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DigiCULT 33
Although choice and competition in the
marketplace are generally a good thing, the rapid
growth of VLE vendors has created a significant
problem for content authors.Without a common
specification for packaging online courses,VLE
vendors often organise their content databases in any
fashion they choose. As a result, each vendor is using
a different format for packaging their content.
Although they are all delivered by http, or some
other standard protocol, if an author tries to move a
course from one VLE to another, they find that this
task is very time-consuming (sometimes it requires
the complete reconstruction of the course materials).
ADL is developing a set of specifications for
packaging online content and courses that not only
will make the transport of content or courses from
one VLE to another easier, but will also achieve other
desirable goals as well.
SCORM-compliant courses leverage course
development investments by ensuring that compliant
courses are accessible - so that they can be indexed and
readily found; interoperable - so that they operate across
a wide variety of hardware, operating systems and Web
browsers; and durable - so that they can be adapted and
used by many different development tools.
As shown in Figure 3, all of the specifications and
guidelines contained or referenced can be viewed as
separate `books' gathered together into a growing
These technical `books' are currently grouped
under two main topics: Content Aggregation Model
and Run-time Environment.The purpose of the
SCORM Content Aggregation Model is to provide a
common means for composing learning content from
discoverable, reusable, shareable and interoperable
sources.The model further defines how learning
content can be identified and described, aggregated
into a course - or portion of a course - and moved
between systems that may include VLEs and
repositories.The SCORM Content Aggregation
Model defines the technical methods for accom-
plishing these processes.The model includes speci-
fications for aggregating content and defining
The purpose of the SCORM Run-time Environ-
ment is to provide a means for interoperability
between Shareable Content Object-based learning
content and VLEs. A requirement of the SCORM is
that learning content is interoperable across multiple
VLEs, regardless of the tools used to create the con-
tent. For this to be possible, there must be a common
way to start content, a common way for content to
communicate with a VLE, and predefined data
elements that are exchanged between a VLE and
content during its execution.
Currently SCORM has achieved version 1.2,
while the 1.3
draft includes an advanced model for
content sequencing also integrating the IMS Simple
Sequencing specification. Simple Sequencing enables
status inheritance, conditional branching sequencing
and personalisation of learning objects.
The SCORM Content
Aggregation Model
Meta-data XML binding and Best Practice (from IMS)
Content Structure (from AICC)
Content Packaging (from IMS)
Meta-data Dictionary (from IEEE)
Time Environment
Data Model (from AICC)
Launch, Communication API (from AICC)
Figure 3:The SCORM as a collection of specifications
SCORM 1.2 Run Time
SCORM Version 1.3
Application Profile Working
Draft Version 1.0,
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