Aaron Silvers has innovated the design and production of learning experiences with a variety of technologies for organizations large and small, in both the private and public sectors, for over 15 years. From 1999-2001, he produced, designed and developed web-based games for the National Football League (NFL) and the website KidsCom. With a particular niche in learning games, he produced several popular titles that, ten years later, continue to attract 20,000 children ages 6-12 a day. Working on the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative, Aaron led the development of a number of SCORM 2004 content examples and returned to ADL in 2010 as its Community Manager. He has an M.S. in Curr...
As a contractor with Problem Solutions, Aaron provides support to the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of ADL.
Many of you here may have heard something about the big launch at mLearnCon of the Experience API that resulted from the Project Tin Can BAA. Two questions surfaced amidst all the buzz: What exactly is it? and Why people are excited about it?
The API is a way of commonly expressing information about what people are doing with content and systems. This is important because it allows us to capture activities that connect people with the tools they use, capturing a full picture of how people learn and how people perform, using the data collected from multiple tools as lenses into this picture.
Tin Can API was born out of a great design process. The beginnings of this technology can be traced to late 2008. In 2010, ADL began design of a larger plan for how technologies can help organizations learn. In 2011, Project Tin Can was realized by Rustici Software in response to an open request for an “Experience API.” They delivered on behalf of ADL, and what you saw at mLearnCon in the demonstrations in sessions and in the expo hall, as well as in the Tin Can Alley — what you saw is built on that foundation.
The Experience API, commonly known as the Tin Can API, is the product of an entire community of independent designers & developers, software vendors, and organizations who have been starving for a common way to approach mobile learning and the record of many types of learning activity beyond just eLearning courseware. As a spec effort, we only kicked off in the beginning of April. Not even three months later, we have a number of tools using the spec. The makers of these tools know that our spec is prone to change because of your feedback.
We are making this together.
What we did in San Jose for mLearnCon 2012 would not be possible without the hard work of many individuals and organizations, including the eLearning Guild and through our BAA program, Rustici Software.
What the community has accomplished in the last three months is amazing, and I am very pleased you can experience this for yourselves, thanks in large part to many vendors who have adopted the API in its beta release and came to mLearnCon each with something really wonderful to demonstrate the power of what a community can do.
A huge amount of kudos must go out to the early adopters and implementers for showing up with apps, LRS integrations, authoring tools, demonstrations and games to play with — all using Tin Can API.
What we do next is because of how much bigger and better this lightning-fast effort is growing, and the independent developers and designers who are drawn to working and playing with the Experience API, providing valuable feedback.
In my next post, I have some announcements and invitations to share about what’s coming next. Hard to believe that it is bigger than this last week, but it will be.
Thanks to everyone who came to mLearnCon, got excited and asked questions. The team at ADL has worked very hard to start this effort in a way that makes you all proud and the feedback from the conference let us know, resoundingly, we’re going in the right direction.
Keep us going. Keep asking for more.