You are on page 1of 8

Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content

Experiences of SCORM Implementation

Process in Cyber Security Course Content

Rajshekhar AP (refer pg 118) Abstract

C-DAC Hyderabad
Content is the king in the context of any form
G.Radha (refer pg 118) of learning; with no exception to e-learning.
C-DAC Hyderabad In this paper we address various issues
related to content development and offering
in e-learning mode. Various issues related
Dr.Sarat Chandra Babu (refer pg 127) with content are Reusability, Accessibility,
C-DAC Hyderabad Interoperability and Durability.
Implementation of content standards during
the content development process would
result in reducing the content related issues.
There are various worldwide standards
available among which Sharable Content
Object reference Model (SCORM) has
gained wide acceptance. The authors are
involved in developing the content for Cyber
Security course to offer in e-learning mode.
This paper presents a specific case study in
developing content to be offered in the e-
learing mode for “Cyber Security” course.
Rajesh R. Nair This course is intended to be offered for
C-DAC Hyderabad network system administrators, Information
Security officers and general users. This
Rajesh Ravindra Nair is working as a Multimedia paper describes the implementation of
Developer in C-DAC Hyderabad. He completed SCORM standards in developing the content
M.Sc in Mathematics in 2001 from MDS Univ
Ajmer and Diploma in Advanced Computer Arts
which includes generating metadata, content
in 2003 from National Multimedia Resource aggregation and content packaging. The
Centre (C-DAC) Pune. Presently he is working in authors gained experience using ADL’s tools
e-learning project. His areas of interest are for SCORM conformance test.
Graphic Designing, 3D modeling, 2D animation
and other multimedia related areas. 1. Introduction

At present, in the world of distance

education e-learning is in the forefront. As in
any form of education, content is the crux in
e-learning too. Content development is a
systematic approach to gather, analyze,
design and interpret the information for a
particular topic in a specified manner. Since
the content evolves over time,
maintainability of the content has to be
considered. This allows easy management
of the content. Among other issues central
to the content development, portability and
interoperability take the spotlight. The
solution for this problem is standardization of
the content development process. The
process of standardization wraps all other


Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content

processes involved in the development of adapted and integrated with one another to
content to address the above said issues. form a more complete and easier-to-
implement model. SCORM has implemented
the Learning Object Metadata (LOM) from
Standards impose certain order, providing IEEE standards and content packaging
more uniform and precise access and specifications from IMS. SCORM has
manipulation to e-learning resources and become widely accepted e-Learning
data. Designers and developers of on-line standard in content development and most
learning materials have a variety of software of the vendors are providing support in their
tools at their disposal for creating learning products to test SCORM compliant content.
content. These tools range from It defines a Web based learning Content
presentation software packages to more Aggregation Model and a Runtime
complex authoring environments. They are Environment for learning objects. Content
very useful by giving the opportunity to the Aggregation Model Content Aggregation
developers to create learning resources that Model (CAM) provides means to identify and
might otherwise require extensive describe the learning content. Asset and
programming skills. Unfortunately, a number Sharable Content Object (SCO) are the
of software tools available from a wide components of the content as defined under
variety of vendors produce instructional CAM. Asset is an electronic representation
materials that do not share a common of media, text, images, sound, web pages,
mechanism for finding and using the assessment objects or other pieces of data
resources. In addition to this, the content that can be delivered to a Web client. A
developed for one Learning Management SCO represents a collection of one or more
System (LMS) may or may not be launched Assets that include a launching mechanism
by another LMS. So there is need for through SCORM Run-Time environment
standards to define the framework for e- (RTE) to communicate with LMS. A SCO
learning content. So standards are desirable represents the lowest level granular learning
for interoperability, convenience, flexibility, resource that can be tracked by an LMS
and efficiency in the design, delivery and using the RTE. Asset and SCO are
management of the learning content. associated with metadata to identify and
describe the content and to make them
2. Content development reusable.
Standards and SCORM
The SCORM Content Aggregation Model
further defines how learning content can be
There are number of organizations working aggregated into a course or portion of a
to develop specifications and standards course. Content Organizations provides
such as IMS, ADL, ARIADNE, IEEE, ISO etc different paths of learning by aggregating
to provide framework for e-learning different SCOs. Content packaging provides
architectures, to facilitate interoperability, a standardized way to exchange SCOs
content management, Learning Object Meta between different systems or tools. Content
data, course sequencing, content packaging Packaging also defines the structure and the
etc. One of the widely accepted content intended behavior of content organizations.
development standards is Sharable Content
Object Reference Model (SCORM) defined
by Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) 3. Run-Time Environment
SCORM is a suite of technical standards The purpose of the SCORM Run-time
that enable e-learning environments to find, Environment is to provide a means for
import, share, reuse, and export learning interoperability between SCORM content
content in a standardized way. SCORM packages and LMS. A requirement of the
provides adilities such as content SCORM is that learning content should be
Reusability, Accessibility, Interoperability, interoperable across multiple LMSs
and Durability. SCORM references regardless of the tools used to create the
specifications, standards and guidelines content.
developed by other organizations and For this to be possible, there must be a
common way to launch learning content, to


Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content

communicate with an LMS and a predefined activities of this course development include
language or vocabulary forming the basis of formulation of course syllabus based on
the communication. These three aspects of SCORM standards, Identification of SCOs,
the RTE are Launch, Application Program Identification of metadata specific to the
Interface (API) and Data Model. The Launch course, defining a learning path for content
mechanism defines a common way for delivery and evaluation methodology.
LMSs to start learning content. The
communication protocols are standardized 4.2 Design of Course Syllabus
through the use of a common API. The API
is the communication mechanism for The syllabus of the course was designed in
informing the LMS of the state of the consultation with domain experts. The
learning content such as initialized, finished structure of the course is also important as it
or in an error condition. Also the getting and defines the learning paths for different target
setting data (e.g., score, time limits, etc.) audience. Design of course syllabus is the
between the LMS and the SCO is achieved basis for identifying the SCOs.
through the APIs. A Data Model defines
elements that both the LMS and SCO are 4.3 Identifying the SCO
expected to “know” about such as the status
of the learning content. A SCO can contain a single learning object
or a collection of learning objects, tests,
Understanding the importance of standards scenarios etc. Additional aspect of SCO
conformance in a e-learning course, we that one has to keep in mind while designing
decided to implement SCORM in the Cyber it is, a SCO must be standalone. This
Security course. restricts a SCO from having any
dependencies with other SCOs.
4. Design and development of an The contents of Cyber Security is structured
e-Learning course with SCORM in a hierarchical fashion. Unit is at the
highest level of this hierarchy and lesson at
specifications the lowest level. In this hierarchy a lesson by
itself can provide learning experience to the
To develop a course that follows the user. So we have identified lesson as a
specifications of SCORM, we need to SCO as it forms the most granular object
implement the process to perform all the that can be tracked and delivered by an
steps involved. The process is discussed LMS. The structure of a unit is shown here.
4.4 Course: Cyber Security
4.1 Development of Cyber Security
Course confirming to SCORM Unit – 2: Network Security
Module-1: Access Control Systems and
We have developed course content for Methodologies
Cyber Security, which is intended for Lesson-1:Identification and
System administrators and Information Authentication Techniques
security officers. This course has a Lesson-2:Various Identification and
requirement of being offered through e- Authentication Techniques
learning mode. In view of delivery of the Lesson-3: Access Control Issues
course in e-learning mode, we took an
approach to implement the SCORM Module-2: Virtual Private Network
standards to make it interoperable with Lesson-1: Introduction to VPN
LMSs. This activity required a study to Lesson-2: Cryptography for VPNs
understand SCORM in depth, chalking out a Lesson-3: Layer-3 IP VPNs
process to implement it specific to the Lesson-4: Securing Application
course and meeting the course objectives at Streams
the same time. After thorough study of Lesson-5: IPSec VPN Design &
SCORM, we have come out with a process Deployment and VPN Case Study
for implementing it in the course. The major


Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content

Module-3: Intrusion Detection Systems 10. lifecycle entity

and Vulnerability Assessment systems 11. lifecycle date
Lesson-1: Overview of IDS 12. metametadata identifier entry
Lesson-2:IDS Types (Host Based 13. metametadata identifier catalog
IDS & Network Based IDS) 14. technical format
Lesson-3: Monitoring, Logging, 15. technical size
responding to an Attack & 16. technical location
Vulnerability Assessment 17. technical requirement orcomposite type
Lesson-4: Intrusion Prevention OS
Systems 18. technicalrequirement
Module-4: Firewalls 19. technical otherplatformrequirements
Lesson-1: Overview of Firewall 20. technical duration
Lesson-2: Types of firewalls 21. educational interactivitytype
(Packet Filtering, Application 22. educational learingresourcetype
Gateways & Stateful Inspection) 23. educational intendedenduserrole
Lesson-3: De Militarised Zones & 24. educational difficulty
Firewall Features 25. educational typicallearningtime duration
Module-5: Server Management 26. rights cost
Lesson-1: User Management & 27. rights copyright and otherrestrictions
Setting up User Privileges 28. rights description
Lesson-2: DNS Security & Load
Module-6: Telecommunications & 4.6 Naming and storing the Files:
Internet Security
Lesson-1: Fax Security When content development is being done,
Lesson-2: Security Risk Analysis many people would handle the content. So it
for voice-over-Internet is always better to have a Content
Lesson-3: Next Generation Repository. Along with it some naming
Networks conventions have to be followed.
Lesson-4:Voice-over-packet service For example, presentation material in
architectures, standards & Lesson1 of Topic1 of Module1 and Unit1
emerging products, which address could be given the name as
key security issues Unit1_Module1_Topic1_Lesson1.ppt. It is
important to keep in mind that underscores
4.5 Identifying the metadata attributes should be used as separator as some
The metadata forms the basis of SCORM. operating systems may not be able to
The mandatory metadata attributes specified identify a filename with blank spaces or any
by SCORM and a subset of optional other delimiters as separators. Also the
metadata attributes specific to the course content should be stored in a central
were considered. The list of the metadata repository with the directory structure
attributes for a SCO i.e Basics of following the same naming convention.
Communication Systems & Issues in
Computer Networking are 4.7 Metadata Repository
1. general identifier
2. general identifier entry The SCORM implementation guide specifies
3. general identifier catalog creation of a central repository for the
4. general title content metadata. We have developed a
5. general description central repository for the metadata using MS
6. general keyword Access. The metadata of all the SCOs are
7. lifecycle version entered into this repository. The metadata
8. lifecycle status repository schema is shown in fig.2
9. lifecycle role


Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content

Figure 2 Metadata repository schema

4.8 Generating the Metadata entry of all the metadata values and
generates an XML file for the inputs given.
For the purpose of generating the metadata, Below is the snapshot of the interface
a web-based application has been developed for generating metadata in XML
developed. It provides the GUI to facilitate format.

Figure 3 Metadata Generator for SCO metadata


Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content

4.9 Packaging the Content: functions loadPage(), unloadPage()

provided in SCOFunctions.js file.
Once metadata has been generated, the The next step in this process is sequencing
SCO has to interact with the LMS so that it and packaging the content. Default
can be launched by the LMS. For this, each sequencing as per the course structure was
SCO must be embedded with JavaScript defined before packaging the course
functions that would communicate with the content. Using the Reload Editor the
LMS. Each Lesson of Cyber Security contents were arranged into organizations
Content, has been embedded with the and these organizations have been
JavaScript functions that are provided by packaged as a zip file. A package descriptor
ADL. There are two JavaScript files (imsmanifest.xml) has been created by the
available for this purpose- SCOFunctions.js Reload Editor for this zipped content. The
and APIWrapper.js. We have made the content organization created using Reload
content launchable by embedding the editor for unit 2 is shown in Fig.4.

Figure 4 content organizations of Cyber Security Course Contents


Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content

4.9 Validating the SCO metadata and the Metadata Generator for all the SCOs and
Package Descriptor using ADL Test Suite the package descriptor generated by Reload
Editor after packaging the content have
ADL has provided a test suite using which passed the ADL SCORM conformance
the SCO metadata and Package descriptor tests.
can be validated. In this cyber security
course, the SCO metadata generated by the

Figure 5 Conformance Test Suite


Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content

To carry out conformance test, ADL also

provides a sample RTE that can deliver a ml
content package if the package is SCORM
conforming. The Cyber Security content s/presentations/techlearnisd2002/techlearnis
package was imported successfully and d2002.pdf
delivered in the Sample RTE.

We have also ported this course content

onto Atutor which is a open source e-
learning tool. The RTE implementation of
Atutor has delivered the course package
according to the default sequence provided
in the imsmanifest file.

Developing online courses using SCOs has
a lot of future potential. This provides the
ability to access a repository for anytime,
anywhere and reusable learning content. At
the same time we should be conscious
about the issues related with the
implementation. They are, identifying SCO,
which can be standalone and reused and
repurposed in different contexts. Next is the
selection of metadata specific to the course.
Development or using the existing tools for
metadata repository and learning content
repository decide the ease of maintaining
the course. Based on our design team
experiences, we believe these efforts are
possible for implementing SCORM
standards in e-learning course content