SCORM, Tin Can, and 508 Compliance - dummies

SCORM, Tin Can, and 508 Compliance

By Elaine Biech

The platform your organization will use to align and publish e-learning should be determined before you choose an LMS provider. SCORM is the current gold standard, and making sure your LMS can deliver SCORM compliance materials is key.

Tin Can is an exciting publishing and data management system that tracks different types of learning opportunities — not just those created and entered into your LMS (one of SCORM’s limitations). It can include training moments as diverse as informal coaching or articles read on a relevant topic. In both of these cases, the learner or the coach needs to be diligent about entering the data.

Tin Can data is usually tracked in a Learning Record System (LRS), which is a subset of your full LMS. Tin Can is new territory for most organizations. With the constant enhancement of software and ideas, it may be a while before trainers and other learning professionals adopt the opportunity. Even if you don’t adopt formal LMS or LRS, it is a good idea to at least remain current with the latest ideas and advancements.

If you are doing any work for the U.S. government, it is likely you will be required to ensure 508 compliance with the Workforce Rehabilitation Act. Unfortunately, complying is not as simple as using the correct software to build your e-learning program, because the nuances of the software may cause the output to be out of compliance.

Many software programs provide a detailed list of the features of their program that are 508 compliant on their websites. However, much of the effort to making the course 508 compliant is left to the developer, who must be familiar with 508 regulations to ensure compliance. In the end, it is worth the effort. Your organization will want to use this best practice to accommodate people with disabilities.