ADL has formalized the names for the next generation of SCORM and the new runtime API (commonly known as the ‘Tin Can API’). ADL officially launched the new names at iFest 2012 in Orlando, Florida.
ADL has termed the next generation of SCORM as the Training and Learning Architecture (TLA). All current and planned future ADL technical projects, specifications and standards efforts fall within the scope of the TLA, an umbrella term that covers projects designed to create a rich environment for connected training and learning. Phase I of the TLA is focused on experience tracking that includes these four areas:
The overall TLA vision also includes concepts for learner profiles, competencies, and intelligent content brokering to meet the needs for individualized learning content and systems. The TLA is not intended to replace SCORM, but SCORM, and multiple other types of content formats, will work in the TLA. The following diagram shows the potential high-level components of the TLA.
ADL formalized the name of the new runtime API as the Experience API (formerly known as the ‘Tin Can API’). The Experience API tracks both formal and informal learning via ‘streams’ of learning experiences, similar to social media streams such as Twitter and Facebook. By capturing learning experiences via streams, learning can be mashed up with other activity data to fully analyze how it ties to performance. The new API enables the use of mobile devices, games, social networks, virtual worlds, and simulations in learning and training environments with the ability to track learning experiences consistently across devices and platforms. You could report that ‘David watched a video,’ ‘David rated a video,’ ‘David tweeted a video,’ and ‘Jane retweeted David’s video.’
Learning can also be tracked in real life situations and reported the same way. For example, ‘John produced an audio track for a video,’ ‘Steven edited a video,’ ‘Ralph posted a video,’ and ‘Mary earned an Academy Award for a video.’ This is why we describe this as “connected” learning, because even “real life” situations can be connected in more ways than just how people interact with computers on the Internet.
Here are the links to several current resources:
This whitepaper describes the high level requirements for the TLA (known as “Next Gen SCORM” at the time of publication). The requirements were derived by reviewing 100+ whitepapers, holding one-on-one interviews with the community, evaluating ADL help desk tickets from the last 14 years, and releasing and managing a UserVoice forum site where folks could post their issues anonymously. This work was accomplished with a mix of ADL technical team resources and our Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) program.
This page is the primary resource to find out about the Experience API work that represents the first phase of the TLA. It contains high level information about the Experience API research and development projects as well as many of the links in this blog.
Follow this link to register for our weekly technical calls on the Experience API specification. We are also starting “office hours” and additional meetings focused on specific parts of the specification. This information will be available on the group sites (see below).
We maintain three Google Groups as public forums for the Experience API. The most active are the specification contributors and adopters groups. Join the groups that best match your interest level.
This page is the wiki site with the current specification and meeting minutes. Note that ADL is working with the community on this technology now, but intends to transition the work to a formal standards body as the specification becomes more stable.
This is our open source Github site. There are a lot of examples available and the list is growing quickly.
The ADL Tech Team has been writing blogs about why we were inspired by Activity Streams as the first phase of the TLA. The Tech Team also provides great examples of other industries taking advantage of similar technologies. There is a lot of good, informal information in the blogs.
Take some time and look around. We want to hear from you on our plan for SCORM, our TLA projects and even the minute technical details of the Experience API (if you’re into that type of thing). Visit ADLnet.gov for the latest news and announcements.