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Canadian Forces ADL lab to investigate look-and-feel issues in SCORM

Lt Cdr Roger St-Pierre, in a speech on the use of ADLís Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) by the Canadian Department of National Defence, announced the setting up of a test laboratory to conduct research and development on SCORM and support the implementation of a Defence Learning Network.

Captain Peter Hope, one of the officers involved in the operation of the laboratory, said that in addition to SCORM compliance testing, one of the key projects the laboratory will be involved in is the development of look-and-feel aspects to SCORM.

The issue of providing a consistent look-and-feel arises when assembling courses from a set of learning objects, many of which will be developed by different publishers and training vendors. In this situation, the provision for consistent visual elements and branding can be a problem, and the laboratory will be working on ways to achieve this, possibly by the introduction of a presentation layer.

Look and feel is not the only issue facing the military when it comes to implementing training programmes based on reusable learning objects; there are also issues of differing terminology between forces (land, sea, and air) and cultural differences between nations participating in NATO and the Partnership For Peace.

These are issues that will have to be addressed not only by ADL and the military, but also by any organisation that tries to implement a standard or specification to create modular, reusable content in an international context.

The laboratory intends to release a white paper on look-and-feel in SCORM at ADLís Plugfest 6 event in 2002.

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