Saturday, June 28, 2003


Scorm is a rough equivalent of Object Oriented programming as applied to e-Learning.

A variety of proprietory learning management systems were being sold. The components of these also were proprietory and had to be bought from the same vendor.

A rough analogy would be that you have to buy the hard disk, mother board, softwars, mouse and keyboard from Microsoft, just because the operating system was windows. Obviously, this limits user's choice and increases cost.

So, a system was sorely needed which allows you to just take the OS from microsoft, but buy all other devices from anyone else. This is SCORM.

SCORM lets learning objects fit into any Learning management system adhering to SCORM ( Shareable Content Object Reference Model )standards.

For this to happen, the LMS and the Learning objects should conform to certain standards.

Let's see how a flash movie can conform to SCROM standards.

First The Learning object should inform SCORM when it starts and when it stops. This is called the execution function.

Secondly there should be a way to transfer data from the learning object to the LMS. This is Data Transfer function

Thirdly if an error is found in the execution of the learning object, the error needs to be told to the LMS.

So the learning object should have the code to call up SCORM standards, then tell it that it is starting, pass data or error messages to it and tell it when it has stopped.

This lets the Learnong object to run on any SCORM compliant LMS.

Now over and above this, the LMS needs to know what the learning object is about. This data is stored as a XML file in the object itself. The data might contain information about
... the standard of students the LO is meant for ( Grade 2 or university level)
.. Technical requirements to run the LO ( Flash player 6 required or QUick time required )
.... Cost of the Learning object
..... Keywords, comments from Author etc etc

This info makes it easy for LMS to search for and locate Learning objects.

All these are put together in a SCORM package.


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