SCORM – When you need Inter-Operatibility between E-learning Platforms!
What is it about SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) that the e-learning folks are going gaga over? Well… to put it across in simple terms, SCORM is a ‘certificate’ that an LMS has to get, if it wants to score in the game of ‘inter-operatibility’. The e-learning folks are a bunch of crackerjacks, who really get excited about the word ‘certified’… it sort of instills in them a feeling of ‘tour de force’, because of the sense of completion associated with the word ‘certified’.
Imagine owning a stockpile of DVDs, but not a DVD player. Now, the DVD player that we seek should be able to play all types of DVDs single-handedly, isn’t it? Otherwise, we’d need one DVD player each that would jibe with only one type of DVD. Recipe for disaster? It truly is!
UNDERSTANDING SCORM COMPLIANCE
SCORM (just like the package deal DVD player) is required for the LMS, for them to be able to work properly across various SCORM compliant systems. LMS SCORM compliance defines nothing other than the adherence of the LMS to the technical standards for e-learning products.
SCORM is simply a set of specifications used for web-based e-learning. It specifies the way in which content from the client side interacts with a given LMS. To cut a long story short, SCORM compliance makes sure that any type of content will work on any system that’ll read SCORM.
If not for SCORM compliance, the e-learning content produced at one place would be of no use elsewhere. The best part? SCORM compliance enables course authors to create dynamic and engaging content, which, besides being all-LMS playable, provides an opportunity for to track progress of the learners. In addition, content re-usability is made possible. All this and more, when an LMS becomes SCORM compliant!
WHY YOU NEED SCORM?
In current times, LMS is rapidly finding its way into the e-learning domain. The readiness with which organizations are eager to get their e-learning content delivered to their learners/users is unbelievable. And this further fans the need for an all-inclusive LMS. What you may perhaps need is a feature-rich LMS from companies like Paradiso.
Yes, you need SCORM when you want to track the progress and performance of the learners. Besides, instructors being able to monitor how their learners are performing, the SCORM compliant LMS will allow the managers to check if any of their learners are yet to complete their training.
Lastly, like already mentioned previously, SCORM brings in inter-operatibility. Suppose you design your content with authoring tools like Articulate, Captivate, Camtasia, Raptivity or the Paradiso Composer, and the next step you want is to dump it all on the LMS, you’re free to do it. And all this won’t be a headache because, both, your composer and the LMS, dance to the tune of SCORM.
TIN CAN API / EXPERIENCE API / XAPI – DECODING THE BUZZWORDS!
Tin Can API is not the same as SCORM. And well… It doesn’t need be! Tin Can API collects information from a different perspective, and renders a whole-hog view of a learner’s progress.
Instead of giving an elementary pass/fail, taken/not taken dossier like a normal LMS would, Tin Can API instead collects “statements” from the learner’s learning drift. These ‘statements’ are sent in the form of ‘noun-verb-object’ to a learning record store, or LRS. These statements are essential to provide insight into what a learner is doing outside his usual training routine.
To state an example, let’s take the a learner ‘X’. Now, if X watches a video on YouTube which is relevant to her training, the information would be sent to the LRS. However, this would have gone unnoticed if it was not for Tin Can API. Indistinct ‘statements’ like these, give the course-makers valuable insight for designing and upgrading courses.
To rehash, Tin Can API captures data about a learner from various technologies. Rather than data, we’d say it captures experience that matter, both, from the online as well as the offline undertakings of a learner. Tin Can API is clearly of great importance as it provides a more robust and accurate picture of the progress being made outside of formal learning.
With Tin Can API in picture now, compliance to SCORM will no longer be a deal breaker for collecting e-learning data. However, SCORM compliance is the base on which Tin Can is built, hence even as it becomes redundant, it’ll never be out of picture!
INTEGRATING SOCIAL LEARNING INTO SCORM
Via the mode of social learning, we understand that learning is not simply restriced to formal structured training. It brings forth the aspect of holistic learning through interactions happening viz our routine life. Hence, the need for Tin Can API, which is designed to record and track these interactions in a way that SCORM compliance cannot.
The social learning aspect of Tin Can API provides a motley of avenues to the learners for collaborating and discussing their learning experiences over social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Wikis, forums, blogs, RSS feeds and many more.
In this light, if you are searching for a new LMS or are planning switch LMSs, you’ll find LMSs that are SCORM 1.2 compliant. If you have any comments or feedback, drop us a line or two at [email protected].
Watch this quick video which tells more about SCORM Complaint LMS