Tin Can API, a duck, innovation and our system

Instructional Design used for evil… Unsubscribe now!
March 5, 2013
Rock-n-Roll learning with Robert Plant
April 4, 2013

A duck walks into a post office and asks the perplexed post master at the desk, ‘Have you got any corn?’
The post master replies, ‘well you’re a cute little thing aren’t you? No, we don’t sell corn’.
The duck comes back the next day, waddles up to the counter and asks, ‘Have you got any corn?’
The post master replies, ‘No, like I said yesterday, we don’t sell corn. So no, no corn’.
The duck comes back the next day and for the rest of the week, asking the same question each day, ‘Have you got any corn?’
The post master is getting really frustrated by the end of the week, ‘Listen duck, I told you all week long, we don’t sell corn, so no, NO CORN. You got that – no corn here! And here’s something else, if you ask me that again I’m going to nail your bill to this desk!’ Pointing at the desk’s top, the post master continues, ‘yep, right here, nail it down to the desk. So don’t ask again!’ The duck waddles off.
The next week the duck comes in again and asks, ‘Have you got any nails?’
The post master answers, ‘No, we don’t sell nails.’
The duck asks, ‘Have you got any corn?’

What does my tired, ‘corny’ but a little bit funny joke have to do with eLearning, instructional design and development? Is it that we should listen more to our customers’ needs? Be more polite perhaps? Not humour a customer if we can’t help them? Or perhaps we should all stock corn? So lots of analogies here, but why I thought of it, was in relation to the Tin Can API.

The Learning Hook has designed its own learning management system (LMS) offering (Train Lite), which is designed for absolute ease of use – it’s made to support people learning, for an organisation to manage the learning, and for no-one to even notice the system. It’s as simple as that, and it does it with ease. Now a part of this is the Tin Can API, in order to access training from ‘outside the system’.

Over the coming year, many LMS vendors will ‘bolt’ on support for the Tin Can API, simply because it’s the next gen of SCORM (Tip!If you’re buying, look for the vendors that believe in the API and are progressive with it, as it has so much to offer; you want to exploit what it can do, not just buy an LMS with bolt on support because ‘everyone else is doing it’).

Tin Can API’s benefits for customers are many. A really significant one that has many implications, is you don’t have to rely on your system launching all the content anymore (most LMSs want to control and launch content – this comes with many restrictions and is not at all the ‘best horse for the course‘). For example, if you had a learner in your organisation that needed some training on ummm… corn, and you didn’t offer a corn course, or they just wanted to access someone else’s corn course, they can get it from anywhere and we will be able to record the learning transaction on the LMS through the Tin Can API.

Now, the real link with the joke I told is this, in looking at our market for our Train Lite learning platform, someone asked whether we should worry about Tin Can API so much, as ‘customers simply aren’t asking for it yet’ (they weren’t asking for corn)… Fair question, and we all agreed on the answer. The Learning Hook is absolutely committed to listening to our customers, but we think it’s crucial our customers listen to us, and that we are staying ahead or at least at the forefront of the market in order to provide the advice you need and expect. If we wait for people to ask… we’re behind. We’d prefer to offer the corn…

Ok – enough on this analogy! Hope you enjoyed the read. Go to our website for contact details and drop us a line if you’re interested in exploring custom course design, online training, our Train Lite training portal – and shshshsh very super-secret, mobile learning services (very very excited about this!).

For more eLearning, visit www.learninghook.com.au

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