New CETIS briefings available
The ever-popular series of CETIS briefings on e-learning standards just received two new additions, two major updates, and some tweaking on others.
Advancing ADL through Global Collaboration
The Australian Department of Education Science and Training (DEST) and the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (ADL) are proud to announce Advancing ADL through Global Collaboration, an international forum on the future of ADL technologies. The event will be held 4-6 October 2005 at the Hilton on the Park in Melbourne, Australia.
Third CETIS/LIFE codebash goes public
To test the interoperability of educational content, metadata and services there's nothing like getting files into and out of as many different tools as possible. Better yet, get the developers of those tools into one room, and let them sort out any issues. CETIS codebashes do just that, but the third iteration had some differences: it was co-organised with the European LIFE (Learning Interoperability Framework for Europe) project and some of the files are now public.
CORDRA or reconciling local repositories and global federations
These days, many elearning community virtually define themselves by setting up their own repositories, each with its own technology choices, metadata and content. Which is fine, but it can mean that the community can miss out on great resources made elsewhere. The CORDRA (Content Object Repository Discovery and Registration/Resolution Architecture) initiative seeks to reconcile these local concerns with global reach. A report of a two day workshop on the topic is now available.
NLN material plugs OK
*update* Prototype materials for the latest round of National Learning Network (NLN) content development have been successfully tested. After a round of trialling and testing by a number of different colleges and educational centres, the interoperable packages were presented in Birmingham by the five content vendors. Unlike previous batches, this round of content procurement by the NLN is aimed exclusively at Adult and Community Learning (ACL).
Interoperability state of play at IMS Melbourne meeting
The open tech forum at an IMS meeting is a public show-and-tell that is occassionally layed on for the benefit of the wider community. The one in Melbourne this week was exemplary in giving a wide variety of people the opportunity to air their views on the state of play in e-learning. The downside is the blizzard of (Power)Points that can unleash. We gather the kernels for your enjoyment.
The state of standards at Online Educa 2004
In amongst many, many other things, Berlin's Online Educa 2004 conference had almost a full day's worth of events on the topic of educational interoperability standards. Since the morning's session was mostly about content interoperability, and the afternoon session about collaborative technology, the panel discussion at the end made for some pretty clear contrasts about where different people think interoperability standards are.
Tenth CETIS Educational Content SIG meeting.
The next meeting of the EC SIG will be on Thursday, 2nd September, at Learning & Teaching Scotland.
Alt-I-Lab results: mind the gap...
between user expectation of interoperability and reality. Or so the University of Waterloo's Tom Carey thought. And repeated it in at least four other varieties of English to make sure the message hit home. Because last week's was the second alt-i-lab, we can begin to look at whether the participants in the interoperability fest are actually closing that gap.
UK Ministry of Defence contracts BT for e-learning system
As most large organisations have found at some point, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) found that a) its training requirements can't be met by face to face education alone, and b) its e-learning provision is patchy and disconnected. So a plan was drawn up, and British Telecom awarded about 25 million pounds to provide a system for up to 300.000 users. That's one single system...
Sticking a layer of CORDRA on top
The Carnegie Mellon Learning Systems Architecture Lab (LSAL) published a new paper on ADL's new Content Object Repository Discovery and Registration/Resolution Architecture (CORDRA) initiative. It comes with a major health warning to the effect that it represents nothing but the authors' opinion, but it certainly clarifies what CORDRA is meant to do, and how it could go about doing it.
Canadian ADL Partnership Lab opens
With the new ADL Lab in Ottawa, Canada will be the second non-US site in the ADL co-lab network. In a sense, it is a return to base, as the Canadian forces had quite an input in the early development of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) e-learning format.
Eduplone reveals initial IMS Learning Design support
And very initial it is too: current material does not go far beyond what's possible with conventional learning objects. But the idea of welding the pedagogic flexibility of Learning Design to the flexibility of the open source Zope/Plone web content management system is intriguing, and the support for basic e-learning standards in Plone useful.
