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RELOAD editor adds Content Packaging and SCORM authoring

Following a comprehensive rewrite, the 1.1 version of the RELOAD e-learning content authoring tool can now be used to edit both plain IMS as well as SCORM content packages.

What started as a humble, open source metadata editor is now rapidly on the way to become a full e-learning content editor that will allow you to create plain IMS content packages or SCORM Sharable Content Objects (SCOs) in their entirety, from existing material.

At its simplest, a content author could start by putting some webpages and images in a folder, and open that folder up in the RELOAD tool. Once there, you choose whether you want a vanilla IMS or SCORM package, and organise the material in a meaningful fashion by just dragging and dropping. Any images, stylesheets or flash movies associated with the webpages will be automatically detected and declared properly.

Metadata can be added in a separate window that either shows the full glory of the LOM, or else a series of boxes that can be used to fill in just the bits that are relevant to a particular sector or group.

Also in a separate window is the editing of SCORM specific additions like elements that declare how long a student can take on a particular bit of content, how much they need to score on a test in order to progress, which materials they need to have worked through successfully in order to be allowed access to another piece of content, etc, etc. This SCORM editor is the latest addition to RELOAD, and is feature complete, but any further input on the arrangement of the controls is very much welcomed by the developers.

Other changes to the editor include the ability to select a lot of data from pop-up lists instead of guessing and typing, a more extensive, customisable help system, and user preferences for hiding some of the complexity of a full content package. Last but not least, the RELOAD tool will actually clean up some of the most common mistakes found in existing content packages.

In the mean time, the tool has generated quite a bit of interest around the world, with lots of people already using it, or developers modifying it to suit their needs. With organisations like the OSLO group at the university of Utah, WebCT and SCORM makers ADL -among many others- interested, it looks as if the open source package could easily be turned into a reference implementation of the standards it supports.

Next on the to-do list of the RELOAD developers is a SCORM learning object player.

More information about RELOAD can be found on the RELOAD website.

A full list of changes since the last revision can be found on the RELOAD change log

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