Project Tin Can

We are now looking for technical solutions for the problems and use cases that have been identified. Please focus your comments and votes in those areas.

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How should we track learning experiences?

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  1. I want to use distributed content.

    Some learning experiences may rely on content that exists beyond organizational boundaries. Learners should be able to transition seamlessly from one piece of content to another within a learning experience, even if the content pieces may come from different sources, and even if none of the content exists within the organization or system where it will be tracked.

    Running content from a Content Delivery Network (CDN) or even a separate content server (cross domain) within the organization are other examples of this use case.

    243 votes
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      There is substantial demand for better support for distributed content, and the planned deliverable for Project Tin Can (a new learning experience API), is well suited to address this requirement.

    • It needs to be simple

      SCORM as it stands lets you do anything - it is a toolkit. That's great if you know what you are doing but for a lot of content it is too complex.

      Often they just want a simple presentation with a quiz top and tail.

      Do we know enough about the forms of content that SCORM is being used to track to be able to produce off the shelf templated courses?

      196 votes
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        There was substantial demand for simplicity, and this can be partially addressed in a new API. There is some conflict with more complex use cases that are desired, however we hope to address this with “scalable complexity”

        Please share your experiences to help improve the ADL best practice guide. See John Campbell’s post below for details.

      • I want to track disconnected or long-running content.

        Sometimes a learning experience may occur with a computer device that does not have continuous access to network connectivity. Learning experiences should be able to continue without continuous connectivity.

        169 votes
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          There is substantial demand for this item, and interest in mobile use which this supports. There is more interest in supporting intermittent connectivity than deliberate offline usage, so the focus will be there.

          The new API will not have built-in support for offline use, will allow content or a standard player/proxy to detect connectivity and cache appropriately. That is, it will be possible for content to be designed to work disconnected against a tracking system without explicit disconnected support.

        • Portable content

          We often have problems with content because it relies on the LMS implementation it was designed for - that shouldn't happen.

          Either the content should run in a sandboxed, standards driven environment, or there is an automated testing environment to assure portatbility.

          The driver here is for content to be written once and run anywhere.

          I should be able to go to an 'app store' and download a course for my LMS and not have to worry about reporting and functionality.

          139 votes
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            AKA: “even better interoperability”. There was a lot of interest in this item, and it ties in well with some others like “it needs to be simple”.

            The new API can help by reducing the coupling between the tracking system and content, and focus on making the remaining interface well-defined.

          • I want to get at my SCORM runtime data.

            Different systems present SCORM runtime data differently, and may not make all data available. There should be a standard way to extract this data.

            138 votes
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            • Use of existing standards JSON / SOAP / REST

              Being new to SCORM, but experienced in existing data / communication protocols. SCORM communication seemed quite alien to me, almost a bespoke protocol.

              It might simply be because SCORM was developed before these newer protocols came into existence.

              Looking through the docs, the SCORM communication protocols look like to use existing standards for data types etc.

              Perhaps the new SCORM should be based around today's comms standards?

              This would also have the added benifit of being able to use todays tools e.g. Visual Studios ability to generate web service proxy classes.

              123 votes
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              • I want to enable collaboration between multiple learners, and team-based learning..

                Learning content or systems should be able to support multiple-users and multiple-roles. The users may be able to interact concurrently.

                117 votes
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                • I want to track learning not initiated on an LMS, including learner-initiated experiences

                  Sometimes a learner may encounter learning experiences outside of an LMS. For example, they may be browsing the web and encounter a course. Or they may be sent to a help file or relevant training while using an application (other than the LMS). The course may have been designed in such a way that the learner initiates it, but it then communicates with other types of systems (e.g. tracking servers or custom content players).

                  In any of these cases, it should be possible for the learning experience to be tracked to an LMS, even though that LMS did not initiate…

                  115 votes
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                  • I want to do my own sequencing

                    Many content developers find the current SCORM sequencing too complex, or limiting, and decide to handle their own sequencing. Practically, this requires a single-SCO course, since there is no good way to get enough information about the state of other SCOs to make sequencing decisions in a multi-SCO course.

                    Custom sequencing should be enabled without the user of workarounds like creating a single-SCO package. A solution would most likely involve the ability for a SCO to read other SCO's data.

                    83 votes
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                    • SCORM requires a browser session.

