E-learning, single sourcing and SCORM by jwc11471


									                          E-learning, single sourcing and SCORM
                                           Ann Rockley, Steve Manning

E-learning is a highly effective way of providing training   needs. Online learners expect and want the following
to widely dispersed audiences. Single sourcing               from online learning experiences:
(information reuse) provides the facility to create and      •   Interactive communication with the materials, other
store reusable content from a single source, and delivers        learners, and instructors
that content to multi-channel information products for
                                                             •   Information presented in a number of different ways
learners. SCORM is the Sharable Content Object
                                                                 (e.g., text, graphics, animation)
Reference Model; it’s an initiative of the ADL (Advanced
                                                             •   Control over their learning; the ability to access
Distributed Learning Network). This session provides an
                                                                 materials non-linearly and track their own progress
understanding of how you can create effective e-learning
materials using single sourcing or SCORM.
                                                             A critical component of online learning is interactivity,
                                                             which is defined as sustained, two-way communication
                                                             among two or more people within a learning context.
                                                             Although interactivity is essential to learning and to the
                                                             overall success and effectiveness of any instructional
                                                             environment, it’s even more critical in an online learning
                                                             environment, in which the learners and instructors and
E-LEARNING                                                   other learners are removed from each other in both time
                                                             and space. Because of the separation, the e-learning
E-learning is a highly effective way of providing training   materials must incorporate the required interactivity, at
to widely dispersed audiences. The online environment        the level the learners, the learning objectives, and the
can provide a much more meaningful learning                  subject matter require.
experience through more interactive pedagogical
                                                             Single sourcing can help deliver the right type of
techniques. E-learning also increases accessibility of
                                                             interactivity for the right context and the right learner. In
courses—by putting your materials online, you can reach
                                                             a single sourcing environment, information can be
more learners, in more geographical areas than ever
                                                             delivered to learners based on the learning style or
before. Even though you’re reaching out to more
                                                             preference. Delivery can either be dynamic (based on
potential learners, you can lower your training costs.
                                                             learners’ log-in preferences or on their interaction with
With e-learning, you don’t have to arrange for a training
                                                             the system), or designed by authors.
facility, printing, or—in an asynchronous environment—
an instructor. You can also limit learners’ time away        For example, if learners are seeking accreditation in a
from the office and reduce travel costs. E-learning          certain field, they often require a certain mastery level of
means that learners can take courses when and where it’s     a topic. An element can be defined as an accreditation
appropriate for them.                                        element, and delivered only to those learners seeking
                                                             accreditation. Accreditation elements would have certain
Learners retain more when they can control their
                                                             levels of interactivity associated with them. A learner
learning environment, or when materials adapt to their
                                                             seeking “general knowledge” of the same topic would
needs. You can create adaptive learning products using
                                                             need much of the same information as a learner seeking
single sourcing.
                                                             accreditation. However, the candidate seeking
                                                             accreditation would need more details, and potentially
A new instructional model for e-learning                     more practice/interaction with peers and instructors.
                                                             Learners who are identified as seeking accreditation
Putting learning materials online means more than            would receive the interactive exercises required to
converting existing paper or classroom-based materials       demonstrate their mastery of the topic; the learners
to an online format. Information must be redesigned to       seeking general knowledge would receive a different
accommodate how learners will interact with the              level of interactivity, geared towards their learning
materials in an online environment. Learners generally       objectives.
come from diverse backgrounds; they have different
learning styles, different levels of interest/skill, and
varying metacognitive abilities. So, courses must be
structured and delivered to accommodate their diverse
SINGLE SOURCING                                              can be reused. However, once the analysis is complete,
                                                             authors can create e-learning materials designed to
                                                             accommodate different learners, different styles, and
Single sourcing (information reuse) provides the facility
                                                             different learning objectives. In addition, wherever the
to create and store reusable content from a single source,
                                                             same element is used, it is consistent and can be updated
and delivers that content to multi-channel information
                                                             from the same source.
products for content users.
Single sourcing means that all requirements are
identified up front (e.g., instructor’s guide, course        SINGLE SOURCING AND SCORM
materials, exam questions, post-course reference
materials); all materials are developed consistently from    SCORM is the Sharable Content Object Reference
a single source.                                             Model; it’s an initiative of the ADL (Advanced
•   Courses are broken down into “reusable learning          Distributed Learning Network) whose primary goal is to
    objects”, or RLOs. RLOs are assembled from a             provide high quality instruction anytime, anywhere,
    database to create a complete course or lesson.          tailored to individual learners’ needs. SCORM
                                                             accomplishes this by modeling information for different
•   RLOs can also be configured based on individual
                                                             uses and ensuring individual components comply with
    learners’ preference such as experience, language,
                                                             certain standards for reuse. The SCORM standard is an