IMS specifies buckets
Data buckets, that is, in the public draft of the new Sharable State Persistence specification. Its function is as simple as it is useful: it provides a means for learning objects (specifically of the SCORM persuasion) to store data about the state they were left in. These buckets can then accessed by other objects, who can act on the data.
Community and conformance
It's the quintessential paradox of technology standards: enforcing a technical standard, while supporting the peculiar demands of a specific community. Such an exercise in cake possession and consumption is now undertaken by the EU Framework Programme 6 (FP6) sponsored TELCERT project, who aim to give national and/or occupational communities the tools to define their own application profiles, and the means to test conformance to them.
Fostering interoperability, Japanese style
Japan's Advanced Learning Infrastructure Consortium (ALIC) has been promoting e-learning interoperability standards in their part of the world, much like Industry Canada, SURF SiX or CETIS. Except that it funds single open source implementations of specifications. By Japan's main educational software vendors themselves. We ask ALIC's Kyoshi Nakabayashi about their experiences with the approach.
eLearning Results 2004
This is the second of the standards focussed e-learning conference organised by VLE maker Giunti. This edition focusses on implementation and streamlining rather than new specs and practices. The conference will be preceded by workshops on IMS Learning Design, SCORM 2004, OKI, and SCORM and AICC Certification.
ADL to make a 'repository SCORM'
Having safely delivered the SCORM 2004 (aka SCORM 1.3) e-learning content format, ADL outlined its plans for the Content Object Repository Discovery and Resolution Architecture (CORDRA) at the first ADL international plugfest in Zurich, Switserland. Like SCORM, the lovely named CORDRA will not be a new specification, but a reference model that combines a number of existing standards and specifications.
International Plugfest 1
The International Relations and Security Network (ISN) will host the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) International Plugfest 1 in Switzerland. International Plugfest 1 will begin with pre-conference workshops on Monday, February 16, 2004. On Tuesday, February 17 a Global e-Learning Summit will be hosted for participating international organizations to brief the Community on the current status of their adoption and implementation of e-Learning standards in general and the SCORM in particular.
SCORM and the art of specification maintenance
SCORM 1.3 is dead, long live SCORM 2004! It is pretty much the same thing, but the name change indicates some hectic manoeuvering to satisfy the conflicting demands of stability and predictability versus the need to fix issues. The new version is out now. Also, the first public indications of ADL's desire to hand the present SCORM 'to the community' have surfaced in last week's co-located CEN/ISSS and IEEE LTSC meeting.
ADL releases new SCORM test suite
One of the strengths of ADL's Sharable Content Reference Model (SCORM) is that the set of integrated e-learning specifications comes with a do-it-yourself test suite. The new version of the suite fixes bugs in the previous versions, so that people can test their SCORM 1.2 e-learning content and tools with more confidence.
Reload releases SCORM e-learning content player
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.
Future of SCORM 1.x guide published, services top of the menu
It's not a roadmap. It's not, in theory, exhaustive. It doesn't recommend anything in particular. It's not even from ADL itself, so it is not normative in any way. Yet Carnegie-Mellon Learning Systems Architecture Lab's "Technical Evolution of SCORM" probably is the most definitive guide to what could happen to the present form of SCORM. We talk to the author, Dan Rehak.
SCORM Dynamic Appearance Model white paper released
In a bid to make learning objects of the SCORM variety truly re-useable, Sun and the Canadian Department of National Defence have released a white paper on the Dynamic Appearance Model (DAM).
9th CETIS Educational Content SIG Meeting
*** This meeting is now full. Registrations are closed ***
The 9th CETIS Educational Content SIG (EC SIG) Meeting will be held on Friday 12th December 2003, at the Dept. of Computer Science, Manchester University.