                      The current SCORM runtime effectively requires that a browser session is kept open for the duration of a learner session. This makes it difficult to use SCORM for simulations, or any content that does not run in a web browser. This is also a problem for long running or sometimes disconnected content. The solution to this problem will most likely involve web services.

                      72 votes
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                      • SCORM as a service

                        I would like to see SCORM as a service in may be web service or RPC or both forms. I should be able to utilize the power of SCORM in non-browser applications as well.

                        72 votes
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                          Current expectation is that solution to goals described on this site will have to be service based.


                          Moved to “technical solution” category. Supporters — many of the other ideas on the site are use cases for which this is a potential solution — please vote/comment on those as well, or add your own use cases if your own reasoning is not reflected.

                          Also, you may find the LETSI RTWS interesting: https://sites.google.com/a/adlnet.gov/future-learning-experience-project/project-updates/advancingtheletsirun-timewebserviceapi

                        • LMS based courses out of the browser - SCORM a

                          When we talk about LMS based courses it means that the content as well as the tracking is handles at the LMS. In developing coutries wehre bandwidth is an issue it is sometimes useful to have contnet played from the client machine and just send the tracking data such as score, completion status back to the LMS.

                          If the SCORM api is web service based this can be done easily. It would also allow an additonal means for authentication.

                          It would also allow desktop based applications to be SCORM compliant.

                          69 votes
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                          • I want instructors (or others) to observe and interact with learners during training.

                            Instructors, other participants, other systems, etc. should be able to interact with learners during training, and observe or modify runtime values such as scores, or modify the content delivered. (with appropriate authorization)

                            64 votes
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                              Fits with general theme of “two-way communication” which has some items with more interest. Interest in this item seems to be forward-looking, so expected to increase during lifetime of new API. Interest from the DoD in this item.

                              Solvable with an API.

                            • The SCORM API does not have an authentication mechanism.

                              The SCORM API does not provide an authentication mechanism, so anyone who can execute javascript (say, by launching a bookmarklet) can set runtime values such as their score.

                              57 votes
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                              • I want to tag content with skills

                                A lot of our clients are tracking competencies for their users. For example annual fire safety training.

                                I would be handy to either allow the content to be tagged with our own skill definitions, but for portability (of either skills acquired or for the content) a set of industry recognised skills.

                                Please keep it simple though.

                                48 votes
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                                  Not as highly ranked on its own, but together with allowing users to tag content and rate contents relevance there is a fair bit of interest.

                                  Somewhat solvable with an API (ability to read the tags, and set via API). Minor change to metadata also needed.

                                • I want user-defined variables.

                                  I would like to see global variables the developer can define, set and get throughout the course. This would give the developer (be it a tool developer or courseware developer) more control of the learning environment.

                                  47 votes
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                                  • I want my content to display its own Table of Contents

                                    I want to display a Table of Contents (ToC) within my content. It should be possible for a SCO to display a ToC along with the status of each node in the ToC.

                                    46 votes
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                                    • Validators

                                      When testing courseware / LMS compatibility. It is sometimes difficult to gauge if everything it working as intended. If something breaks, it is tricky to know if it's down to the courseware or LMS.

                                      I realise that there are existing certification programmes.

                                      But it would be nice to have validators that can quickly and simply validate every aspect of the SCORM standards.

                                      I'm envisaging something similar to the w3's html validator.

                                      41 votes
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                                      • SCORM UI requirements are not sufficient to achieve interoperability.

                                        There is still too much variation in how compliant SCORM LMSs implement UI associated with the SCORM RTE. Will content be loaded in a new window? A frameset? How large a window? How will the table of contents be presented? What navigation request does closing the browser imply?

                                        Content authors should be able to rely on a consistent set of UI expectations.

                                        41 votes
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                                          In a sense, this is really “declined”, but I’m marking it as planned to keep it in mind.

                                          We do not plan on defining stricter LMS UI requirements as part of the new API, rather free content from relying on the LMS UI at all, by providing a web service API and removing the requirement for the LMS to launch it.

                                        • Limit of 250 interactions is too small

                                          Some learning activities need to track more data than can be contained in 250 interactions, particularly with single-SCO content. This limit should be increased. Simulations or games might need to store many more, or more detailed interactions, possibly storing every control input.

                                          34 votes
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