SCORM | AICC | Courses | Quizzes

If you’ve spent any time at all in the e-learning industry — as a subject matter expert, training administrator, designer, or learner — then you understand the importance of accurate tracking and reporting. That is, the ability of a Learning Management System (LMS) or similar product to tell admins and learners alike whether a course or quiz is not started, in progress, or completed.

Beyond simple status data, you probably also want to see what
percentage of your courses your users have completed (”75% of my new users have completed at least 50% of the policies & procedures course”), how well they’re doing on competency exams (”John scored only 49% on his quarterly job skills review exam, so I’ve notified his manager”), and the like.

You probably also want a way to take the content you’ve created and plug it into an LMS or similar product. As thousands of you around the world already know, this is all possible, thanks to the SCORM and AICC standards.

What is SCORM?
SCORM is a set of technical standards for e-learning software products. SCORM tells programmers how to write their code so that it can “play well” with other e-learning software. Specifically, SCORM governs how online learning content and Learning Management Systems (LMSs) communicate with each other. SCORM does not speak to instructional design or any other pedagogical concern, it is purely a technical standard.

What does SCORM stand for?

SCORM stands for “Sharable Content Object Reference Model”.

“Sharable Content Object” indicates that SCORM is all about creating units of online training material that can be shared across systems. SCORM defines how to create “sharable content objects” or “SCOs” that can be reused in different systems and contexts.

“Reference Model” reflects the fact that SCORM isn’t actually a standard. ADL didn’t write SCORM from the ground up. Instead, they noticed that the industry already had many standards that solved part of the problem. SCORM simply references these existing standards and tells developers how to properly use them together.

The Cost of Content Integration

Compatibility with Moodle

SCORM 1.2 is supported in Moodle 1.9.3(or higher) and Moodle 1.8.7(or higher) and passes all the tests in the ADL Conformance test suite 1.2..7 for SCORM 1.2. Moodle 1.9.5 is certified SCORM 1.2 compliant.

SCORM 2004 is not completely supported in Moodle at this stage. Parts of the API have been implemented, but others such as Navigation and Sequencing have not yet been implemented. Rustici Software have a commercially hosted service(currently in Beta) that provides full SCORM 2004 support via their SCORM Cloud and a Moodle plugin if required.

SCORM specifications

[January 13, 2001] XML-based specifications supporting learning technologies have been developed by the Shareable Courseware Object Reference Model Initiative (SCORM) and distributed through the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative Network. Chapter 5 of the current SCORM specification presents the Course Structure Format. CSF is "an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based representation of a course structure that can be used to define all of the course elements, structure, and external references necessary to move a course from one LMS environment to another..." Description: "SCORM consists of three main sections: an Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based specification for representing course structures (so courses can be moved from one server/LMS to another); a set of specifications relating to the run-time environment, including an API, content-to-LMS data model, and a content launch specification; and a specification for creating meta-data records for courses, content, and raw media elements. The Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) is a set of interrelated technical specifications built upon the work of the AICC, IMS and IEEE to create one unified 'content model'. These specifications enable the reuse of Web-based learning content across multiple environments and products. SCORM development teams are working with the standards groups internal and external to the Department of Defense (DoD). They are working closely with Educom IMS (Instructional Management System), a consortium of over 600 public- and private-sector organizations, to develop common guidelines and standards for ADL. They are also supporting the other Federal agencies (like the National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST) and other standards groups, such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Aviation Industry CBT Committee (AICC). SCORM standards enable small, reusable, sharable course content; discoverable learning content (interoperable repositories); the ability to find and move entire courses; vendor support for SCORM-compliant COTS products; and the development of adaptive learning systems that can assemble content to meet the learner's needs 'on the fly'. Compliance test software is under development and will be made available to all free-of-charge. Reference implementations are under construction. A sample LMS (Learning Management System), available for download, provides a very simple working example of course content and a learning management system that illustrates the use of the SCORM API, data model, API adapter and more. The .ZIP package includes source and executable code and a working sample course. The Course Structure Format is designed to be able to support any number of levels and can be self-describing as to your organization's curricular taxonomy (e.g., Course, Chapter, Unit, Learning Step, etc.). There is no 'one-size-fits-all' assumption in SCORM. For learning content to conform with SCORM, must it must use the SCORM Application Programming Interface (API); however, content is only obligated to support LMSInitialize() and LMSFinish(). SCORM conformance test software is available online and includes the ability to test content, LMSs, and more." [adapted from the ADL/SCORM FAQ documents]