CETIS briefing on Simple Sequencing published
The latest in the CETIS series of "What is ..." briefings about e-learning interoperability standards deals with IMS Simple Sequencing. Written by Warwick Bailey of Cambridge University, it is a four page introduction to the e-learning content specification.
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.
Conformance programmes gather momentum
For as long as we've been talking about standards and specifications the issue of conformance has kept cropping up. The lack of any sort of trusted agencies bestowing the Official Stamp of Approval on e-learning products brought us to a state where the claims of vendors regarding standards compliance are treated as highly suspicious - and rightly so. However, this year we've seen several strides forward, and some hints of better times to come.
The dynamic appearance model and implementing SCORM 1.3
About a year ago, the Canadian Department of National Defense presented a white paper about means to make SCORM type content truly re-useable by separating content from presentation. Now they've followed up with another white paper that gets into the nitty gritty of implementing the model while working around a number of SCORM 1.3 issues.
Interoperability in practice at the CETIS / LTScotland codebash
Bangor, Wednesday, July 2, 2003. 46 participants from 26 organisations from 4 countries came to the second CETIS / Learning and Teaching Scotland codebash in Glasgow last week, with 2 participants joining in online.
8th CETIS Educational Content SIG Meeting
*** This meeting is now full ***
The 8th EC SIG Meeting is a free all-day workshop and discussion event, with reports on the latest in content-related standards and specs, and demos and presentations on new developments. This meeting is being held in tandem with the CETIS Assessment SIG Meeting on August 29th; go to the Assessment SIG website to register for that one.
A feature or a bug; SCORM and cross domain scripting
People trying to deploy SCORM across several sites have been agonising over the problems associated with playing SCORM content from one domain in a VLE in another domain. We asked SCORM luminaries Dan Rehak, Claude Ostyn, Wayne Hodgins and Schawn Thropp about their views on the nature of the problem, what sorts of solutions might work and what SCORM's makers -ADL- intend to do about it.
No one standard will suit all
Not a new sentiment, really, but one worth repeating. And it was repeated, in many different ways across a rather wide spectrum of speakers at the eLearning Results conference in Sestri Levante, Italy, yesterday.
7th Educational Content SIG Meeting
This meeting is now full. Special pleadings and offers of good quality chocolate may be sent to the EC SIG Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Three Objections to Learning Objects
A thoughtful and thorough critique of the learning object concept. Particularly notable about it is Norm Friesen's tracing of the learning object's provenance in the training and military world. i.e. context is demonstrated to be the problem at two levels: that of a learning object itself, as well as the concept of them. Also notable is his contrast between the specifity of the technical domain from which the 'object' concept came, and the inherent ambiguity and vagueness of 'learning' or 'pedagogy'. The paper does not outline an alternative to replace learning objects, however.
The teachers teach the techies
The launch of the new CETIS Pedagogy Forum yesterday is a strong indication of a shift in the way e-learning (content) interoperability standards are developed. The techies got the standards out there, but now it's the teachers' turn to drive the agenda and get their concerns heard. And people sit up and take notice; both the DfES and ADL had representatives eager to learn what educators might bring to their organisations' plans.
2003 eLearning Results Summit
The summit is a high level get together of interoperability standards luminaries. There are two parts: a free conference sponsored by Giunti labs with talks by people ranging from IMS CEO Ed Walker to Anne Wright of the DfES / e-GIF. The other part is a series of paid-for technical workshops sponsored by IMS and designed to get people up to speed on the various IMS Specs and application Profiles like SCORM.
Canvas Learning release QTI, SCORM Player and Author tools
What's more, there's demos for everyone and the Canvas Learner Player is free for educational usage while the Author has a 50% introductory price. So what does the goody bag contain? Essentially, a simple, slick-looking, accessible and low cost question-and-test module.
Major SCORM stakeholders unify message
In a bid to clarify one part of the elearning content field, the IEEE LTSC that is now meeting in Paris will take the initiative to set up both an overarching SCORM / CMI advisory group and a one-stop website for everything you always wanted to know about SCORM and all the specifications and standards it profiles.
