What is Tin Can Learning? (TIN CAN API)

The TIN CAN API (aka Experience API or xAPI) brings to mind a children’s communication device—two tin cans and a string. At least part of that is right—the communication part.

The Tin Can API enables recording of learning events, which are communicated to a Learning Record Store (LRS). The LRS can reside within the Learning Management System (LMS) or as a standalone application. Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL), a government entity, publishes the standards for Tin Can.

TIN CAN IS CONSIDERED THE LATEST AND GREATEST method to track, quantify and share all types of learning events and fills the gaps left by the Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM).

Today, much learning, especially user-directed learning, takes place outside of content that resides in the Learning Management System (LMS) and the browser. The Tin Can API can record events outside of those environments, and there is no longer a need to upload everything to the LMS. For example, if course material resides on the Internet, the learner doesn’t need to access it from within the LMS for the API to record it.

Tin Can works with statements ordered as Actor:Verb:Object to record activities and experiences—John Smith:Viewed:Course XYZ, recorded in simple code. Adding new activities and events is as easy as adding new activities and/or verbs.