There’s no doubt that the evolution of the internet has made a real difference to the world of training, making it more accessible and affordable for businesses to implement than ever before. However, in coming years, this is set to get even better, due to the emergence of a new e-learning standard – Tin Can and the impact this has on mobile, or ‘m-learning’.
It surely can’t have escaped anyone’s notice that mobile has also seen something of a revolution in recent years, as well as the mobile internet. According to a survey from Jumio Inc., Mobile Consumer Habits, not only are 72% of adults never more than five feet away from their phone, but some take it to church, the cinema, school functions and even into the shower.
Suffice to say that society is well and truly addicted to its smartphones, even in emerging economies. But what does this mean for e-learning? Well, one of the main issues with using mobile devices has been the lack of a reporting facility to track how learners are progressing.
Tin Can – Changing with the times
E-learning software uses a set a set of technical standards known as SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model). These standards tell “programmers how to write their code so that it can “play well” with other e-learning software”. This gives developers a framework to code with so that LMSs can communicate with each other and learning content effectively. We are keeping our eye on a new technology – Tin Can, which allows HTML5 and native mobile applications to report to the LMS. Not only does this new standard mean that m-learning will in the future be trackable, but it also means that learning can be tracked across multiple devices, no matter where the learning is accessed. Add to this the ability of Tin Can to interweave various learning mediums such as video, sites and even informal meetings, and it’s easy to see where the future of e-learning lies.
Flexibility, affordability, storage
Tin Can allows for more in-depth analytics to take place, enabling organisations to effectively track how successful training modules are proving and who has proven to be the best mentors and so forth.
In addition to this, the Tin Can API (Application Programming Interface) works alongside a new storage system called the Learning Record Store (LRS), which can be used as a standalone tool or as a part of an LMS. Tin Can allows the LRS to store much more data than was previously possible with SCORM and both standard and system will work perfectly with legacy SCORM content, so there’s no need to have the system completely rewritten.
All of the content that’s stored in the LRS can then be linked to the LMS and tools used for reporting. This means that completely new approaches can now be taken to e-learning using different platforms and locations. So, this means that mobile will start to become a reality as an platform for delivering e-learning content. Mobile and tablets offer a convenience that desktops often don’t and before long, you could see someone sat on the morning bus on the way to work learning as they travel.
Flexibility is important to employees, it makes them feel trusted and valued by the people that they work for. Add to this that training is another aspect to an employee’s job that they value, as it gives them the opportunity to advance their career and the emergence of mobile into e-learning is something that could prove significant.
Tin Can is still in its infancy and there are still inroads to be made in terms of testing and integration, but we think Tin Can will bring a lot to the e-learning table over the coming years, and at Traineasy we are keeping a keen eye on its development!
For more information on Tin Can please visit http://tincanapi.com/overview/.