Saba donates free SCORM testing tool to community.
Now this is the sort of thing that benefits everyone. Saba's decision to release the SCORM Detective tool basically means three things: it demonstrates industry support for standards in general -and those of specific players in particular!- it directly helps achieve interoperability and promotes understanding of the specs in the community too.
SiX plugfest report: encouraging, but could do better
Dutch educational standards working group SiX just published the results of its plugfest. Over the day, various managed/virtual learning environments were required to import, export and display a standardised set of ADL SCORM 1.2, IMS Content packaging 1.3, IMS QTI 1.2 and IMS Enterprise 1.1 data. Result: familiar problems and remarkable differences between products.
IEEE to lift SCORM, IMS Content Packaging to standard status, clarifies LOM future.
Though proper standards bodies like IEEE are supposed to be more cautious and slow than specification bodies, IEEE's Learning and Teaching Sub Committee (LTSC) is anouncing a raft of new standards and initiatives for 2003. LOM will get new bindings, the Architecture and Reference Model and the gubbins that define SCORM are nearly standards, Competency Definitions and Digital Rights Expression Language are in various stages of completion and with a bit of luck, the ongoing copyright issue over IEEE standards might get resolved.
Designing Instruction with Learning Objects
Checklist of dos and don'ts when developing learning objects. Though useful, it suffers from some contradictions: on the one hand, Principle 3 says that learning objects must be small to be reuseable, while Principle 1 says that Learning Objects Must Be Units of Instruction That Stand Alone. i.e."Create the content of a learning object to be similar in scope and nature to the content of a typical "lesson" so as to create instruction, not merely information (Downes, 2000)." Also, Principle 4 holds that A Sequence of Learning Objects Must Have a Context, but "instructional content designed as context-independent chunks in an object-oriented programming environment can be shared with other users, recombined with other objects, or redesigned by other instructional developers with reasonable expectations of cost savings"
Designing Courses: Learning Objects, IMS Standards, XML, SGML, etc.
Great link from the elearnspace blog: a pretty comprehensive resource list for anything to do with learning objects.
IMS Simple Sequencing approved
After some delay, IMS members have voted for Simple Sequencing; a means of describing how a learner can progress through on-line learning activities. The idea is that it will provide a means of choreographing learning objects in a few simple ways. The spec will be part of the forthcoming version of SCORM (1.3) for precisely that reason.
Where oh Where is Plug & Play?
Thought provoking and well argued rant about the lack of attention to basic interoperability in elearning standard implementation. Particular ire is reserved for student performance tracking. "...disgruntled customers like Buckman's Ellis don't want to listen to any more visionary talk about reusable content objects until they're satisfied that the basic plumbing works."
The Evolving Role of Course Management System Providers in the Transformation of Education: An Interview with Blackboard's Matthew Pittinsky
Crystal clear outline of Blackboard's intentions: they'll own and monetise the platform, everyone else can supply the value added. Really good question: "By considering itself an OS and by requiring external developers to adhere to its own Building Blocks development protocol, is Blackboard trumping the evolving industry standards in favor of its own proprietary one?"
ADL takes first step to repository profile
With the publication of a report on "Emerging and Enabling Technologies for the Design of Learning Object Repositories", ADL is taking the first tentative steps to designing a learning object repository application profile to complement its existing learning object reference model, SCORM.
I/ITSEC showcases military educational technology, SCORM
The annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) is a large get-together that deals with the training and education of the -mainly US- military. Though a specialised sector -mass destruction simulations, anyone?-, it is one where learning technologies like SCORM are most widely deployed.
ADL release new implementation guide, conformance test suite almost final version 1.3 of SCORM
Just ahead of the forthcoming plugfest, Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) release a new implementation guide of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM), as well as an updated conformance test-suite for self-testing content and systems. All of these are for version 1.2; 1.3 is edging closer to 'final' status with a new working draft.
