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Cleaning up Adobe Captivate’s SCORM Publishing Template, Part 4: SCORM

In part one of this series, we published a simple Captivate course and examined its file structure. In part two, we cleaned up the HTML file and externalized all JavaScript. In part three, we cleaned up the JavaScript. In this installment, we will examine and update the SCORM code.

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SCORM “Planets” Example Updated

My "Planets" example (How to Add Basic SCORM Code to a Flash Movie) has proven to be one of the most popular items on pipwerks.com. Unfortunately, it was designed as a quick example and had a bunch of flaws and shortcomings. It's also about 3 years old and starting to show its age. Since people frequently contact me with questions -- many of which were due to the flaws in the example -- I decided to update the project.

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Ideas wanted for new SCORM wrappers

As you may have read in previous posts or tweets, I’m working on a new SCORM 2004 wrapper for both JavaScript and ActionScript that will contain advanced functionality and improved shortcuts.

For instance, I’m trying to write an easier way to work with the cmi.interactions model, and also trying to add more error-checking that will look for gotchas such as exceeding the length limit of suspend_data.

I’m looking for good ideas. How do you handle your cmi.interactions? What kind of code shortcuts would you like to see? How can working with SCORM be made easier? I’d love to hear your ideas, just post them as comments below or send them to me on twitter.

This project — just like my previous wrappers — will be freeware, either MIT license or GNU license, so no worries about me running off and selling your ideas!

(FYI: for now I’m focusing on SCORM 2004 — SCORM 1.2 should be retired — but depending on how things work out I might add backwards-compatibility for SCORM 1.2.)

Extending the SCORM wrapper and ActionScript classes

I've had a number of people ask me why I haven't extended my SCORM helpers (the JavaScript-based SCORM API wrapper and the two ActionScript classes) to completely remove the need to know any of the "cmi" calls. I have three reasons: SCORM is not that simple, the functionality between SCORM versions is significantly different, and extending the helpers that far means writing a complete (non-standardized) replacement syntax for SCORM.

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SCORM API Wrapper updated to auto-handle exit and status

The SCORM API wrapper (v1.1.7) has been updated to automatically set the initial course status and the exit status.

The point of my SCORM API wrapper is to make working with SCORM easier. These two new functions are intended to ensure you follow best practices with your SCORM code while reducing the amount of tedious code you will need to write for your course.

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