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 must: 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 email@example.com www.rockley.com MATERIALS 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. firstname.lastname@example.org • 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 projects.
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