The Lattecentric Ecosystem
Yet more evidence of a spreading trend for individualised, even peer to peer approaches to elearning. Stephen Downes tackles the vexed question of learning object granularity and how it fits certain approaches to elearning. The 'latte' refers to caffè latte: learning as a conversation between friends in a cafe.
Developers content to bash code at CETIS
In the interest of science, about twenty-five developers were happy to have their precious programs maltreated during the CETIS content package codebash. Under the good offices of Learning and Teaching Scotland's (LTScotland) Gerry Graham CETIS' Lorna Campbell, IMS content packages were freely swapped between systems. Conclusion: getting wrapped-up learning objects from one system to another is getting a lot smoother, but we're not quite there yet.
Problems and Issues in Online Learning, October 2002
The title maybe a bit expansive, but this is a taut and to the point state-of-the-art article by Stephen Downes. Because it is by Stephen, it is not just a list of issues either; he argues consistently against monolithic, separate learning systems on both technical, functional and economic grounds. "The silo model is dysfunctional because it prevents, in some essential way, the location and sharing of learning resources."
OKI, IMS, ADL and SIF join up
The four main US-based educational technology specification bodies are to formalise their ties, set up coordinated activities and provide joint support for developers.
LSC's Distributed and Electronic Learning Group looks to beef up e-learning support post 16
In a pretty substantial report, the distance and electronic learning group (DELG) of the UK's prime further education body (the Learning and Skills Council, LSC) outline their vision of e-learning post 16 in a series of 154 key issues and recommendations. In very general terms, the aim is to achieve a robust, targeted and comprehensive framework for the whole sector.
Seminar4web make new SCORM authoring tool and outline available
Seminar is an older, Computer-Based Training (CBT) authoring tool that has recently been rewritten to facilitate web-based output. The package aims to make it easy to author SCORM and AICC compliant learning objects, and the vendor has even made a handy article available that introduces SCORM to new content authors.
"SCORM is not for everyone"- ADL responds
Our 'Dan Rehak: "SCORM is not for everyone"' article provoked quite a few reactions around the web; both positive and negative. But we wanted to give ADL itself an opportunity, and Mark Oehlert, ADL's communications officer, was kind enough to take up the gauntlet and respond to some of the main points reported in the article.
Blackboard releases version 6, announces SCORM compliance, signs nation wide deal in the Netherlands
Blackboard systems, the dominant learning management system (LMS) vendor in higher education, announced new versions of their Learning System and Community Portal System products, and inked a nation wide licence deal with SURFDiensten- an IT services organisation for the Dutch education sector.
JISC publishes MLE briefing, supports new MLE projects
The UK's JISC demonstrates its ongoing commitment to technology awareness raising by releasing a comprehensive briefing about the future of MLEs in Further Education, starting a new series of interoperability pilot tests and supporting a project that will research the pedagogical implications of new elearning standards.
Dan Rehak: "SCORM is not for everyone"
One the 'chief architects' of ADL's SCORM, Dan Rehak of Carnegie Mellon's Learning Systems Architecture Lab, outlined the future of the widely used elearning specification at the IMS special briefing for implementers on Friday. SCORM is about to gain more flexibility in sequencing, and wider system capabilities further down the line. Strategically, he clarified which pedagogies the model supports well, and which not, and emphasised that ADL ultimately wants to hand over SCORM to the community.
Carnegie Mellon release SCORM best practices guide for developers.
One of the main contributors to the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) specification, The Carnegie Mellon Learning Systems Architecture Lab, have made a draft version of the SCORM best practices guide for developers available on their website. The guide is neither normative, nor particularly detailed technically, but is intended to get content developers up to speed on SCORM 1.3 instead.
Learning content. Theirs, yours, mine and ours.
