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Designing for Tin Can

This post was written by Andrew Downes and first appeared on the Epic blog on 8th April 2014.

I’ve written a number of blogs and resources for the Epic Knowledge Base on the topic of Tin Can-enabled learning design, so it was great to be invited to speak on this topic at a recent eLearning Network event specifically about Tin Can.

Big data and implementing Tin Can

The day started with an excellent introduction to big data and analytics by Andy Wooler of Hitachi. Andy took us through some of the work Hitachi have done to bring together data from a number of sources, and how he’s looking to make that process easier with Tin Can and Learning Locker LRS. The talk worked really well as an introduction and I was able to pick up on many of the themes Andy introduced.

Next up was Stuart Jones. Stuart demoed Tin Can support in Articulate Storyline and other tools. He explained that while these authoring tools technically output Tin Can data, there’s a gap between what they do and what they need to do in order to be really useful. I’m really looking forward to the gomo implementation of Tin Can due for release this summer, and I’m confident we can fill the need expressed by Stuart and a number of delegates, for an authoring tool with a really thought-through Tin Can solution.

Lunch was a great opportunity to catch up with a number of Epic’s current clients, as well as a number of new potential gomo customers. It was great to see that many people had already heard of gomo and were excited to try it out soon. I got to meet several people who I’d had contact with on the phone or Twitter, and it was really nice to make that face–to-face connection.

Learning Locker and designing for Tin Can

After lunch Ben Betts introduced us to Learning Locker, and answered several questions on the more technical side of Tin Can. Ben was able to demo some new reports in Learning Locker that I’d not seen before. A lot of delegates had heard of Learning Locker before the event and there was a lot of buzz in the room. Some delegates did express they’d had difficulty getting Learning Locker installed, an issue the Learning Locker board have already started to look into. The installation process can be a little complex if you’ve not used MongoDB or Composer before, so I can understand why people have struggled.

My session was last in the day and it was great to be able to build on the other sessions. I explained the differences between SCORM and Tin Can, the attributes of a Tin Can mindset and how to apply these in a five step design process. After some questions, I took the group through some of the challenges of Tin Can learning and made some suggestions on how to meet those challenges. The session was well received, with plenty of interactions and laughs at my terrible jokes. You can find the slides on Epic’s Slideshare, and if there’s enough interest, I’ll run a repeat of the session as a webinar. Contact us if that would be of use to you, or if you have any questions.