Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Campus Technology 2010 – Day 3 – Part 4

In which, I your humble author being extremely punchy from lack of sleep and the wear and tear of traveling by rail (always an iffy occupation) attempts to record his impressions of the presentation I Always Wondered What that Was: SCORM in Non-technical, Simple and Plain English, presented by Mike Rustici, the owner of Rustici Software.

1. What is SCORM?
It is a collection of standards: stands for Standard Collection Object Reference Model. It started with the military who wanted to be able to reuse content across different military systems. SCORM sets standards for how to create online content and LMS so that they can function together.

Standards are everywhere, how dvds play and electricity is delivered to your appliance. Problem is SCORM, like all standards, have room for interpretation. In the perfect world SCORM blends into the background.

2. What does SCORM do?
SCORM does not say anything about content whether it is good or not.

What SCORM does provide is interoperability on LMS. As a user it keeps you from being “locked in” by a vendor; you can move your content to another hosting site.

There are several versions of SCORM. First version 1.1, the main version is SCORM 1.2, a newer version is SCORM 2004

Another thing SCORM does is provide great data tracking. You can track what users are doing and how well they are doing it. This is big in the corporate world and SCORM helps to track compliance training.

3. Reusable Pieces
The idea is that all content is tagged with metadata so that you could develop customized SCOs for individuals based upon what each learner needs. As an industry we are not there yet. Within a SCORM course it can be broken into individual parts or clusters. These parts or clusters are the smallest part, a SCO (Single Content Object) and each part can be reused.

It has not been overwhelmingly taken off because it is not for the faint of heart. Reasons:

  • Ransom Note Effect – all these objects pulled from different sources and developed by different units will look like a ransom note not looking the same.
  • Maintaining the licenses on all elements can be problematic.

4. Why do we care about SCORM
Well, not everyone may care about SCORM. Not all data needs SCORM compliancy and it has become a standard and so people not knowing better demand that it be in an RFP.

You don’t need SCORM if you are

  • creating something for use in your LMS
  • Presenting material and you don’t want to track it, then its not needed just post it on a webpage or a blog.
  • only to be used once

You DO want to use SCORM if you want to:

  • Track learner success
  • Buying content and an LMS from different vendors
  • Create a library of reusable objects

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