On the 30th of September, MIT's Open Course Ware (OCW) initiative will make the first batch of MIT learning resources available to the world. Free of charge. On the other side of the pond, the CELEBRATE project has just started to establish a digital repository to see, among many other things, what kind of model will generate a viable stock of learning objects for Europe's schools. Meanwhile, projects like the universal brokerage project and the UK's National Learning Network (NLN) are maturing nicely. The question that arises, then, is where all that learning content is going to come from, and, more importantly, who is going to make it.
Not one but two compelling entries on Jay Cross' blog (there's also The Business of learning objects. He's been to the Learning Object Symposium, and reports on the pretty fundamental discussions on the wisdom of learning objects that took place there. "NETg's Brendon Towle noted that SCORM is inadquate because, among other things
- SCORM only supports single learner/single LO configs,
- No way to produce complex sequences of LOs (yet)
- No inter-LO communications (sims)
- No concept of pedagogy at all
Learnwise 2 VLE presented at ALT-C conference
Granada Learning announced the availability of LearnWise 2 server --a new virtual learning environment (VLE)-- at the ALT-C 2002 conference in Sunderland.
Consolidation continues: Skillsoft and Smartforce merge
In the widely predicted period of consolidation in the e-learning software market, two of the largest vendors have just completed a merger.
Macromedia presents Authorware 6.5, cuts education pricing in the US
Macromedia will make a new version of Authorware available at the end of September. Main changes include better accessibility tools and extensive XML support. Meanwhile, deeper discounts are offered to US educational volume buyers.
Software for Online Courses?
Query and discussion on Slashdot about learning management systems. Simply essential reading. "I'd rather go with something open-source, especially since proprietary software seems to come and go, but the best open-source code is forever -- who wants to waste their time building a whole course around the flavor-of-the-month software?"
Link Types as Enablers of Semantic Navigation in Standard-Based Web Learning Systems
Short but interesting article on applying semantic web ideas and technology to (hyper)links; especially in e-learning material. The ideas are applied to SCORM, but have relevance far beyond that. '' the ability of the link to convey information about some aspects of the relationship between two nodes is underutilized both in the Web and in current Web-oriented educational technology specifications.''
Lancaster team present evaluation engine for e-learning resource brokerage platform.
A team from the Department of Communication systems at Lancaster University developed an evaluation engine that helps rank e-learning resources in the "Universal Brokerage Platform for Learning Resources".
MS Word to SCORM converter tool demonstrated
At ADL's plugfest 6, Recombo inc successfully demonstrated Convertor for Word; a tool that helps convert MS Word or .rtf documents into SCORM 1.2 compliant sharable content.
SCORM 1.3 development update.
Following plugfest 6, Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL), the custodians of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM), revealed a few more details of what will be included in the SCORM version 1.3 application profile.
5th Educational Content SIG Meeting
New UK governmental e-learning standards body proposed.
An initiative to set up a new e-learning standards conformance authority for the UK has been launched. The authority's remit would consist of the drawing up of application profiles that are based on a core of international e-learning interoperability specifications and the testing of applications' conformance to these profiles.
Experts question SCORM's pedagogic value
Is the underlying model behind SCORM actually useful for teaching and learning? This is the question raised in an article at Online Learning Magazine, with input from a number of US learning experts.
The bottom line: effective learning versus low per unit cost.
In a scathing article at E-learning magazine, consultant Frank L. Greenagel attacks the current state of the art in e-learning. He argues that an obsession with low unit cost and a disregard for learning effectiveness has led to courses that are interoperable but "puerile, boring and of unknown or doubtful effectiveness".
IBM demos SCORM 1.3 sequencing engine
Content Interoperability Conference
The National Learning Network and the University of East London will be holding an interoperability conference on the 11th and 12th of July 2002. The event will focus on the practical implications of adopting IMS and ADL (SCORM) specifications for the development of learning materials. There will be time to try out learning materials within a Virtual Learning Environment and discuss the implementation of the specifications.
