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SCORM® in Practice

Candace Filip, Instructional Designer


Aaron Silvers, Content Developer
Angelo Panar, Software Engineer
ADL Technology Center
SCORM® in Practice

Candace Filip, Instructional Designer


Aaron Silvers, Content Developer
Angelo Panar, Software Engineer
ADL Technology Center
Overview

This presentation is to provide


instructional designers, content
developers and software developers
with information about SCORM 2004
projects and the design and
development process.

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Agenda

• Introduction
• SCORM Review
• Instructional Design Aspects
• Content Development Aspects
• Software Development Aspects

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SCORM Review
SCORM 2004

SCORM SCORM
Overview Sequencing and Navigation

SCORM Content SCORM


Aggregation Model Run-Time Environment

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Content Aggregation Model (CAM)

Content
Aggregation Model

Metadata (IEEE LOM 1484.12)


KeySCORM ® Technologies
• Sharable Content Object Content Packaging (IMS)
• Asset
• Content Packaging Sequencing Information (IMS)
• Meta-data
• Sequencing Information

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CAM Standards & Specifications

Core SCORM Standards/Specifications


• IMS Content Packaging Specification
• IEEE Standard for Learning Object
Metadata (LOM)
• IEEE Standard for Learning Technology
- Extensible Markup Language (XML)
Schema Binding for LOM
• IMS Simple Sequencing Specification

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CAM Standards & Specifications
Core (Internet)/Web-based Standards -
• W3C Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.1
• Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Request For
Comment (RFC) 2396:1998, Universal Resource
Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax
• IETF RFC 2426:1998: vCard MIME Directory Profile
• ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000, Information technology –
Universal multiple-octet coded character set – Part 1:
Architecture and basic multilingual plane
• IETF RFC 1951 DEFLATE Compressed Data Format
Specification Version 1.3
• XML Schema Part 1: Structures
• XML Schema Part 1: Datatypes

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Run-Time Environment (RTE)

Run-Time Environment

Key SCORM ® Technologies


• API
• API Instance
Communications API (IEEE 1484.11.2)
• Launch
• Session Methods
Data Model (IEEE 1484.11.1)
• Data Transfer Methods
• Support Methods
• Temporal Model
• Data Model

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RTE Standards & Specifications

Core SCORM Standards/Specifications


• IEEE Standard for Learning Technology
– Data Model for Content Object
Communication
• IEEE Standard for Learning Technology
– ECMAScript Application Programming
Interface for Content to Run-time
Services Communication

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RTE Standards & Specifications

Core Internet/Web-based Standards


• IETF RFC 2141: URN Syntax
• ISO/IEC 646:1991: Information technology –
ISO 7-bit coded character set for information
exchange
• ISO/IEC 10646-1:2000, Information
technology – Universal multiple-octet coded
character set – Part 1: Architecture and basic
multilingual plane
• W3C Document Object Model (DOM) Level 3
Core Specification, Version 1.0
• ISO/IEC 16262:1998: Information technology
– ECMAScript Language specification
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RTE Standards & Specifications

More Core Internet/Web-based Standards


• ISO/IEC 11404:1996, Information technology
– Programming languages, their
environments and system software interfaces
– Language-independent datatypes
• Unicode Standard
• ISO 639-1, Codes for representation of
names of languages – Part 1: Alpha-2 code
• ISO 639-2, Codes for representation of
names of languages – Part 2: Alpha-3 code
• ISO 3166-1, Codes for the representation of
names of countries and their subdivisions –
Part 1: Country codes
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Sequencing and Navigation (SN)

Sequencing and Navigation

Sequencing Information & Behavior (IMS)

Key SCORM® Technologies


• Activity Tree
• Learning Activities
• Sequencing Rules
• Navigation
• Navigation Data Model

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SN Standards & Specifications

Core SCORM Standard/Specification


• IMS Simple Sequencing Specification

• ADL defined sequencing extensions and


navigation support

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SCORM Conformance
Conformance Requirements

The SCORM Conformance


Requirements document provides a
summary of the test subjects that can
be certified for conformance and the
detailed conformance requirements
outlined in SCORM.

