BLOG: Tin Can & Creating A Continuous Improvement Culture
In the latest part in his blogs from last month's NextGen LMS conference, Unicorn's Stuart Jones asks how do we create a continuous improvement culture? Aaron Silvers, formally of ADL – the organisation responsible for SCORM and now stewards of the Tin Can standard. Aaron recently set up his own company called Making Better to help organisations improve their learning and development. Aaron opened with a wonderful quote: “Perfect is the enemy of better” –Voltaire, La Bégueule This works on a number of levels, not least that if you wait for perfection you will never deliver anything good. And secondly, without the ability to improve, nothing gets better. Aaron’s entire talk mirrored a lot of the discussions we’ve been having at our Agile South Coast get together over the last few months – and that is get something out there, test it, improve it based around Lean Start Up and Lean UX principles. Interesting to me that the eLearning industry is catching up with thinking from the software development industry – assuming Aaron can make this stick. Aaron did make some interesting points about using Tin Can statements to capture the analytics for testing eLearning content. I’m a little conflicted by this. Tin Can is about the learner experiences, and if we are starting lean as Aaron’s talk introduced, then we should focus on the most important information we can use. If we capture too much, we generate noise and if we start thinking about usability for example as Tin Can data, we will generate a lot of noise, most of which won’t be useful to anyone than a course builder, whereas one would argue the purpose of Tin Can recording experiences is it is the output we are interested in – what did they learn, what did they experience. It is tenuous to me to be thinking inputs such as where the user clicked, how they clicked being a good use of Tin Can data. And that data is temporal – it is redundant the next time the course is edited, hence the portability of that information becomes irrelevant. So Aaron, I have to disagree with these particular points right now, at least until there is a better way of classifying this data without hacking the spec as you suggested to me. In terms of what Aaron’s clients need from a next gen learning management system, many reoccurring themes are on show: • Analytics – using data in a way that drives positive change • Managing competencies • Badges and gamification • Content management • Mobile friendly and accessible content delivery • Powerful search This is a slightly different list from what they want: • Tailored reporting • Content authoring • Suggestions and Recommendations • Smart Offline Capability • Bundle content (top down) and playlists (bottom up) • Web and industry standards Often the “want list” is phase two to enable the clients to get to the MVPs (Most valuable products) first. Next Iteration of SCORM with Aaron Silvers - catch up on where xAPI is now, how we got there, and what's next for xAPI. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flNIsscp8-c Missed the rest of Stuart's NextGen LMS blog this week? Don't worry you can find them all at the UniChronicles here! More from Stuart next week.