It has been 10 years, give or take, since the last major SCORM update was introduced to the learning community. SCORM 2004 was a great evolution from 2.1, but can the same be said about the upcoming Tin Can API? Unfortunately, I think not.
Let me first make something crystal clear: I want the new SCORM Tin Can API to flourish.
I think the concept behind it is a very good direction for SCORM and the learning field overall. Will there be unforseen difficulties? Absolutely. But in the end, I think it will ultimately be a step in the right direction. In fact, it will likely become part of WordPress LMS.
Being as it may, I do think it will fail, at least at first – and by fail I am referring to the overall adoption of SCORM Tin Can by the major LMS providers, and more importantly, those who are selecting a LMS.
I have read various statements, articles, and watched videos on Tin Can, and it is clear that a revolution is in the works. So much so that I have even seen LMS be referred to as “LRS” (Learning Record Store) – and here is where I believe the problem lies. Change can be good, but it is difficult. Why make it more difficult by attempting to change the structure that is in place?
The LRS reference is a minor example, but I think it proves my point. Is there a need to relabel what we call a Learning Management System simply because we are upgrading SCORM? Will the entire industry jump on board? Will admins start calling themselves “LRS” administrators? Likely not.
If the advent of SCORM has proven anything, it has shown that the adoption of new standards/methodology by companies is slow process. Organizations are just starting to become educated to the benefits of SCORM, but it has taken a while. Heck, there are countless of organizations out there that still strictly use SCORM 1.2 (which I guess is better than nothing).
I suppose what I am getting at is that SCORM Tin Can API should think twice about trying to distance itself from its predecessors. There is comfort in familiarity, and I believe that organizations will be more ready to adopt the new SCORM protocol if it “plays nice” with its past. If Tin Can separates itself too much from its largely establish past, then it will definately fail, at least initially.
That said, this change is a good thing (despite some of the glaring weaknesses), I personally think it will take some more trial and error before it readily becomes a norm.