“Hey Rob! How’s my training shaping-up?” Mr. Morrison enquired in earnest.
Mr. Morrison is one of the future-sighted training managers in an upcoming IT company. He is enthusiastic about e-Learning and is responsible for promoting, designing, and implementing the e-Learning initiative for his organization.
“Very well Mr. Morrison. In fact, we are ahead of schedule. However, I called to enquire about one of the issues still open between us; it’s regarding the development of the training,” replied Rob enthusiastically.
Rob is a young, energetic Project Manager working with an e-Learning major and is assigned the task of developing technical e-Learning modules for Mr. Morrison’s company.
“Sure! What is it?” Mr. Morrison thoughtfully enquired. Being such a methodical person, it was bit of a surprise for him to have slipped on answering one of Rob’s questions.
“It is about the SCORM level of the training; remember I explained you that the training can be made SCORM compliant at any one of the possible three levels: course-level, module-level, or page-level?”
“Oh yes!” Mr. Morrison’s reaction was akin to a person who was suddenly woken from a deep slumber. He had a tough time understanding the SCORM levels the first time Rob explained to him. Since then, he had been shunning this question, as it seemed difficult for him to understand the technicality of SCORM and answer decisively to Rob’s question on SCORM level.
“Hmmm…I know this needs some deliberation from my side, but Rob, I guess I will need your help in deciding the SCORM level of the training” urged Mr. Morrison.
This is the kind of conversation that typically takes place during the course of the development of e-Learning; specifically when the organization getting the e-modules developed is new to the concept of e-Learning. The key stakeholders of such organizations avoid answering questions on the SCORM level because they lack a deeper understanding of the factors that impact their decision on the same. This post will help you explore the SCORM levels; but first let’s check how a SCORM-enabled training is ‘served’ to the learner.
For ease of understanding, let’s take a scenario; assume that you got a suite of e-Learning modules developed and now you want to serve it to your learners. You know that the best way to reach numerous learners, spread across geographies, is through the Internet. But now you have a situation; considering that the learners are spread over multiple geographies, you may not be able to monitor the progress each learner makes while taking the training through the Internet. So then what’s the solution? Well, all you need is a software system that helps administer the learners and the trainings automatically. Such a software system is called a Learning Management System (LMS).
Right then! You decide to deploy your training on an LMS and serve the training to the learners through the Internet enabling you to track the progress made by each learner on the assigned training. But what kind of tracking report do you expect to see; do you just want to get binary value for each learner such as the one given below in the Figure 1!
Figure 1: SCORM Report (Tracking) at Course Level
All that this report says is that Mr. Dummy DummyUser (what choice of name, you may say) was assigned the training and that he has completed the same. So, this report provides tracking in binary values, the values being: ‘completed’ or ‘not completed’. If such a report suffices for you and you really do not want any more details, then the SCORM compliance of your training needs to be at course-level.
Now let’s say, while assigning the training to the learners, you established that each learner is supposed to complete the training in 5 working days. Would you want to take just one report after the 5 days to check who all completed the training? Well, you may want to pull-out a report at the end of 4 days and check who all are to still complete 50% of the training. To track such details, your training will need to conform to a module-level SCORM. A typical report is given as under in Figure 2:
Figure 2: SCORM Report (Tracking) at Module Level
As you may observe in Figure 2, the report lists the number of modules comprising the assigned training; five in this scenario. The training is assigned to the user Mr. Dummy DummyUser (I guess we will have to live with it). Out of five modules, the user has completed the first three and the remaining two are not yet attempted. The LMS allows you to pull-out a consolidated report for all the learners assigned to a given training with such details; the condition is that the LMS will expect the training to be programmed such that it conforms to the module-level standards of SCORM.
If you are looking forward to an even more detailed tracking that provides a completion status of each page in the training, then your training will need to conform to a page-level SCORM. A report generated at page level may look similar to the one given below:
Figure 3: SCORM Report (Tracking) at Page Level
Is that all
Well, this post highlighted only one (important) factor that helps you decide a suitable SCORM level for your trainings. Typically, you may have to look at how, for example, navigation will take place within the training. This in turn, may influence your decision in identifying the most suitable SCORM level for your trainings. Will soon post more on these and other factors. Watch this space for more.