Do you need SCORM/AICC in order to build e-learning?
Absolutely not. Today we see all the App Stores, Gaming platforms, and online social sites allowing and enabling
people to openly share experiences, skills and trades. Expressing open opinions either positive or negative, has opened
up a new brand that not everyone subscribes to. Privacy, and other concerns drive questions about who has access to this data,
and what are they doing with it.
The goals and scope of your project dictate what options you have available to you. If you are building content to sell, most
likely you'll want it to be as portable as possible. Other standards do exist, hoping to gain adoption.
Competing strategies often blur what the right decision is.
Migrating Content, and Portals
You may have vintage content that is ripe for a overhaul. Can you just add something to make it talk SCORM 2004? Is taking
old Adobe Flash content and generating 600+ PNG images to convert it to HTML the right thing to do? With high pixel per inch monitors and devices coming
out, is that really a great long term strategy? All of these conversations are occurring in several war rooms around the
world as people make efforts to modernize, migrate, and deploy their content on a variety of devices.
All to often the content gets the overhaul, but the Portal is still based on some tech from the mid 2000's. These systems still
have statistics of 30-60% viewership using old browsers, and making sweeping changes like that may mean alienating, or off-putting a decent
share of your customer base. Do you just make new system or adopt one? Can you entice your customers to migrate? Some cases
the decision may not even be up to them, but their IT department (No joy). Most software development life cycles tend to last as much as 8-10 years. It's very challenging to try to take advantage of new web technologies while some of your customer base has to fail over to older tech.
Currently, there is no shortage of frameworks, libraries often giving you rapid prototyping capabilities, but the may have a draw back of causing the content to become heavy and slow. As mentioned, even offering fail over technology for your older customer base takes its toll.
Off-the-shelf training has its place, just like a production car vs. one hand crafted in Italy. These tools commonly already come
pre-bundled with page interactions, themes and other styles. How open are these systems are to customization? They commonly can offer
e-learning standards built in. Its possible a slide show gets you part way to your goals.
Be careful of the technology these systems use. They may (for example) use 100% flash and limit your portability when it comes time to deploy.
They may also only deploy to Webkit/Mobile, and don't work in Internet Explorer or FireFox.
This is a subject that comes up from time to time as exploits become more openly available. Please keep in mind that
SCORM is a open API, freely accessible on the LMS. There are, however options to mitigate security. No measure can give you 100%
peace of mind, so you need to consider backend reporting, and data forensics to truly be sure. Portals/platforms can take advantage
of more modern options to limit external domains access, and direct interaction with the SCORM API from sources other than the Content Object.
Most cheats are crude, and typically lack the level of detail a real Shareable Content Object can provide.
Most Platforms independently track session time. So falsely reporting values is easily traceable. All to often, beyond just direct manipulation of
the SCORM Runtime, students may evaluate assets, scripts, and external data which can also commonly direct them to the correct answer. Developers similarly
need to take more steps to obscure the data so its not easily read like plain text - "Security through obscurity". Which typically is not recommend
practice by a standards body like SCORM or AICC.
Just recently students have been expelled for key-logging teachers computers. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, road blocks or need solutions.