Thursday, February 26, 2009

Schools get treated with scorm by content providers

Changes are afoot in the world of online content. What used to be gravy trained ELC-funded sets of resources sold in the guise of DVDs, CDs, access to web sites etc., are rapidly moving towards resources which purport to fit in to the much funded, much discussed Learning Platforms framework.

Any schools or Local Authority advisers might already have got wind of this from the latest mailings and spam “informative” emails from content companies. Here's a relevant quote from one such email:

We have been consulting with BECTA since July to clarify the position with regards to using the Harnessing Technology Grant when subscribing to [the name of our web site].
We can now clarify that on October 2nd 2008 Becta announced '...the Harnessing Technology Grant can be used to pay for such services...'

For any readers using English to take in this information, this might roughly translate as:

We can't take your money in the designated form of ELCs any more, so... we've managed to talk the people who set the budgets into allowing you to spend your Grant 121 money on our content.

But does this make sense? Is it worth sinking your precious funding into this sort of content? I've written before about how many companies portray their content as being the fuel which powers the vehicle that is your VLE / Learning Platform – attitudes which clearly overstate the importance of the content and overestimate the “compellingness” of the material contained within it. This becomes even more laughable when you consider how the content is packaged...

The phrase which will crop up in most literature and was all over the BETT Show is SCORM - which stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model.

First of all, a quick primer on what a piece of SCORM content usually looks like. It's a .zip file, which is placed inside the VLE and then is unpacked by the VLE when a user accesses the content. A giveaway that a piece of content is SCORM formatted is that immediately inside the .zip file is a file called imsmanifest.xml – which describes how the content in the .zip file is structured, and instructs the VLE on how to access and present it. Any 'assets' (web pages, documents, video & audio files, Flash movies, etc) might be stored in folders in the .zip file and accessed by the VLE when the SCORM file is being used, according to how the imsmanifest file offers them up.

But why have SCORM content anyway? Well, within a VLE it's a simple process to link to something like an educational game or activity on a BBC site (like the KS3 Geography Sustainable Development activity) and have learners attempt the activity, play the game, or take the quiz in question. However, as a teacher there's no way of confirming that the pupil completed the activity, or how well they did, or anything really, since the activity isn't contained within the VLE. A piece of SCORM content (so the theory goes) will report on a learner's progress and (importantly for some schools), retain their progress and/or marks within the VLE.

Anyway, what normally happens when a school purchases “SCORM content” is that a it will receive a DVD or CD (normally the former, whose larger storage capacity is a clue to the nature of one of the problems) with the content it. Sometimes the content is already packaged up into .zip files, ready for uploading into a VLE, but sometimes, there's a menu system which the school can use to choose which elements it wants in the SCORM packages it uses. This tool generates the zip files.

At this point, I would propose that there's one simple criteria which can be used to separate out Good Content from Bad Content. Any piece of content which doesn't allow the school to decide what it wants in its .zip package can (to my mind) be classified as Bad Content, or Content Not Worth Wasting Your Money On. Packages which do – where a school can select a couple of activities and make an easy-to-deploy .zip file stand a better chance of being Good Content Worth Shelling Out For. This goes back to an old post of mine inspired by Gerry Graham from Learning & Teaching Scotland, which talked about how small, bite-sized chunks of learning content were better suited to schools real needs, rather than gargantuan, monolithic slabs of learning – which are better suited to the convenience of the companies that produce them and sell them, with little or no regard for the way in which they'll be used inside or outside of the classroom. So, if your provider of online content insists that you present the resources according to how they think the curriculum works, rather than how you would like to teach it, then I'd step backwards and think again.

I should point out that I'm not commenting on the quality of the actual content here, but on its ease of use by schools. The content might be fantastic, it might be shoddy, but how it's packaged, how easy it is to access, deploy and meet the needs of those who are teaching it, might be some of the biggest factors which prevent anyone from ever using it.

Being able to customise what's in a SCORM package isn't the only measure of the ease-of-use of a piece of content. There are good reasons that sites like YouTube have a limit on the size of uploads – among them being that most users' ADSL connections will choke, or at least take a long time to digest the prospect of uploading enormous files. So, dear reader, what do you think are the typical filesizes schools are expected to upload into their VLEs to cope with the content being offered to them by content providers nowadays?

  • 10MB? A few do that, but that's not really a sign of some serious curricular intentions now, is it?
  • 100MB Quite a few are around this size, but many are far greater.
  • 1GB? At least – I've dealt with a number of queries from secondary schools who are being offered SCORM packages which are provided in a format requiring the school to upload a single file of over one or two gigabytes in size.
Besides the obvious practical limitations of this, there are obvious implications about how such a piece of content probably contains the entirety of part of the curriculum which, as I've written elsewhere, probably impacts on people's willingness to use it. Have the people foisting these inflexible, monolith, too-large-to-use-practically pieces of content ever thought about how people in schools might use them? I can’t believe they’ve ever been into a school and worked out how their content might be used. It would only take five minutes to realise that what they’re offering is imipractical, inflexible and inaccessible for most schools.

