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Tin Can API? No thanks – I’m a classroom trainer…

April 21, 2013 Leave a comment

I was talking to an Instructional Designer recently who primarily develops classroom courses. The subject was the #tincanapi Tin Can API / Experience API, (depending on whether you are talking to Rustici or the US Department of Defence).

I could very soon see her eyes glazing over as she became disinterested – it was not because I was boring, but rather “…because I leave all those techy subjects to you online people – it’s not really what I do…”

I feel that she has completely and utterly missed the point and purpose of Tin Can API.

Why do so many “classroom-focused” people in our industry ignore “IT/technical” subjects, while for us #elearning people the classroom is often a completely accepted pre-cursor or extension of what we do, whilst we also appreciate classroom techniques?

Tin Can API will allow both classroom and online trainers to do the thing we often fail at – capture the learning and experience that goes on outside our respective courses, (often representing 80% while our “formalised” courses represent the 20%).

A classroom coaching course could so easily be followed up by recording a Tin Cap API statement recording “I coached person X in subject Y” into the LRS. A validation of the success of the classroom teaching. How many so called soft-skills trainers have failed to record the actual activity that follows on from the x-day classroom session?

I presented to X  on subject Y” – WOW! Real follow-up after a classroom-based Presentation Skills session. A validation that I did was my boss asked me to do – because the course, and presenting were in my Annual Objectives.

I sold Product X at margin Z” – real (measurable) follow-up after an online OR classroom sales training event. Successful skills transfer, and a bit of inter-salesperson competition as well! Build a “sales community of competition” through Tin Can API reports as well as sales reports. How about “I taught newbie X how to sell like me” from a sales rainmaker?

I believe that anyone and everyone that is in the “training” industry should ignore Tin Can at their peril. It is going to allow both the classroom and online training communities to do things properly. We have not even scratched the surface in terms of finding ways to apply it yet.

Some people in “training” are afraid of “technology”, well…maybe they need to switch on. My own feeling is that many of them are scared that they will get found out – found out that they do not actually care about the business follow-up and impact of what they sell. Tin Can will open up a world where we can measure what actually HAPPENS, not just tell people how it should happen. We all suddenly become accountable though behavioural statements recorded on the LRS.

This can only be a great thing for our industry.

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