With the Actor, Verb and Object, how are you able to parse thru to get something like a Score.  Are you allowed to just build a rich object with whatever information/structure you want?
A: There is a “with result” section of a Tin Can statement that allows you to record a score.

Q: Can you explain how this enables ‘offline’ activities? Seems like we need to be online for the REST calls to be made.
A: Correct, you need to be online for the REST calls to be made, but unlike SCORM, these calls can be saved up locally while offline and then communicated with a connection is established.

Q: Who came up with the name ‘Tin Can’?
A: Rustici Software, as part of the original Project Tin Can research project via ADL

Q: Saying that Tin Can does not depend on browser, what is used instead? A player?
A: Tin Can content can still use a browser, but it doesn’t absolutely have to anymore like it did in SCORM.

Q: How can Tin Can API work without LMS? What is required instead?
A: Tin Can requires an LRS (Learning Record Store) to store statments: http://tincanapi.com/what-is-tin-can/overview/learning-record-store/. A LRS may be part of an LMS or it may be independent. Also note that a Tin Can enabled learning experience can be launched without going through the LMS. A user can go directly to the learning experience wtihout first logging into the LMS.

Q: Does introducing Tin Can API mean SCORM will go away some day?
A: SCORM may go away some day, but not for some time.  Too much time and money has been invested in SCORM.  Tin Can is the future, though.

Q: Will Tin Can be able to manage the registration process for class room instruction
A: Not really.

Q: Does Tin Can also replace the content packaging standard from SCORM or is it only focused on record keeping?
A: Tin Can is primarily focused on the record keeping. There is an auxiliary part of the spec that defines how to use Tin Can in an LMS like you would SCORM. This auxillary spec includes a very lightweight packaging protocol.

Q: If a simulation provides a detailed training report file at the end of the session can it be uploaded to a LRS?
A: Yes.

Q: Are simulations always started offline or can one be launched from a Tin Can compliant LMS?
A: Tin Can activities can be started outside of the LMS, or they can be imported into a Tin Can enabled LMS and launched there. It just depends on the type of content.

Q: It sounds as if Tin Can is making the LMS as we know it today obsolete. Do you feel that this is the case?  If so what will be the role of the LMS in a Tin Can world?
A: The LRS is only used for storing Tin Can statements. You’ll may still need an LMS for things like scheduling, compliance tracking, competency management, user management, reporting, catalog management and much more.

Q: Can Tin Can work without the aid of a LMS?
A: Tin Can requires a LRS to store statements. A LRS might be part of an LMS or it might be independent.

Q: How does Tin Can API support *certified* credentials (statements)? Does the certification attach to the statement of learning?
A: Tin Can authenticates the issuer of a statement through either HTTP Basic Authentication (user name / password) or though OAuth. The 1.0 version of the spec will also include a strong concept of statement signing to securely sign statements and allow them to move between LRS’s.

Q: Are there case studies yet where Tin Can is being used in higher education?
A: No case studies, but a lot of interest and early experimentation.

Q: Can I use this API to store the progress offline and post it to a LMS later in case of the user don’t have a large band internet connections?
A: Absolutely!  The application that is integrated with the Tin Can API can be collecting Tin Can Statements in a disconnected mode (storing these locally), then send these to the LRS once connected again. Note that the actual offline storage is not part of the Tin Can API, but will be simple to implement as part of the learning experience.

Q: Are there formal developer training workshops being offered?
A: We do them occasionally at conferences. Our next webinar will likely be very developer focused. Sign up for the Tin Can API newsletter to be notified of when they will happen.

Q: Will the vocabulary, e.g. of verbs sent via Tin Can to an LRS be standardised, or always be implementer-driven?
A: Yes, there is a standard set of verb from ADL. We will be working to define a centralized verb registry.

Q: Has the FDA & international regulatory agencies accepted Tin Can?
A: Not yet. Please let us know about any special requirements these agencies impose that you think might be problematic for Tin Can adoption ASAP.

Q: As Tin Can API is based on verbs, each LMS with reporting capabilities will have to create some kind of mapping between it’s vocabulary and each learning activity? It’s kind of confusing … hmm
A: There is a standardized set of verbs for common actions that would be likely to be included in reports. We expect additional sets of standardized verbs to emerge as Tin Can matures.

Q: Is Rustici Software still involved with ADL in the development of TinCan?
A: We are still heavily involved in the spec community, along with numerous other organizations.

Q: Will the ADL have their own version of TinCan vs the Rustici version of TinCan, or will there only be one common version?
A: Only one version. We’re all working on a single spec. This now includes AICC.

Q: Will Tin Can work with eLearning development software like Captivate and Camtasia?
A: Yes. Neither of these have adopted, as far as we know. But it is definitely possible. Articulate, Rapid Intake and DominKnow (Claro) are all current adopters.

Q: What does it mean that articulate adopted. Can you explain in a practical exapmple?
A: Articulate has adopted Tin Can in their Storyline product. You can now publish a Tin Can course, like you would a SCORM or AICC course. This will also enable you to take advantage of the Articulate iPad mobile player.

Q: How will a learner be identified in the LRS?
A: The learners can be identified in a number of ways. Typically this will be an email address, but can also be a user ID, twitter handle, etc.

Q: How will the bookmarklet, for example, ‘knows’ to which LRS the userID needs to be send?
A: The user will need to configure their instance of the bookmarklet to send statement to their LRS or LRSs. You can see this on tincanapi.com: http://tincanapi.com/developers/resources/bookmarklet/

Q: Will there be a wrapper to convert SCORM 1.2 or 2004 to Tin Can?
A: It is possible to convert a SCORM course to a Tin Can course. It is also possible to convert Tin Can statements to SCORM data, and vice versa. Check out the SCORM Driver quick start guide. This may get you what you’re looking for: http://tincanapi.com/our-solutions/tin-can-activities/driver-quickstart/

Q: What is the mechanism for tin can to report to a specific learner record store?
A: There is an authentication layer to an LRS. An activity provider can be authorized to write statements to an LRS via Basic Auth or oAuth.

Q: Must the user authenticate on the remote system and must that system support Tin Can to have it pass a statement?
A: The typical use case is that the user will authenticate on the remote system. The system will need to support Tin Can in order to generate and send Tin Can statements.

 
  • http://twitter.com/rolleck Ralf Olleck

    great resource – thanks for sharing questions and answers!

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