SCORM or Tin Can API?

If you have found this article, then you probably know that SCORM and Tin Can API are the two most popular standards for the creation of eLearning content. What you are most likely struggling with is which is best? Well you’ve come to the right place.

 A little insight

 SCORM or Tin Can API?SCORM stands for “Sharable Content Object Reference Model”. In essence, SCORM is a powerful tool through which content and delivery can be parcelled together in a unified way so that it can be moved and reused across multiple Learning Management Systems (LMS). It came about back in 1999 as a specification of the Advanced Distribution Learning (ADL) initiative from the Office of the United States Secretary of Defence. Version 1.1 was in general release in 2000 and had its last major revision in 2004.

 Tin Can API followed on from SCORM when once again the Office of the United States Secretary of Defence recognised the need for a newer and more capable software specification than its predecessor. The key benefit it was designed to bring was to allow learning content and learning systems to communicate richer data levels and track records between different types of learning experiences.

Understand the difference

To understand the difference, it’s helpful to start with what’s the same. While they both use entirely different code, they both achieve the same outcome. They pull together content and a delivery process to create an eLearning module which can be traced by an LMS. Both protocols allow learners to launch courses, bookmark them, complete them, answer quizzes, pass or fail them, and generally track progress. So, they both provide the core facilities required from most eLearning users.

The difference is that the newer technology behind Tin Can API provides more advanced and stable tracking methods and can share its data in ways that creates easier integration with blended learning experiences. For many this increased data collection and handling will be of little interest, but if your LMS vision has a wider scope then Tin Can API would be a wise consideration.

Key Tin Can API benefits

  • Improved tracking
    It’s able to track interactions in greater detail than SCORM based content. It’s also more suited to learning across mobile devices within their own browsers.
  • Reliability
    As a newer protocol it’s less prone to errors and tends to cause fewer issues when viewed via older browsers.
  • Richer data
    From the outset it was developed to communicate more and richer data. This provides more data options for reporting than SCORM and offers better data sharing with Learning Management Systems that are running blended learning.
  • Evolution
    Tin Can API is still showing signs of development whereas SCORM’s last major revision was back in 2004.

Remember that at their core SCORM and Tin Can API offer the same functionality. So, unless you need blended LMS integration or are already suffering the browser limitations of SCORM, then Tin Can API is not a necessity. It won’t make your content richer or more engaging and it won’t increase the uptake of your courses. SCORM already provides most of what everyone wants, it’s tried and tested and holds the bulk of the LMS market.

If you would like more guidance on SCORM vs Tin Can API, or would like to discuss your LMS requirements in more detail, then please call 0330 024 2881 or contact us through the form provided HERE.

Original Article by Cortexa