"A course structure format defines all of the course elements, the course structure, and all external references necessary to represent a course and its intended behavior. This CSF is intended to promote reuse of entire courses and encourage the reuse of course components by exposing all the details of each course element. The CSF is intended to reduce or eliminate dependency of a course on a particular LMS implementation. The CSF is derived from the AICC content model for course structure, properties, and objectives. This model was chosen as a starting point because key components of course representation are defined in the AICC's Semantic Document v3.0 (CMI-Sem30.doc). One objective of this version of the CSF is to map the course structure, properties, and objectives in the AICC-defined tables into an XML format for Web applications. Another objective is to extend the CSF to include additional features such as referencing external IMS/IEEE metadata records. Thus, this CSF extends the AICC CMI practice to include new capabilities for Web-based content. The CSF describes a course using three groups of information. The first group, called globalProperties, is the data about the overall course. The second, called block, defines the structure of the course, and the third group, objectives, defines a separate structure for learning objectives with references to course elements within the assignment structure. ...Three of the CSF elements use the XML 'ID' and 'IDREF' attributes to uniquely identify other elements within the CSF. These are the block, objective, and au elements. These three elements are candidate targets for reference elsewhere within the CSF. XML requires that these attribute values begin with a letter and may otherwise be composed of letters, digits, hyphens, underscores, and full-stop characters. XML also requires the attribute value to be unique with the XML document (which fits the usage in this course representation). ID attributes may not have fixed default values, and only one attribute per element may be of type ID. It is assumed that the assignment of ID values will be automated within tools and LMS environments to ensure uniqueness..."

CSF Conformance Testing: "A CSF record is expected to be created from within an LMS or course-authoring environment. Within that environment, a course may have its own internal representation of course structure and its related elements. A conforming LMS or course creation environment is expected to map its internal representation to a valid CSF record (as defined by the SCORM CSF DTD). Similarly, a conforming LMS or authoring environment is expected to read and correctly interpret the SCORM CSF format and map the contents of the CSF to its internal representation as required. The course should then execute as intended. Conformance testing, therefore, focuses on testing CSF files that are generated by an LMS or authoring tool and verifying that the resulting CSF is able to be read and correctly interpreted by another LMS or authoring tool.. ...Conformance testing consists of verifying that a CSF record is valid (against the DTD) and adequate to represent a course, and that LMS or authoring tools correctly implement the basic mapping from internal representation to the intermediate CSF (and back again)."

SCORM background: "In 1999, the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (ADL) established the first of a series of ADL Co-Laboratories to test and validate new ADL technologies and provide a series of test bed projects for the emerging standards. ADL focuses on learning technologies that ride on top of emerging Internet standards. This, of course, is a challenge since the Internet is evolving rapidly. Nonetheless, the need to transition to a point where learning content is developed on a large scale is understood by many. This in turn requires standardization of learning content. The longer term expectation of ADL is to encourage technologies that enable so-called dynamic learning where content is custom-assembled and delivered to learners according to their own personal pace and need. During 1998, ADL observed that several organizations were developing a variety of draft standards, each of which affect different aspects of Web-based learning systems. These efforts, however, lacked a common framework. So, ADL developed the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) incorporating many of these emerging standards into one content model. Version 1.0 of SCORM was released on January 31, 2000."


Anonymous said...

sample course not downloaded, 404 error displayed

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