Cover image SCORM vs TinCan
Compliance Management System
April 18, 2022

SCORM vs TinCan

SCORM (or Sharable Content Object Reference Model) is a technical standard for creating e-learning content. According to the website, ‘SCORM tells programmers how to write their code so that it can “play well” with other e-learning software. It is the de facto industry standard for e-learning interoperability. Specifically, SCORM governs how online learning content and Learning Management Systems (LMSs) communicate with each other.’

There are several versions of SCORM: SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004. SCORM 1.2 is widely used because it is easy to use, although it lacks important features such as sequencing. SCORM 2004 improved control over the order in which students access content. It can restrict a learner to predefined paths and allow learners to pause, save their results and pick up from where they left off another time. SCORM 2004 also provides completion and success statuses for learners as well as changing write-only interactions to read/write so past interaction statuses can be read. SCORM 1.2 is considered easier to implement than SCORM 2004, which is why it is more widely used.

TinCanAPI (also known as xAPI has begun to displace SCORM. TinCanAPI is being developed to be simple and flexible and eliminate the restrictions of previous standards. It can handle mobile learning, simulations, virtual worlds, real-world activities, experiential learning, social learning, offline learning and collaborative learning.

TinCanAPI is built around Learning Record Stores (LRSs), normally standalone products with a range of reporting and analytics features, which can be incorporated in an LMS. An LRS can track many types of learning experience, from real world activities to mobile apps.

While both SCORM and TinCanAPI produce the same basic results, TinCanAPI’s advantages include being able to work with any enabled device and not requiring an always-on network connection. SCORM is limited to tracking interaction on the desktop, whereas TinCanAPI can track activity anywhere, even that occurring outside an LMS.

SCORM remains a widely used standard in corporate learning management systems, even though development has stopped. Development is continuing with TinCanAPI, making it more reliable and a future-proof option for your LMS.

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