ADL release updated sample run-time environment for SCORM 1.2
The Advanced Distributed Learning Network (ADLNet) have released a new version of its Sample Run-Time Environment (RTE) for SCORM 1.2.
Update to SCORM Conformance Self-Test released
The Advanced Distributed Learning Network (ADLNet) have released an update to the SCORM 1.2 conformance self-test suite.
Can Studios demo new authoring tool and player
Can Studios are providing an online preview of their new Canvas Learning suite, comprising a visual editor (Canvas Learning Author) and a player for browser-based or standalone delivery of IMS QTI content (Canvas Learning Player).
Handy high-level overview of SCORM.
IMS Release Simple Sequencing Specification
The IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) have released a new specification tackling the issue of connecting learning objects using sequencing rules.
New Sequencing specification imminent - Open Source tools to follow
Phil Dodds of ADL announced yesterday that a new specification for sequencing content would soon be released by IMS.
Questionmark announce SCORM 1.2 compliance for Perception
Questionmark have announced that their Perception assessment product is now compliant with version 1.2 of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM).
Wolverhampton-based Learning Lab to establish ADL partnered laboratory in UK
The Learning Lab at the University of Wolverhampton has completed a deal to establish an eLearning laboratory in partnership with the National Guard Bureau and ADL, the Advanced Distributed Learning Network responsible for the SCORM specification.
Making SCORM objects truly sharable - the Dynamic Appearance Model
Canada's Department of National Defence (DND) have released a white paper proposing methods for reusing content while retaining the organisation's "house style". The intention is that sharing SCORM objects between different organisations is made easier and more effective by dynamically altering the appearance of the material without changing its content.
SCORM 1.2 Conformance Test Suite released
The self-testing suite for conformance to SCORM version 1.2 has been released by the Advanced Distributed Learning Network (ADLNet).
Xtend release SCORM-compliant Learning Management System
US company Xtend have released Xtention, a Learning Management System (LMS) that complies with ADLNet's Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) specification.
Tools for implementors
A good way to get an understanding of standards and specifications in eLearning is to try using them - and for that you need some tools to work with. Thankfully, there are other universities and colleges doing exactly the same thing, and have built their own toolkits you can use to get you started.
JISC to fund standards-compliant tools and services as part of X4L programme
The UK's Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has issued a call for proposals under its Exchange For Learning (X4L) programme, including development of tools that support specifications such as IMS and SCORM.
Microsoft release LRN 3.0 Toolkit, supporting IMS Content Packaging, IMS Metadata and SCORM
Microsoft has released a new Toolkit for working with content packages and metadata, and initial reactions by users have been very positive.
Progress on standards predicted for 2002
eLearn Magazine's predictions for 2002 include progress on standards - according to some contributors, at least.
Click2Learn update Aspen, add SCORM 1.2 support
Click2Learn have released Aspen 1.1. Among other changes, the new version of the "Enterprise Learning Platform" claims support for version 1.2 of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) specification.
Click2Learn support SCORM 1.2
Click2Learn have announced their support for the latest version of ADL's Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) specification in its Aspen and ToolBook products.
ADL release conformance test suite for SCORM 1.2
The Advanced Distributed Learning Network (ADLNet) have released a beta version of its conformance test suite for SCORM 1.2.
Take an online course in SCORM
An online course by Edward Jones covering ADL' Sharable Content Object Reference Model specification is available for free online.
Simple Sequencing is 'no longer simple'
Brandt Darque of Boeing reports on the progress of the Simple Sequencing working group at IMS San Francisco.
Questionmark improve Perception
Questionmark has released version 3 of its Perception assessment solution.
SCORM self-test upgrade
ADL have released a new version (1.1.2) of the self-test conformance suite for SCORM 1.1.
THINQ and Macromedia integrate products using AICC, SCORM
THINQ have announced a new partnership with Macromedia to ensure content created using CourseBuilder for Dreamweaver can be used in its TrainingServer learning management system (LMS).
