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Interesting paper!

Posted on September 29 2003 by Pierre Gorissen in reponse to SCORM Dynamic Appearance Model white paper released

The paper offers very interesting reading material. It has a clear analysis of many of the practical problems SCORM at the moment faces. It would have been even better had it come from ADL directly, because now I have no idea how much of the recommendations will ever make it into a future SCORM version. I think that, besides the facts that some changes would about tough the core of SCORM, not all involved will like the added flexibility either. I imagine that for example providers of content would really not like the idea of no longer being in full control of the way their content is rendered. For LMS vendors, the current situation where the LMS has very limited control over the SCO also means that SCORM is much easier to implement then when they have to deal with the changes proposed in the paper.

One point of criticism on the paper: they appear to have only looked at SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 1.3 (including Simple Sequencing) only. IMS Learning Design would have added at least two more issues worth while to resolve in a future version of SCORM:
* IMS LD allows you to combine multiple resources in a single activity description element (using multiple item elements). During runtime these are expected to be rendered as one 'page'. The player can use the fact that the activity description consists of multiple items to also render an index which can be used to navigate through the page.
* IMS LD uses XML elements to indicate where the player is supposed to render the XHTML code (+ JavaScript) needed for example to display or set the contents of a property. The result could be anything, from a textfield which enables the user to enter an answer to a question, or a table with all the answers of all users in a role. More important is that it greatly simplifies the authoring process (only one element needs to be added, no complex HTML form and/or JavaScript) and gives the player control over the way the resulting output is being rendered.

But certainly a step in the right direction!

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