Reload releases SCORM e-learning content player
Wilbert Kraan, CETIS staff
December 14, 2003

Now that the open source Reload content package editor is maturing and in pretty widespread use and development, the team have added a content player to the toolkit. It plays SCORM 1.2 in a pretty straightforward fashion, but is mainly meant to help content developers understand and control what is going on behind the scenes.

The new player is essentially a mini VLE that runs on your local machine, and exposes the structure of a SCORM compliant learning object. Not just that, it also gives a view on the communication that goes on between a piece of SCORM content in a browser, and the VLE at the back.

That may be a little more information than a regular user would need, which is why the same capability will be implemented without the geek-pleasing info in a dedicated learning tool such as Colloquia.

For content creators, though, the Reload player gives valuable info on and control over the way learning content is structured for presentation, how it communicates with the VLE, and what kinds of learner interactions are captured.

The result is that tasks like integrating various existing learning objects, or giving them new organizations, is a matter of dragging, dropping, and hitting 'play'. The captured learner data can also be reset by a single button, so that changes to the SCORM interaction can be tested quickly.

Technically, the tool is built on a combination of the Reload packaging tool's schema-driven authoring controls, and an Apache Tomcat servlet container to serve the pages to whatever the default browser is on your machine.

The content - VLE communication takes place over a JavaScript implementation of the SCORM API- which allows it to be used with most any browser, without any plug-ins. The player implements all of the CMI datamodel (the vocabulary of instructions that SCORM compliant content and players need to talk to each other), and most of the prerequisites: the logical operators that allow a degree of content path switching in SCORM 1.2

More information and the tool itself is available from the Reload site.