In the field of eLearning there are communication standards that ensure strong communication between training content and the platform hosting them. One of the most commonly used standards is SCORM – Sharable Content Object Reference Model.

As the usages of online training evolve, it can be carried out everywhere and in a variety of ways only within the context of an LMS – Learning Management System – with SCORM courses. In fact, learning via mobile, simulations and serious games, etc. requires new standards.

Over the past few years, a new standard has emerged in the field of remote training programs. Known as API Experience or xAPI or most commonly as “Tin Can”, it is generally considered the evolution of the SCORM standard.

So then, what exactly is Tin Can?

Before defining the Tin Can standard, it is important to remember that “API”  – Application Programming Interface is a standard that allows programs and software to communicate with one another.

As SCORM did before it, Tin Can API makes it possible to transmit information on training activities to a training management platform. This information is stored in a Learning Record Stores (LRS) and can then be used on its own or in a traditional Learning Management Systems (LMS).

Tin Can was created in order to track the learning behaviour of users more easily.

The Tin Can standard has a number of advantages, such as flexibility that allows for distance learning through all types of devices, regardless of where the user is.

However, Tin Can requires additional thought in the design process unlike SCORM which is simpler in that stage. From now on, the designer must define the structure of the program and prioritize all content, which takes more time and requires the mastery this new language.

Will the Tin Can standard replace the SCORM standard? While it is possible, at the moment both coexist and provide alternative methods to achieve similar goals. As learning pathways have evolved, a more robust and adaptable standard is needed to verify the effectiveness of eLearning courses and Tin Can does not yet fully meet this need.

In conclusion, to this day the industry is still working on ways to improve communication standards in order to offer effective solutions adapted to today’s market.

Caroline Irrmann, web editor