Tag Archives: LMS

SCORM: Making LSM effective

29 Apr

scormSCORM is short for Shared Content Object Reference Model. As then name implies it is a Reference Model for creating SCO’s for creating web based training that is able to be shared among  other SCORM complaint LMS or content delivery system.

In simple words SCORM is standard to be followed for delivering content, if you follow the standard then only one time content investment for you.

Advance distributed Learning or The ADL is the body that manages SCORM specification and it addressed four high level requirements :

  • Re-usability: The flexibility or ability to incorporate course material in multiple instructions.
  • Interoperability: The ability to take course material developed in one location with one set of platform and use them in other set of tools and platform with different location.
  • Accessibility: The ability to access and locate course material from location and deliver them in multiple locations.
  • Durability: This is one of the best I found and it provides the ability to withstand technology changes without redesign or reconfiguration and hence you can say that it saves lot of effort and  millions dollars.. 🙂

Now you have some basic understanding of SCORM and lets quickly move to its sub specification which will help you in understanding it in detail.

Basically SCORM is composed of three sub- specification namely:

  1.  The Content Aggregation: The content Aggregation Model is based on XML and specifies how Scorum content should be described and aggregated which promotes consistent storage, lebeling and packaging. This model uses mainly three technologies namely ‘Content Model‘ which help in creating learning experience and explains how these componets can be organised. Second is Metadata which describes the nature & purpose of package and the third one is ‘Content Packaging‘ is the collection of all files required to run the content and it enables learning to be shared between tools and system.
  2. Run-Time Environment: Run- Time Environment section is based on Javascript and specify how the content communicates with LMS. It works on API’s which provide a standardized communication mechanism to communicate SCO’s. The API is responsible for setting and getting information such as score, time limit etc.
  3. Sequencing & Navigation: Sequencing and Navigation specifies the rules by which a learner cab navigate between shared content. SCORM sequencing is generally based on concept of Activity tree where rules are attached to each content for sequencing and navigation defines how learning contents events are triggered.

Most of the things are clear so lets quickly move to its implementation part.

Implementing SCORM with PHP

The first thing we need to understand the every implementation vary depending upon what you are trying to implement and you need to determine whether you site is eLearning or just content delivery site. Let us see we an example where you want built a SCORM player in PHP.

  • An importer, that reads XML from the imsmanifest.xml file and creates a representation in your system, if needed. The most important thing in this file is to find the “launch point” of the SCORM content.
  • A SCORM engine, in javascript, that will communicate with the SCORM content.
  • A database backend, to store what needs to be stored (based on the specification)

The second bullet points mentioned above is the most important and difficult portion. I have mentioned the steps for beginners and I can tell you that implementing SCORM from scratch is difficult as you need to work on lots on API to connect with different vendors.