More Playing with the Tin Can API: SCORM Cloud and the ADL Bookmarklet

Let’s be clear: I’m not a hard-core developer. My primary motive in anything tech-related is to figure out how it will limit or enable design. So now that that’s on the table…

I’m doing a little playing with Tin Can statements generated by the ADL’s bookmarklet and viewed in SCORM Cloud. To the uninitiated: The idea of a bookmarklet is simple… It’s a snippet of code that you turn into a bookmark or favorite in your browser, and when you’re on a page that you want to do something with, you just click it. I use bookmarklets for tons of stuff: sending URLs to MarsEdit, Pinboard, Twitter, WordPress, Storify, my Amazon Wish List… So I guess it was only natural that this was a way to generate Tin Can statements that piqued my interest. This particular bookmarklet sends a Tin Can statement to your LRS that you experienced a webpage. That’s it.

Here’s how to do it:

1) Get the bookmarklet. Just drag it to your browser’s Bookmarks bar to install.

2) On the first use, configure it to send statements to your LRS. If you have a SCORM Cloud account (even a free one will do), see this 29-second video to get the information to enter. If you have a different LRS, of course, you can enter that information instead.

3) Use the bookmarklet on webpages that you want to send to the LRS.

4) View the statements. Admittedly, this is the part I couldn’t figure out how to do immediately, and then I saw something shiny and wandered away for about a month. But this post from Meagan Bowe helped me figure out where I needed to look. (In the Statement Viewer, click the dropdown to get to my LRS realm. Duh. I didn’t see the dropdown.)

In case you’d like to see the results without exerting this effort, I’ve decided to clear the existing data, start using the bookmarklet with more generic user information, and release a public login so that you can go in and poke around. Just go to the Statement Viewer and log in as, with password tincan. Make sure you select Initial Application for Judy’s LRS (sandbox) from the dropdown in the top right corner.

Another way to play: Since I first set this up, Rustici has released some resources to help if you want to do the same thing, but skip setting up the LRS and report to theirs instead. I haven’t used it yet, but you can see this page for details and an instructional video.

How could you use this within your organization?

One of the promises of Tin Can is that the learning experience doesn’t have to take place inside of an LMS to “count”. You can provide learners with a bookmarklet preconfigured to send statements to your LRS (like the Rustici one linked directly above does) so that they can record learning experiences that they went out and found on the internet. That allows them to create a more complete portfolio of their learning experiences over time and allows you to gain a better understanding of how and where learning happens in your organization.

  • Connie Malamed

    Thanks for working on this, Judy and saving us the time for figuring it out. I hadn’t heard about the ADL’s bookmarklet so very good to know.

    • Judy Unrein

      You’re welcome. I think it was primarily done as a demo, but it seems to suit these purposes just fine.

  • Chad Udell

    Just a small note, Tappestry ( ) also has a Bookmarklet for TinCan Learning Activities as well. Log you learning on the desktop and see it show up in the mobile app, too.

    • Judy Unrein

      Yeah, I just tried it out and wrote a quick draft tonight. :)