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SCORM Conformant

A SCORM conformant product:


• Passes the SCORM Conformance Test
Suite (Self Test)
• Conforms to the latest version of
SCORM as outlined in the SCORM
Conformance Requirements

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Conformance Test Suite

The purpose of the SCORM 2004


Conformance Test Suite (Self Test) is to
provide organizations with the ability to
perform self testing on LMSs, Sharable
Content Objects (SCOs), Metadata XML
instances and Content Packages

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ADL Certification

• Independent third party testing


• Provides consumers of learning content
and LMSs with the assurance that
certified products have successfully
implemented SCORM

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Instructional Design
Instructional Design

• Reuse of content
• Considerations
• Repurposing existing content

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Reuse

• Questions –
– What is reuse
– Why is it important?
– How does it impact the
design and
development of
content?
• Considerations when
designing and
developing for reuse

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Project Considerations

• Project requirements
• LMS
• Technology
• Resources

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Existing Content

• What is the purpose of reusing this


content?
• Can the content be repurposed?
• Planning
• Documenting decisions

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Project Management

• Project Management
– Schedule
– Budget
– Roles and Responsibilities
– Deliverables

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Instructional Design
and SCORM
Projects
Instructional Design

• Question –

– Is designing for SCORM


conformance different from
designing for other Web-based
projects?

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Analysis

• Project Requirements
• Front end analysis
– Sequencing and Navigation
– Use of Data Model Elements
• Design document
• Communication

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Design

• Granularity
• Design for Reuse
• Design Document
– Instructional Strategy
– Design Strategy
– Project Management

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Design

• Design Considerations
• Technical Considerations
– Hardware
– Software
– Personnel
• Data Tracking
– Data Model Elements
• Meta-data Requirements

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Design Considerations

• Granular approach
• Increased significance of technologies
• LMS

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Instructional Design Process

• How does SCORM impact the


process?
– Initially, time increases
• Introduction of new technology requires
time for to learn
• Decisions to be made at the early stages
of the project

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Instructional Design Aspects

• How does SCORM impact the


development process?
– Familiarity with the process generates
efficiency
• Development time drops significantly… as
experience working with process grows
• Experience with content elements encourages
re-use within content packages (and beyond).

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Instructional Design Aspects

• How does SCORM impact the


development process?
– Test-as-you-go vs. Testing before delivery
• Test each SCO using the Conformance Test
Suite.
• Use the log to view diagnostic information to
verify you communication with the LMS is
working.

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Instructional Design Aspects

• SCORM impact on implementation


– Not significantly
• Familiarity with LMS
• Test the content package with the
Conformance Test Suite
• As a check, launch content in the
Sample RTE

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Content Development
Developer Aspects

Question –

How do you best develop


SCORM conformant
content?

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Developer aspects

• How do you best develop content?


– Planning, Planning, Execution and Review
• Define your technical requirements
• Refine requirements into an Architectural Plan
• Implement the plan
• Adjust the product after thorough review

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Developer aspects

• Define your technical requirements


– Identify constraints
• File size, technologies, screen resolution, etc.
– Work with the environment
• Know your LMS
– Determine functionality
• Content purpose

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Developer aspects

• Refine requirements into an


Architectural Plan
– Flow chart the learner’s experience through
the content
– Recognize decision points are areas that
may require communication to/from the
LMS

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Developer aspects

• Implement the plan


– A visual plan that is storyboarded is a
developer’s friend
– Organize content by addressing:
• Content deployment
• Re-use of as many files as you can.
• Content granularity

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Data Model Elements
Data Model Elements

• Investigate what the target LMS does to


support and expand the Data Model
• Use the Data Model Elements to achieve the
desired learner experience
• Refer to the functional requirements of your
content
• For more information about the Data Model
Elements, visit:
http://www.adlnet.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=SCORMDown&listing=Exa

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Data Model Elements

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Break
Testing SCORM Projects
Testing SCORM Projects

• Conformance Test Suite


– Test SCOs during development
– Test content package for flow
– Validate manifest to ensure proper
import into SCORM-conformant
LMSs

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Testing SCORM Projects

• Testing Sequencing & Navigation


– Use Sample RTE
– Use target LMS

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Developer Considerations

• Communication between content and


LMS is vital
– Dependencies on JavaScript
– Challenges introduced by plug-in
technologies
• Solutions
• Optimize content for browser-based
delivery
– File size
– Don’t kill the processor

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Software Development
LMS Development
Overview

Learning Management System


(LMS)

