What is an LRS?

With a name like Learning Record Store you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a dusty old shop full of the world’s groundbreaking vinyl records, all the ones you’d have to listen to learn what music is all about. An LRS is very different to that dusty old record store.

What is an LRS?
A Learning Record Store, or LRS, is a new system that’s used in conjunction with the Tin Can API to collect, store and retrieve people’s learning experiences. By storing the learner experiences it allows the data to be presented in a way that makes it accessible and easy to interpret. Although LRSs are relatively new to the eLearning market there are a substantial number of systems to choose from including, Wax LRS by Saltbox, Grassblade LRS, Watershed LRS and Learning Locker. These are four of the market’s leading LRSs and LearnUpon supports integration with each of these systems.
 
How does it work?
An LRS uses the Tin Can API to collect learner data (or experiences) from both online and offline sources. These experiences are reported back to the LRS in the form of Tin Can statements, where they are stored. These statements can then be retrieved for reporting and interpretation of the learner data. Typically an LRS will provide dashboards and reporting functions built specifically for these purposes.
 
What is the difference between a LRS and a LMS?
The main difference between these two systems is the LRS is primarily in place to track and store Tin Can statements whereas the LMS (in addition to managing all your learning needs) tracks and reports the statements through its own native reporting but can also forward the data to an LRS if needed. It’s important to note that a LRS is not a replacement for a LMS or vice versa.

It’s also important to note that LMS providers may very well build an LRS into their overall LMS product. But ultimately, you don’t have to have an LRS to generate reports, you should be able to do that within your LMS. For example, with LearnUpon’s learning management system it’s possible to store, track and report Tin Can statements without the need for a Learning Record Store. However, as mentioned previously, LearnUpon is capable of forwarding these statements to your LRS of choice where you can report on, and crunch, your Tin Can data in the format you require.

While building an LRS into an LMS is possible, we felt that it was best to focus on the learning and course content and leave that the management of Tin Can data to a system that is specialised in such data, i.e. a LRS. Taking this approach also opens LearnUpon up to lots of current LRS users who might now want to expand the functionality available to them when it comes to assigning and tracking course content by implementing a LMS.
 
What’s next?
If you found this post helpful you might be interested in reading What is Tin Can API? or LearnUpon introduces Tin Can support.