    learning style; in this way, single sourcing enables
                                                             XML-based industry formalization of the concept of
    adaptive learning.
                                                             single sourcing. It is similar to the information modeling
•   Single sourcing makes sense if you want to adapt
                                                             approach we follow in our single sourcing methodology.
    materials for:
    • Multiple uses (e.g., different learning
         objectives)                                         The basics of SCORM
    • Multiple media (online materials, classroom
         materials)                                          SCORM is an XML-based method for representing
    • Multiple audiences (e.g., novice learners,             course structures. SCORM enables the reuse of Web-
         advanced learners, instructors, or different job    based learning content across multiple environments and
         roles)                                              products. It is an initiative that is gaining growing
    • Multiple courses (e.g., reuse learning content in      recognition as organizations strive to improve their
         a variety of courses)                               learning materials and move to XML. For the average
    • Multiple languages                                     course developer, the SCORM standard is difficult to
                                                             understand. It is positioned as a single-sourcing
One of the most powerful uses of e-learning and single       initiative, but its focus is not on the creation of learning
sourcing is adaptive learning. Learners retain more when     material; it focuses on the distribution of packaged
they can control their learning environment, or when         learning objects for reuse. It is not a model for learning
materials adapt to their needs. You can create adaptive      content; it is a model for content delivery.
learning products using the single sourcing methodology.
                                                             SCORM is a set of specifications that describes:
To create adaptive learning products, course authors
                                                             •   how to create web-based learning content that can
                                                                 be delivered and tracked by learning management
•   Conduct extensive information and learner analysis           systems
    to determine the type of content, as well as the         •   what a learning management system must do to
    specific learning needs and objectives of the                properly deliver and track SCORM compliant
    learners                                                     learning content.
•   Deconstruct content into elements (or RLOs)              The SCORM model is not intended to replace the
•   Assign metadata to the elements, indicating how          detailed models of instructional system design or
    they are to be used and what type of learner/learning    practice that have been devised and adopted by specific
    environment they will be delivered to (e.g., which       organizations such as those of instructional developers,
    courses they belong in, which exercises they are         or instructional tool developers. It does not specify how
    associated with, etc.)                                   tracking information is stored and what reports are
•   Write elements so they follow a consistent structure     generated, what pedagogical or training models should
    and conform to the instructional model that states       be used, or how learner information is assembled.
    how each element will be used
                                                             SCORM compliant learning content is:
Single sourcing requires much up front analysis in
breaking content down to determine how and where it          •   delivered through a web browser
•   described by meta-data                                 Ann Rockley
•   organized as a collection or sequence                  President, The Rockley Group Inc.
•   packaged in such a way that it can be imported by a    445 Apple Creek Blvd. Suite 120
    compliant learning management system or into a         Markham, ON, Canada, L3R 9X7
    repository used by such a system.                      Phone: 905-415-1885
                                                           Fax: 905-415-3413
PRODUCING EFFECTIVE                                        rockley@rockley.com
Producing effective single source e-learning materials     Ann Rockley is President of The Rockley Group, Inc. Ann
involves:                                                  Rockley has an international reputation in the field of e-
                                                           content, content management, and e- learning. Ann is
•   Analyzing your materials and your instructional        doing ground-breaking work in the field of information
    objectives to determine how best to present your       design for content reuse and enterprise content
    courses online.                                        management. Ann is co-founder of The SingleSource
•   Working with both your subject matter experts and      Conference. Ann has presented papers and workshops
                                                           around the world on the topic of online documentation,
    learners to understand the specific needs of the
                                                           instructional design, content management, and single
    materials and the learners.                            sourcing. Ann is an Associate Fellow of the Society for
•   Determining the potential for adapting materials to    Technical Communication and has a Masters of
    various objectives and learning styles.                Information of Science from the University of Toronto.
•   Determining the potential for information reuse both   She teaches Enterprise Content Management at the
    within and across courses.                             University of Toronto.
•   Building SCORM compliant information models
    that show where each piece of information can be
    reused and adapted.                                    Steve Manning
•   Identifying metadata                                   Senior Consultant
•   Selecting an appropriate tool                          The Rockley Group Inc.
•   Teaching your authors or designers how to author
    SCORM-compliant single source materials.               Steve Manning is a Senior Consultant with The Rockley
                                                           Group and has over 13 years experience in the
                                                           documentation field. Steve is highly knowledgeable
SCORM COMPLIANT E-LEARNING                                 about XML: he has over 12 years experience with SGML,
                                                           HTML and XML. He has created numerous XML-based
TOOLS                                                      information models, built DTDs, and designed and
                                                           adapted XSL and FOSI stylesheets. Steve also teaches
This session will present the pros and cons of SCORM       “An Introduction to XML” and “Applied XML” at the
compliant tools.                                           University of Toronto.
                                                           He is also skilled developer of online documentation
                                                           (WinHelp, HTML Help, Web Help , XML, and Lotus
REFERENCES                                                 Notes) and has created single source production
                                                           methodologies using key online tools. Steve has
(1) Further information on SCORM is available through      extensive experience in project management and has
    the ADL web site at www.adlnet.org.                    managed a number of multiple media, single source

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