Knowledgelinx announces new authoring tool
Knowledgelinx have announced the release of its ROCKET Builder authoring software, a browser-based application for developing content.
NYUOnline release SCORM-compliant learning content management system
iAuthor is the new learning content management system (LCMS) from NYUOnline. iAuthor publishes learning objects on the web using customisable "skins" and templates to create consistent look-and-feel.
Giunti announce new learning content management platform with strong emphasis on standards
Italian publisher Giunti Interactive Labs have announced a new learning content management system (LCMS) conforming to IMS, SCORM, and other specifications.
Plateau upgrades LMS
Plateau Systems released version 4 of their Learning Management System, incorporating AICC and SCORM support.
ADL release SCORM v1.2
The Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Co-Laboratory have released version 1.2 of SCORM, the reference specification for sharable content objects for learning. The new release incorporates IMS Content Packaging and IEEE Learning Object Metadata.
The semantic web: How RDF will change learning technology standards
The field of learning technology has entered a phase of intense work on standardization of learning technology descriptions of various kinds. Most of the work so far has focused on XML as the encoding language for such specifications (e.g. IMS, IEEE-LOM and SCORM).
However, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is putting their energy into another model for computerized descriptions, called Resource Description Framework, RDF, which is the foundation for the Semantic Web vision of Tim Berners-Lee.
This raises important question regarding the future of learning technologies: In what way might RDF be useful for learning technology specifications? In what sense does RDF represent the future of meta-data, and how does this affect learning technology?
Centra upgrades CentraOne, adds SCORM content
Centra have released version 5.2 of its eLearning system CentraOne. One of the key features of the new release is support for Centra Knowledge Catalog, a content repository solution that can be used with SCORM-compliant learning resources.
Macromedia announces availability of eLearning Studio, Authorware 6
Macromedia's latest eLearning content development solutions, offering compliance with ADL, IMS and AICC specifications, are now available for purchase.
New SCORM release will incorporate IMS specifications
The Advanced Distributed Learning Network (ADL) is due to release a new version of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) in the next few weeks, incorporating two IMS specifications.
Click2Learn unveils Aspen
Click2Learn have released the Aspen Enterprise Learning Platform, what it is heralding as "the industry's first comprehensive and unified e-Learning infrastructure".
New SCORM self-test suite released
ADL have released a new version of its conformance-testing suite. The suite enables organisations to test their own applications and content for SCORM 1.1 compatibility.
ADL Plugfest 5
Plugfest brings together adopters of the SCORM specification to experiment and demonstrate interoperability of content from many sources over multiple learning management systems and from separate organizations.
The next big thing? Three architectural frameworks for learning technologies
A key event at the IMS symposium in Ottawa on August 2001 was a panel on Architectural Frameworks. Representatives from IMS, MIT’s Open Knowledge Initiative, and Carnegie Mellon University put forward three ways that learning systems of the future could be designed.
Canadian Forces ADL lab to investigate look-and-feel issues in SCORM
The Canadian Department of National Defence announce the setting up of a test laboratory to conduct research and development on SCORM.
IMS and ADL to collaborate on sequencing, provide free software
IMS announces the setting up of a new fast-track working group to tackle sequencing. ADL promise free compliant sequencing software to follow.
Macromedia releases eLearning Studio with support for LT standards
Macromedia, creators of popular web content creation tools Dreamweaver and Flash, today announced the release of eLearning Studio. The new package combines version 6 of learning content creation tool Authorware with Dreamweaver 4 and Flash 5, and claims support for ADL, AICC and IMS standards.
CETIS Workshop at ALT-C 2001
On Monday 10 September CETIS will be holding a one day pre-conference workshop at the ALT-C 2001 conference in Edinburgh.
IMS, ADL and MIT agree to work together
On July 11, 2001 - Leaders of the MIT's Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI), the Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Lab (ADL), and the IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS) issued a joint press release announcing their intention to cooperate to "close the gap between innovative pedagogical technology and production learning resources."