Once the eLearning content is finished, do you need to track learner access to the content? Do you need to provide reports to your boss that show how learners have performed on a quiz? How about letting the boss know how many people have accessed specific lessons, and how many people have completed the course?
If you need your eLearning content to report data and have that data stored and available for you to format in a meaningful way, you need a Learning Management System (LMS). Before your project can be used with an LMS, you have to set up some reporting options and become familiar with the following: Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM), Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee (AICC), Sharable Content Object (SCO), and the Manifest File.
Over the next couple of weeks, I'll go over the process of preparing your eLearning content for upload into standard LMSs. This week, let's get some important terms out of the way.
Sharable Content Object Reference Model
Developed by public- and private-sector organizations, SCORM is a series of eLearning standards that specifies ways to catalog, launch, and track course objects. Courses and management systems that follow the SCORM specifications allow for sharing of courses among federal agencies, colleges, and universities. Although SCORM is not the only eLearning standard (AICC is another), SCORM is one of the most common. There are two primary versions of SCORM-version 1.2, released in 1999, and version 2004.
During this series, you will prepare and then publish a project to a SCORM-compliant LMS.
Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee
AICC is an international association that develops guidelines for the aviation industry in the development, delivery, and evaluation of training technologies. When you publish your Captivate projects, you can specify SCORM or AICC compliance, but not both. Not sure which one to pick? Talk to your LMS provider for information on which one to use. When in doubt, consider that AICC is older and more established than SCORM, but SCORM is the standard most often used today.
Tin Can API
Today's learners are consuming eLearning content using a vast array of devices (PCs, Macs, and mobile devices, such as the iPad). And learners are working outside of traditional LMSs. In spite of these challenges, educators still need to capture reliable data about the learner experience.
The problem with data collection is that you need an expensive LMS to store the data. And your learners need live access to the LMS so that they can send the data. As mentioned above, the most widely used LMS standard for capturing data is SCORM. SCORM allows educators to track such things as learner completion of a course, pass/fail rates, and the amount of time a learner takes to complete a lesson or course. But what if a trainer needs to get scores from learners who are collaborating with other students using social media? What if the learners don't have immediate access to the LMS?
The new Tin Can API allows training professionals to gather detailed data about the learner experience as the learner moves through an eLearning course (either online or offline). According to the Tin Can API website, "The Tin Can API (sometimes referred to as the Experience API) captures data in a consistent format about a person or group's activities from many technologies. Very different systems are able to securely communicate by capturing and sharing this stream of activities using Tin Can's simple vocabulary."
If the Tin Can API is supported by your LMS, you'll be happy to learn that it's also fully supported in most of today's eLearning development tools.
Sharable Content Objects
Sharable Content Objects (SCOs) are standardized, reusable learning objects. An LMS can launch and communicate with SCOs and can interpret instructions that tell the LMS which SCO to show a user and when to show it. Why should you know what an SCO is? Actually, your eLearning projects are SCOs once you enable reporting (which you will learn how to do next time).
Next time: Preparing a lesson to report data