Someone recently asked me if it was possible to customize Captivate’s SCORM template to reduce the need for manual editing after publishing. In her case, the manifest needed to be edited to include SumTotal TotalLMS’s custom SCORM extensions. The answer is yes. Here’s how.
Someone recently posted a blog entry ranting about the use of the term “best practices” in our industry. I understand the frustration with thoughtless pronouncements about best practices, especially coming from people who may not know any better; it will often sound a lot like how like mom used to say “eat this, it’s good for you” without really knowing whether it’s true. However, there is a big difference between best practices in terms of learning theory — something that’s difficult to quantify and/or prove — and technology.
I’ve had a flurry of emails and messages regarding my SCORM cheat the past few days, and have received feedback from a number of well-regarded SCORM aficionados, some of whom contributed to the standard and helped make SCORM what it is today. This is wonderful, I’m very happy to hear from everyone, especially regarding such an engaging topic.
But as I hear more from these seasoned SCORM pros, I’ve made (what I believe to be) an interesting observation: there is a sharp division between die-hard SCORM developers and casual users. I suppose I’ve felt this way for a long time, but it’s really coming into focus this week. Let me try to define the camps.
I’m always surprised how little people talk about cheating in e-learning; maybe it’s a fear of revealing just how easy it can be. The fact is, SCORM — the most common communication standard in e-learning — is fairly easy to hack. I’ve whipped up a proof-of-concept bookmarklet that when clicked will set your SCORM course to complete with a score of 100 (works with both SCORM 1.2 and 2004).
I recently emailed a shortlist of good SCORM development resources to a colleague, and figured I should probably post a list here, too. This is a quickie list, and I’m sure I’m leaving someone out. If you know of any resources I’ve missed, please add a link in the comments. This list is presented in no particular order.
Matt Wilcox posted an interesting argument about the CSS3 standard; I think the central points of the argument can be applied to SCORM and where we’re potentially headed with SCORM 2.0.
Eventually someone in the e-learning field is going to get slapped with a lawsuit just like Target did. If that’s what it takes to wake people up, I’m hoping it’s sooner rather than later!
SCO stands for shareable content object. If a course is not built to be shareable, it isn’t really a SCO, even if it uses SCORM for packaging. Spinning SCORM’s communication element off into its own standard — without the name SCORM — would free SCORM to truly be a Shareable Content Object Reference Model, and would free non-aggregators from having to deal with the complexities of SCORM.
A common thread in many of the posts I’ve been reading is that standards do not lead to innovation, but rather that innovation leads to standardization.