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YouTube + Tin Can = Amazing

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Categories: APIs, Best Practices, Use Cases

Posted 27 August 2013


People learn a lot from YouTube. Some companies have libraries of videos on YouTube that they use for formal training, or maybe you just want to watch a video to learn something useful on your own.

Ervin has been busy building a practical tool that captures learning data from YouTube — and there’s a lot that you can capture with Tin Can.

There’s a lot that you can do with Tin Can and video on many platforms, not just YouTube.
We chose YouTube because, well, it’s popular, but we’ve done more than just work with YouTube videos. Brian worked with one of our clients to generate Tin Can statements from their Brightcove videos, and also from videos on their native mobile apps (iOS and Android), even when the mobile devices aren’t connected to a network.

Now, back to YouTube, and what we’ve done to “Tin Cannify” it.

You can see which parts of the video were actually played, skipped, rewatched, or even if the learner got distracted by another window or application on their computer. If you’ve worked with any older e-learning standards, you realize how amazing all of this is.

It’s hard to express just how useful this data can be, especially when you start looking at large samples of learners and seeing which parts of specific videos will lead to improved real-world performance.

Ervin will be writing a post wrote a blog about some of the technical things that are required to track YouTube videos with Tin Can, and we’ll be sharing the actual tool with the public in the near future. Until then, here’s a screenshot of some of the statements I just generated.

youtube-tin can api-statements

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  • mind4g

    Ok, so dumb question. Does this apply to any video on say YouTube or just the ones that you may have uploaded as part of your training channel? I mean, is the functionality part of the Player (so anyone writing these scripts) can create a YouTube player that will essentially track any video being watched?

  • Ervin Puskar

    So this will apply to any video on YouTube, provided that that it is played within this player. There is no need to upload the video, just by changing the URL that the player is using we can send statement about any video that is on YouTube. Check out the demo here

  • mind4g

    Excellent! Pretty slick :)

  • Aparna Nagaraj

    can articles / videos be chosen as relevant learning by the Learning function people for their organization?

  • Aparna Nagaraj

    So, learning function should share a changed url if the learning has to be recorded. But, how does this ensure that we capture any learning from any other relevant video that the learner chooses?

  • Ervin Puskar

    Yes, you could pretty easily set a list of specific videos based on URL that you want your users to see. And since they will probably be authenticated, each user could have a unique set of videos they are “assigned”. Please let me know if doesn’t specifically answer your question.

  • Brian Miller

    The key here is that Tin Can can be used to capture the various interesting moments of playing a video. Which video player you use, or which videos it will play, or who assigns the videos, etc. are all functions of the LMS or some other system. They are really outside the scope of what is being explained here.

    Also note that we recently put out information about a concept called “Recipes”, and one of the first use cases for Recipes was capturing video. You can find more information about Recipes here:

  • Min Nay Zaw

    How can configure the LRS specification(end points,username,secret key) for activities of youtube video. Please explain to me if possible

  • Gordon Perlin

    The new YouTube API version 3 has new extensions like Topics and Activities.
    This will be very handy for coming up with interesting tincan recipes.

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