Maximizing Tin Can reporting capabilities in courses

Hi all,

I'm working on internal courses, and we want to track more than just whether a learner completes and passes/fails a course, because this doesn't really tell us about the effectiveness of the course. Our company is implementing a new LMS this spring. We will probably use Tin Can API for these courses because of its more robust reporting compared to SCORM and AICC. However, after researching everything I can about Tin Can and Storyline (including this Articulate article:, I'm still not certain if Storyline's Tin Can output can supply data on all of the things we'd like to see in reports, such as:

  • Is there a way to track when and how many times a learner launches resources from the URLs under Resources in the player? (This would tell us if we are successful in communicating these resources and whether they are useful.)
  • Is there a way to track how long a learner spends in a course during any given session (i.e. from launch to closing)?
  • Is there a way to track how many times a learner attempts the assessment in one sitting? IOW, if a learner fails the assessment at the end of the course, and then revisits areas of the course and attempts the assessment again in the same session, will each of those assessment scores be reported to the LMS separately (i.e. score communicated each time the results page displays)? Or is the score reported only when the learner closes the course, and therefore only the last score will be reported? (We would prefer to see all of the scores reported to the LMS, preferably with time-date stamp, so that we can see how many times they attempted the assessment, when, and what the scores were for each attempt.)
  • Is there a way to track question-by-question metrics (e.g. how many learners got a question right vs. wrong)?
  • The Articulate Tin Can article indicates briefly that the course can communicate when a slide has been viewed (with the "Experienced" verb), which would suggest that we can track how long they spend on each slide. Am I interpreting this correctly?
  • How does the Tin Can course communicate data to the LMS and LRS? Does the Tin Can push data to the LRS, and then the LMS retrieves it from the LRS?
  • Are there any special course development considerations, best practices, etc. for maximizing Tin Can's capabilities for metrics reporting? Aside from the publish settings, are there any other special settings (e.g. on results pages)?
  • Do we need to modify any output files manually to maximize Tin Can's capabilities, or does Storyline automatically have everything needed in the tincan.xml or other output files?
  • Has anyone else done reporting beyond the standard pass/fail metrics with Tin Can courses, and what were those metrics, etc.?
  • I'm under the impression that SCORM and AICC cannot do the level of metrics that we want to do. Is this correct, or have totally misunderstood what I've read?

Of course, much of what we want depends on the LMS's reporting capabilities, so I have questions for them as well. However, their reporting capabilities can go only as far as the data that Storyline's Tin Can output can provide, so I have to start here.

Thanks so much! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!


Articulate tool/version: Storyline 360

New LMS (Spring 2019): Bridge LMS

Old/current LMS (being retired in 2019): Saba

4 Replies
Tom Kuhlmann

Become part of the xAPI cohort (if you haven't already). It's free and they have some previously recorded webinars. You can connect with others using xAPI. You're probably not going to find too many people here who've done a lot with xAPI as many organizations are still kicking the tires.

In the cohort you can connect with people who many be able to give more detailed perspective on your questions.

I also recommend checking out Mel's videos and she's very responsive to questions if you connect with her via LinkedIn.

basic primer on xAPI (for those out of the loop).

What Articulate provides:

  • Learner launched course
  • Learner visited slide
  • Learner answered question (correctly/incorrectly) as well as the actual learner response and the correct answer
  • Scoring
  • Completion Tracking

If you want to do more than what you get out of Storyline when you publish for xAPI, you can always custom code or use the tool which doesn't require coding. It's a lot less expensive than hiring a programmer or doing it yourself, probably).

In either case, connecting with Mel or Zsolt Olah is a good starting point to connect with community members who are using xAPI.

Hope that helps.