The Tin-Can Calamity
The chatter on Tin-Can API has started to pick up, including the number of early adopters. I suppose this is a good thing and a step in the right direct. In fact, it was our intention to also be part of the early adopter list with our initial release as there are certainly some great benefits in the learning realm in regards to Tin-Can. That said, I have to say that LearnDash’s adventure into Tin-Can has been rather, well, frustrating… to the point where we might need to table it for a future release.
I took the liberty to jump on the phone with the good people over at Rustici Software some months back to discuss Tin-Can and various options for LearnDash. They were very kind and patient with my questions, and I was able to come away from that conversation with a better sense of my options – or lack thereof.
Essentially, we could either build our own LRS, or we could leverage Rustici Software’s SCORM Cloud product.
The problem is that Tin-Can is so new that building our own LRS is quite the challenge as there are dots that need to be connected that we struggled with mightily. Couple that with a limited project budget and it has been an uphill battle to say the least. So, we took a look at SCORMCloud (which is being pushed heavily by Rustici Software). While it is certainly a sleek offering, it isn’t optimally priced for what we need. That’s not a knock against Rustici, it’s just the truth of the situation.
And while we are optimistic that Tin-Can will forge its way to being a widely excepted protocol for learning, we couldn’t justify spending all our time and monetary resources trying to “make it work” for LearnDash, at least not in its infancy. There just isn’t enough documentation out there for Tin-Can at the moment. Perhaps down the road once it is more established (and more importantly, if our users demand it), then we will go that route.
So at this point we are looking at the option of incorporating the older SCORM standards into LearnDash, for nothing more than there is more documentation and examples to reference in this space. Not to mention these standards are still very much used today and will be for quite some time.
If you have any feedback or questions, please let us know. Personally, we’d be curious to know if anyone has been actively using Tin-Can.