I spent part of the morning with a topic near to my professional heart… Session 110 was titled “A Web Service Architecture for Integrating SCORM and Experiential Learning”. Yes, it’s a mouthful.

More or less, Ginny Travers was presenting BBN’s solution from an ADL prototype that extended ADL’s Sample Runtime to allow for non-JS based interaction with the API. See more information on it here.

I won’t bore you with the details of it here. There were aspects of the solution that bothered me. Proposing a non standards based solution to a standards problem seems counterproductive in a sense. The majority of people in the session seemed to believe this was a present, available solution… It is not that…

I agree, however, that a web services layer of SCORM is needed. We most often see this manifest itself in a desire for a teacher to grade a student’s essay. SCORM simply doesn’t allow for any communication outside of the browser session. If this additional pipe were opened, it would greatly open the functionality that could be implemented. The student could submit the essay, the teacher could grade it later, and the score/information could be submitted to the LMS without the learner reopening the session.

One last thought… LETSI needs to do some marketing. From our association with the group, we know well that its intentions are spot on. But messages are getting around that SCORM will be stripped back (removing sequencing and navigation) and that the concept of “CORE SCORM” will result in a moving target for the standard. LETSI will certainly consider these issues carefully, and change will come. It is unfathomable to me, though, that so many earnest standards contributors would allow it to drift from a path that they have pursued for years. Interoperability and access will continue to drive the people of LETSI, and the result will be an improved standard.

Tim is the chief innovation and product officer with our parent company LTG, though he used to be CEO here at Rustici Software. If you’re looking for a plainspoken answer to a standards-based question, or to just play an inane game, Tim is your person.