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Confused by CMI5?

This post was written by Andrew Downes and first appeared on the Epic blog on 26th March 2013.

CMI5As you know if you’ve read my earlier articles, Tin Can tracks anything, anywhere. This includes e-learning courses, face-to-face learning, social learning and real world experiences.

I sometimes get asked if Tin Can has zip files or manifests. It doesn’t. But it’s not that Tin Can is lacking. Because learning can exist anywhere and report to an LRS over the internet, there isn’t the same need to package up courses. Besides, you can’t package up a real world activity in a zip file… it won’t fit. Tin Can also doesn’t specify how courses should be structured. You can structure them however you like, or not at all, and Tin Can will still work.

That’s all well and good, but what if in addition to using Tin Can, you also want to package up e-learning modules and structure courses. You could come up with your own way of doing this, but whilst your Tin Can tracking would still work, your course structures might not be portable from one LMS to another.

This is where another e-learning standard, CMI5, steps in. CMI5 uses Tin Can for its communication between e-learning courses. CMI5 also deals with the packaging, launching and structuring of e-learning courses. CMI5 only works with e-learning, but because it’s got Tin Can built in, your tracking data from your e-learning can be integrated with the tracking data from other learning experiences and achievements.

CMI5 is currently being developed, and the CMI5 working group is very open to contributions and comments. Tin Can will be released on the 26th April, but CMI5 isn’t due for release until later in the year. That doesn’t mean you can’t take ideas and guidance from CMI5 now, but you do need to be prepared for changes in order to be CMI5-compliant after release.

Epic can help you to package, structure and launch your Tin Can-powered e-learning from your LMS. I’m part of the CMI5 working group, and I’ll be involved with these solutions at Epic to ensure your solution follows the latest development version of CMI5. Where we go beyond CMI5, we’ll push to include those additional features back into CMI5. This means that in some cases, the Tin Can solution Epic delivers will be compliant not just with the current development version of CMI5, but a with a future one. This is cutting edge stuff!

Are you interested in Tin Can? Then why not follow us on Twitter @epictalk" href="https://twitter.com/epictalk" target="_blank">@epictalk to stay abreast of the all our new resources on Tin Can, LRS solutions, platforms and more. And if you want to talk with us more about a solution, we’d love to hear from you.