LMS Server

Server Side
Launch Client Side
Data Model:
Actual data sent
back and forth Web Browser
between a SCO
and LMS

Communication Asset
with backend SCO
Asset Asset
server is not
specified in API
SCORM. Instance ECMAScript Asset

API: Communications Link between a SCO


and LMS

Data Model: Data is requested to be


retrieved from and stored in the LMS from the
SCO.
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LMS Architecture

Services that a SCORM Conformant LMS must


provide:
• Identify content for delivery
• Launch content
• Enable content to communicate if it chooses
• Accept a common, defined set of information
• Manage Learner Attempts & Learner Sessions
• Provide means for a learner to navigate

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LMS Architecture

• The SCORM certification process and


the Conformance Test Suite ensure that
the services perform as expected.
• All of these services are primarily
focused on the per-learner experience
of a single course.
• Although these services are necessary,
they are not sufficient for a “real” LMS.

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Typical LMS Features
• Learner Management • API and Run-Time Data
Service Management Services
• Learner Authentication • Sequencing Service
Service • User Interface Service
• Content Import Service • Reporting Services
• Content Management • Others
Service
• Content Delivery
Service

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Content Import Service

Assumptions and considerations


• A SCORM LMS must be able to consume SCORM
Content Packages.
• A SCORM LMS must be able to extract the content
from a SCORM Content Package, parse the manifest
file, and interpret the intent of the source of the
package.
• The Content Import Service is not explicitly tested, but
it is implicitly tested throughout the SCORM
Certification Process.
• Content Import does not imply a per-learner import.

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Content Import Service

Assumptions and considerations


• A LMS allows learners to access the LMS and
select a course to experience.
• Once a SCORM Content Package is imported,
the learner must be able to access it.
• SCORM does not define a way for learners to
identify courses that are available to them or
to sequence between courses.
• LMSs must manage the state of the course as
a whole.

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Content Import Service
Assumptions and considerations
• The LMS must be able to deliver the course to the
learner after a learner has logged onto the LMS and
selected a course to experience.
• The LMS must provide some form of User Interface
(UI) that displays the content, provides navigation
controls, and enables communication to the LMS.
• SCORM does not define or place any constraints on
the type or form of UI provided by an LMS.
• SCORM does not define or place any constraints on
the mechanism that an LMS utilizes to provide the
SCORM API Instance.
• SCOs communicate through the LMS provided
SCORM API Instance using JavaScript (this
constraint on the SCO-to-API Instance interface
needs to be considered due to the potential cross-
domain issue). 59
Run-Time Management

Run-Time Management is the learner’s


experience in terms of Learner
Attempts and Learner Sessions.

Run-Time Management involves


– API Implementations.
– Run-Time Data Model Management.
– Sequencing.

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Temporal Model for a SCO

Begin End
Sequencing Session Sequencing Session

Active / Inactive / Active /


Inactive
Begin Attempt Suspended Resumed

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API Implementation

The Conformance Requirements are:


• API must implement the defined API interface
as defined by IEEE Standard for Learning
Technology – ECMAScript Application
Programming Interface for Content to Run-
time Services Communication
• API Implementation states and state
transitions
• API Implementation Error Handling
• API Implementation deployment requirements
as defined by the IEEE standard
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API Implementation

Considerations
• Persistence/storage of data
• Reporting capabilities
• User Management/Data Management
• State Management

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Run-Time Data Model
Management
Conformance Requirements
• Managing Learner Attempts and Learner
Sessions
• Differences between Run-Time
Attempts/Sessions and Sequencing
Attempts/Session
• Persistence of Data from the standpoint
of Learner attempts and learner
sessions
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Run-Time Data Model
Management
Considerations
• API Implementation management
– Transferring data back on the server-side
LMS
• Reporting

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Sequencing

Predictable,
Course

consistent ordering and


delivery of learning Module 1 Module 2 Module 3

activities, in an
Lesson 01 Lesson 01

instructionally
Lesson 01

meaningful manner, Lesson 02 Lesson 02 Lesson 02

regardless of delivery Lesson 03 Chapter 1

environment Lesson 04 Chapter 2

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Three Views of Sequencing

1. Design Time

3. Package Import

5. Run-time

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Deriving an Activity Tree
Per Learner — The Content
Organization (<organization>) is
transformed into an Activity Tree which
manages a learning experience

