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Viewlets & SCORM

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Viewlets & SCORM

Postby vmarm » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:08 pm

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The Viewletin
An Inside ‘Take’ on All Things Viewlet
~by ViewletMarm

Viewlet Authors often ask: “What is SCORM?” “What is a SCORM compliant ZIP package?” “Does ViewletBuilder or ViewletQuiz have the ability to publish out SCORM compliant Viewlets?” This post is dedicated to answering some of these, and other related, SCORM questions.

First, let’s define SCORM—it stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model. That’s a mouthful, I know. But, just remember that SCORM is the de facto industry standard for eLearning interoperability. It allows content (such as Viewlets and related media) created by conforming authoring tools (i.e. ViewletBuilder, ViewletQuiz, etc.) to communicate with LMS’s (Learning Management Systems) from multiple vendors.

For a more detailed SCORM definition, check out this Wikipedia's page on SCORM.

Now you might ask, “What is a SCORM compliant ZIP package?” This is simply a compressed (ZIP file) containing all of the necessary files that work together on an LMS to make the content SCORM compliant. Also referred to as a SCORM Deployment package, this ZIP file is literally ‘plug and play’ meaning that you upload the ZIP file ‘as is’ into a standard LMS and the LMS handles the rest--unpacking and integrating these files into the LMS.

Next, to answer the question, “Does ViewletBuilder or ViewletQuiz have the ability to publish SCORM compliant Viewlets?”—the answer is definitely YES!

SCORM_Publishing.jpg


Want to see how to publish SCORM compliant Viewlets? Watch a demo on this topic now.

Here are some of the highlights of SCORM publishing features in Qarbon apps.

Earlier versions of Qarbon’s authoring apps contained simple SCORM publishing options. Overtime, Qarbon’s dev team tweaked these features as SCORM standards evolved. In fact, ViewletBuilder7 and ViewletQuiz4 contain numerous enhancements to its SCORM reporting capabilities. These include:

Template-Based SCORM Manifests
SCORM packages created for publication to an LMS must contain a manifest file named imsmanifest.xml that describes the package content. In ViewletBuilder7 and ViewletQuiz4, the manifest is generated when the Viewlet is published by substituting values (such as the Viewlet title and the name of the SWF file) for variables in a template document. This is an advanced option that requires knowledge of the SCORM specification and XML-editing, but it is possible to place a modified copy of the standard template found in the installation directory into the SCORM folder in the user Library (found in your Documents directory). Any file placed in this directory will be used in place of a same-named document in the standard Library. NEVER modify the files in the installation directory.

Interrupted Quiz & Survey to be Resumed Options
Viewlet Authors now have the option to select “Enable Resume” in the SCORM publishing dialog to allow viewers exiting a video before its completion to start again right at the point where they left off. Upon launching the Viewlet again (when this option is selected), the viewer will be prompted to continue from where they left off. The “Enable Resume” feature restores the Viewlet state data directly from the LMS.

enable_resume_SCORM2004.jpg


Allow Pass before Completion
Found in the Advanced > SCORM 2004 tab, the Allow pass before completion option, when selected, allows the status of a Quiz to be set to “Pass” if the user’s current score is a passing score even if the Quiz is never completed. The score is updated in the LMS after every question and the status is set to “Pass” as soon as the total score is sufficiently high.

Choice Indexes for SCORM Reporting
SCORM calls for using an identifier for correct and learner responses for multiple choice and matching questions. Identifiers are very limited as to what characters are allowed. The creators of the SCORM standard envisioned that the answers to multiple choice and matching questions would be reported as identifiers for the choices rather than the actual text, but authoring tools, including ViewletBuilder and ViewletQuiz, have tried to work these limitations. Despite workarounds, the SCORM identifier type does not allow for text in some languages, Asian, among others.

The Use Choice Indexes for SCORM Reporting option (found in Project Properties > Scoring Options) allows you--the Viewlet Author--to elect to use identifiers rather than text.

choice_index_SCORM.jpg


You can also display these labels when publishing to a PDF or RTF file (Page Layout > Question Summary Layout> Reporting Indexes) to produce an ‘answer key’ that you can use to cross-reference users' responses.

If you are interested in learning more about this option, click here to see a related user forum post.

As SCORM compliance standards change, you know the Qarbon dev team will be hard at work on enhancing the SCORM publishing options available to you in Qarbon’s apps, including ViewletBuilder and ViewletQuiz.

I realize there is a lot of information here, but if nothing else, remember these three key points:

1. SCORM is the eLearning industry standard used by authors when publishing their content for integration in their LMS.

2. A SCORM complaint (or deployment) ZIP package is a compressed file containing all the necessary files that work together on your LMS to meet SCORM standards.

3. Qarbon’s apps (ViewletBuilder and ViewletQuiz) offer you the ability to publish Viewlets as SCORM compliant files that you can literarily ‘plug’ into any standard LMS—letting the LMS do the rest!

BTW: Composica also offers authors the ability to publish SCORM compliant content, but that's a topic for another time.

That’s it for this blog.

Until next time...
Happy Viewleting!

~ViewletMarm~

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