“The course is SCORM complaint, right? Awright… Let’s release it.”
I’ve been exposed to this question for quite a while now. It’s almost a routine that I’ve almost got used to. But, then… that cannot be, I told myself in one of those self-candid moments.
Need to know – or, learn, should I say?? - how the whole thing works... more so, when this happens to be a critical factor in influencing an e-learning experience.
And, this is what I learnt.
As an instructional designer, I go about creating an e-learning course by plugging in all the necessary ingredients... ID models, graphic components, voiceovers, knowledge checks. I am told this is a SCO. A sharable content object. The content that could be shared with so many people, at the same time. Wonderful! Awright.
Cut to the scene of a group of learners in various corners of the world, looking at the material, on their respective Learning Management Systems (LMSs). A natural progression!
Now, the question is... how do they get to see the content as a course, with all those navigation features enabled, get feedback on their knowledge check attempts, get their score, and even get their certification? What happens in between my creating the course and their getting their experience out of it?
There should be a common standard that ensures the SCO and the LMS work with each other. It’s like my purchasing an audio CD and playing it in my music system. What makes both these compatible with each other? The audio CD is designed for the same standard which the music system is also made for. So, there is a synergy.
Something similar to this – though not exactly the same – is what happens with my SCO and the LMS. And, the standard is SCORM. Sharable Content Object Reference Model. Great!
It is called a Reference Model, because they say, it only references on various standards that have been floating around in the industry and tells developers how to make best use of them.
But, the truth is, SCORM is, for all practices, a standard by itself.
In addition to all that it has been doing so far, it has come up with a brand new version of itself... Tin Can API.
Something that will keep the ID in me, hooked for a long, long time to come.
(Nirmal Ranganathan, Instructional Designer, C2 Workshop)