Content Package Importer


- Parses imsmanifest.xml files

imsmanifest.xml
Sequencing Implementation -
<organization> Manages Activity Trees
<resources>
Activity Tree
Sequencing
Tracking
Data

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The Sequencing Loop

Runtime Environment —
External to the Sequencer
Content Object
Navigation
Identified for
Request
Delivery

Content Delivery Navigation Request


Environment Process Process

Delivery Request Termination Request


Process Process

Sequencing Request
Process

Selection Process
Overall Rollup Process Utility Processes
Randomization Process
Sequencer
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Sequencing Conformance

Conformance Requirements
• 60+ Test Cases
– Correct translation of a Content Package
into an Activity Tree
– Correct application of sequencing behavior
– Management of sequencing tracking
information

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Sequencing Implementation

Considerations
• Scalability
• State and Data Management
– Per learner
– Per course
– Shared global objectives
• Session Management

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Tools Development
Tools Development

• Various development tools exist


• This section discusses the following
types of tools:
– SCORM Content Package
– Content
– Metadata

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SCORM Content Package

The purpose of a SCORM Content


Package is to provide a standardized way
to identify and exchange digital resources
between different systems or tools.

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SCORM Content Package

• Manifest Conformance Requirements


• Content Conformance Requirements
• Content Package Structural
Conformance Requirements

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SCORM Content Package

Manifest Conformance Requirements


• Basic XML Requirements
• IMS Content Package XML Binding
Requirements
• IMS Simple Sequencing XML Binding
Requirements
• ADL SCORM Application Profile Binding
Requirements
• Metadata – Not required, but recommended
• Content Manifest CP Extensions – not
required
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SCORM Content Package

Content Conformance Requirements


– SCOs

Structural Conformance Requirements


– imsmanifest.xml
– All controlling documents (XSDs, DTDs)
– Structural integrity

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Describing an Activity Tree

• The IMS SS XML Binding defines how to


represent (in XML) Sequencing Definition Model
elements for a given activity.
• Each <organization> element in the content
package represents the root of an activity tree.
• Each <item> element in the <organization>
element represents an activity.
• Only leaf activities (leaf <item> elements) are
permitted to have associated learning resources
that may be delivered as a result of sequencing.

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SCORM Content Package

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Deriving an Activity Tree

Per Learner — The Content


Organization (<organization>) is
transformed into an Activity Tree which
manages a learning experience

Content Package Importer


- Parses imsmanifest.xml files

imsmanifest.xml
Sequencing Implementation -
<organization> Manages Activity Trees
<resources>
Activity Tree
Sequencing
Tracking
Data

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SCORM Content Package

Considerations
• Use of <dependency> element to group
resources that are in common
• Validation of XML against XSDs
• Integration of Metadata
• Integration of Sequencing and
Navigation information
• Use of namespace extensions
• Application of Sequencing

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Assets

Conformance Requirements
• There are none

Considerations
• Assets could be launched
• Assets do not communicate with the
LMS

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SCO

• A SCO is a collection of one or more


assets that represents a single
launchable learning resource that can
communicate with an LMS using the
SCORM RTE.
• A SCO represents the lowest level of
granularity of learning resources that
can communicate with an LMS using the
SCORM RTE.

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SCO

API Usage Conformance Requirements


• ECMAScript Requirements
– Finding the LMS provided API
– Initializing/Terminating the Communication
Session
– Data Storage
– Error Handling

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SCO

Data Model Usage Conformance


Requirements
• Dot-notation binding Requirements
• Data Types Requirements
• Application Profile Requirements

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SCO

Considerations
• Abnormal termination error handling
• Built in error handling
• Finding LMS-provided API
• Using Data Model elements with one
another
• Using Data Model elements to affect
sequencing

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Metadata

• Metadata is information about content


that includes descriptions of
characteristics and relationships among
category items.

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Metadata

Considerations
• Metadata profile
– SCORM only defines a minimum required
set
– Communities of practice may define their
own sets
• Multilingual support
• Metadata automation

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Questions??

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Resources

• SCORM 2004
• SCORM 2004 Conformance Requirements
• SCORM 2004 Conformance Test Suite (Self Test)
• SCORM 2004 Sample Run-Time Environment
• Content Examples
• Certification Information

Available at www.ADLNet.org

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