What does Tin Can compliance mean? It means that your Learning Management System (LMS) has been updated to include the latest standard for learning content. Previous SCORM standards created specifications for learning content that allowed interoperability between content authors and LMS providers. This goal was admirable (and essential), and achieving it allowed companies to play in the same ball field, ultimately producing many quality LMS applications.
The ever-evolving technological landscape created new learning options that caused a paradigm shift in perception about how and where learning occurs. Thus the premises upon which SCORM was based fundamentally changed, and SCORM and the LMS applications using it became obsolete.
Product obsolescence is a constant challenge for software development companies. Balance must be achieved between price and product features, cost and release timelines, cost and product support, and many other priorities to keep software fresh, “not obsolete,” and well-supported. Companies that successfully balance these requirements thrive by combining relevant and customer-driven software with quality product support at a reasonable price for their customers.
Companies that do not successfully balance these challenges create irrelevant or few new features and product support may be non-existent. Customers and prospects soon migrate to other vendors. Corporate survival under such circumstances is difficult and many vendors fail, merge with other businesses, or perhaps get bought out. As with any enterprise application purchase, caution is the rule and LMS buyers should fully evaluate a vendor's current product, release schedule, and customer support to remediate future negative results from the LMS purchase.
So how does Tin Can work into all of this? The Tin Can specification became available mid-year 2012, with the official release being April 26th, 2013. Many LMS vendors have already, or are in the process of, modifying their application to be Tin Can compliant, potentially indicating forward-thinking companies. Tin Can compliance is an important “first filter” indicating whether an LMS vendor “has gotten it right” by prioritizing its development effort to become compliant. If a vendor is not currently, or will not soon be, Tin Can compliant, it's good reason to avoid them as your LMS vendor.
Here at Gyrus Systems we are proud to have included the Tin Can specification in our GyrusAim application as of April, 2013. We look forward to continuing our 25 year legacy of organic software development by leveraging the Tin Can specification through the development of many revolutionary enhancements in follow-up versions. Stay tuned for details!