Update: The Output of Project Tin Can is Experience API.
At its simplest, a user-defined variable is just a dynamic piece of information that lives inside content.
There are two ways to incorporate user-defined variables.
The first way is where external information is fed into the LRS to be used by an activity. Some examples of how this can be used:
- A course on the stock market that pulls in real-time stock numbers
- A flight simulator that uses real-world wind speeds from a weather feed
- An “on-boarding” course for a company that brings in variable data (staff names, holiday schedule, etc.)
- A sports course that uses real-time stats from a feed or database
The other way to use user-defined variables is by storing information about a learner or an activity as a variable that can be used later in reporting. These variables would be any arbitrary data that wouldn’t belong in a normal statement, such as stock market numbers or wind speed from the above examples. Another example would be an assessment that stores which areas a student needs help in, and then serves up a review course based on those variables.
The use cases for user-defined variables are many. We surely haven’t thought of all of them. Use the comments section below to see other use cases, talk about how you’d utilize user-defined variables, and discuss any concerns that you have with this feature.
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