SCORM 2.0 Data Model and Structure

I just finished reviewing one of my new “Bird Dog” assignments for the SCORM 2.0 workshop. The white paper was by Chris Raasch, the Technical Lead for the ADL Academic Co-Lab.

Chris frames the need for an evolution in SCORM Run-Time Data Modeling, SCORM 1.x allows for data storage within an LMS, but this ability is limited in what it can store and how data can be used for groups of learners (synchronously or asynchronously). SCORM 2.0 must address an expansion of the uses of the Run-Time Data Model for synchronous and asynchronous collaborative learning experiences, facilitated and stand-alone.



Chris advocates for

  • Revision of the Run-Time Data Model
  • Maintenance of a “Simple” data model
  • Strong  content typing for easier content development
  • Increased data storage bandwidth
  • Rules for scoping learner data to content.

Chris proposes that this can be accomplished rather quickly by vetting out the extension of the Run-Time  Data Model through the LETSI community (a practice I’d certainly endorse) and modeling the SCORM 2.0 Data Model after ECMAScript.

I generally agree with the points Chris has brought to bear in the paper. That said, I have some questions about the idea of how to make multi-user learning experiences available in SCORM-based systems, even going forward with everything up for grabs.

I’m a content developer who’s pretty familiar with the existing 1.x data model, I’ve watched the evolution of the authoring tools that help non-technical people build content that runs in Learning Management Systems –they may be the lowest common denominator, but  I’d like to know who among the masses of content developers will be able to develop content to such a data model that supports interactions (small “i”) with the LMS as a persistent storage unit that will be used by other learners. One example comes to mind immediately: training sales teams on how to use a customer relationship management system (CRM). You could conceivably simulate a CRM with the LMS by having an interface that allowed sales learners to enter their contact notes as an instructor facilitates with the phone calls, and the sales team in training could then build off each other’s notes.

I get the instructional use of the model. Again… who can build to it?

It’s a question I would pose to Gafford/Blackmon, Ullery/Grata and several others talking to a collaborative data model. When the complexity of doing collaborative tasks is put on the server side, it improves the chances of implementation by content developers. Like Sequencing, however, if the complexity is placed on the shoulders of content developers –you’ll have a lot of templated systems writing to a select few data model elements.

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