People in learning functions today are being asked to show the return on investment around learning initiatives. Although many companies talk about the importance of investing in employees through training programs, the people in training positions are being asked to prove that they deliver a real benefit to an organization and justify resources invested in the development of their eLearning. Executives desire reports that compare the amount of training an employee receives to key performance metrics. This task has been difficult since learning data and performance data often reside in different systems making this type of comparison challenging.
Many companies are implementing a new standard called Tin Can to achieve this task. The Tin Can API (sometimes known as the Experience API or xAPI) is a brand new specification for learning technology that makes it possible to collect data in and out of a corporate LMS. Tin Can is considered by many to be the next generation of SCORM which primarily relies on data collected within a LMS. Through the use of a learning record store (LRS), the amount of learning data collected from different sources, e.g. mobile devices, social learning, and the classroom environment, resides on one place providing a holistic view of all the learning activities a learner engages in.
One application for Tin Can is pulling in performance data from places such as CRM’s and POS systems and analyzing the data received next to the training data. Since Tin Can protocols are flexible, data from a company’s internal system can be collected alongside the learning data. This provides executives the opportunity to examine training data and key performance metrics side by side to see which training is most successful.
Companies that implement Tin Can around performance metrics are seeing amazing results. For example in the restaurant industry, trainers are able to compare server check averages to the amount of training a server receives. Many restaurants are seeing highly trained servers have larger check averages resulting in higher tip averages. This is critical since servers are often more reluctant to train due to time taken away from serving tables. In addition, management can observe the learning activities of the most successful employees and redesign training for more senior employees to see improved results. This enables companies to design training programs based on more accurate data.
Many companies are continuing to see positive results from the implementation of Tin Can. However, most trainers continue to struggle to sell management on the importance of training. The arguments have traditionally been difficult to prove since hard data showing performance improvement has been lacking. Tin Can is now providing training departments with more clout because training data can now be made quantifiable which is critical in most organizations.
Are you looking to show the ROI around your training? Please contact Chris Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-771-1752 to discuss your training needs around ROI.