So, what are alternatives are there? Bearing in mind that there are many more pieces of content out there which aren’t listed below (or were exhibited at the BETT Show recently), here are some I’ve experienced and would recommend if you’re starting out with SCORM:

Bear in mind though, that any of these samples vary enormously in size - and differ greatly as they rely on the publishers' different ideas of what counts as a "SCORM-compliant" piece of learning content (whatever that means).

Is it worth it?

Hang on though, there’s a big assumption, always unwritten in publishers’ blurb and mostly unspoken by those involved in this, that SCORM is the answer. But what’s the question that it’s the answer to?

Of course, the USP of SCORM is supposed to be its ability to report back to the VLE / LMS / Learning Platform – so you’ll see plenty of marketing speak about how a system which works well with SCORM content is the answer to every teacher’s prayer, and the soothing balm to every person in charge of assessment’s statistical nightmare. However, to my understanding, SCORM is based on a number of principles, some of which are more relevant to schools in the UK than others:

  • Individualised learning - SCORM assumes that an individual will sit down, access a piece of content (possibly in more than one sitting) and “complete” it. If you want something to report on collaborative types of learning activities, or measurements that are qualitative, SCORM won’t really do that for you
  • SCORM is a specification of the ADL initiative, which originated from US Department of Defense.This might be technically proficient, it might be a mess, but it's not based around the needs of a primary school in High Wycombe.
  • An important thing is that SCORM is not a standard, more of a reference model. One of my most memorable moments during a Becta Expert Technology Seminar a few years ago was when a speaker from CETIS, during a session on learning standards, said that the best thing he could say about what the acronym IMS (a framework for describing any learning design inherent in certain types of online content) stood for was “It Means Something”. SCORM has similar issues - ask ten different content providers about what should be in a SCORM package and how it should work, and you'll probably get about eight different answers.

Issues such as this vagueness, the inability to describe all sorts of learning activities which might take place online, and the ease with which almost any piece of content can be badged as “SCORM” make it (for me anyway) hard to recommend to schools unless they know what they’re doing.

I think Becta missed a trick with things like Curriculum Online which I've always thought of as a missed opportunity to set some standards about what interactive online content should be. Just think, by making it a pre-requisite of the fabled ELC-approved badge of the past that content had to conform to these standards (whether SCORM or something more appropriate) Becta could have ensured more accessibility and a better understanding among both content providers and schools about what interactive content might look like, how it should look and behave and why it's useful to schools, teachers and learners.

If you’re a school, try contacting a content provider and asking them if their content is SCORM compliant (don’t start me on the word “compliant”). They’ll almost certainly say “Yes” or “Not yet but it’s on the way”. Then ask them why this is important. They’ll tell you something along the lines of “it means it works within your Learning Platform”, often without having a clear idea of what this means or what your VLE/LP can retrieve from it. Content publishers who also provide a Learning Platform might tell you that their content works best with their platform (there’s been a plethora of dog-eat-dog moves, such as Pearson buying out Fronter

Beware mutton dressed as SCORM

As mentioned before, one problem with SCORM is that it's seen as the answer to any content that needs to go near a VLE, rather than an appropriate format for some content. I have lost count of the number of schools I've been to who are having "VLE friendly stuff" pushed down their throats by desperate-to-sell publishers. Take a look again at two of the pieces of demonstration SCORM content offered by ER4L - they're in the JSH Education SCORM package and are entitled Cells and Leaves and Photosynthesis. Now, if you were being sold a SCORM package on leaves and photosynthesis, you'd expect something interactive, something which tested you as a learner - maybe a quiz or interactive activity. However, have a look at what's actually contained in them - here are the pieces of content for Cells and Leaves & Photosynthesis extracted from the SCORM .zip files. Have a look:

27th March 2009 edit:
Well, due to communcations from the nice people at JSH (see comments below) I've removed their content - which is at the time of writing still freely available from the ER4L SCORM samples page - click on the JSH Education link. If you download it, unzip it and examine the SCORM packages you'll be able to see what's included and the following paragraph will still hold true. Heck, it holds true even if you don't download it - it's still just a PowerPoint dressed up as SCORM. Some of the other exercises are interactive, but the content referenced in this post might as well be an animated picture for all of the interaction it provides. You can download this - though be aware, you may well receive a similar "Cease and Desist" email if you publish it anywhere anyone can see it. Pupils, for example?

How to find it:
Once you've downloaded the
(>40MB) JSH SCORM Samples file, it's in the Presenting Biology folder, then inside is B01.CellsScorm1.2.zip (the SCORM zip file containing the imsmanifest.xml file mentioned above), then inside this there's another folder called B01.CellsScorm1.2, then inside that the Flash file named B01.Cells.swf contains the content you're after. Sorted! If you don't have a local Flash player installed, just drag it into any web browser window, it should play fine.

Can you guess what it is yet? Well, if you've used iSpring Converter - a free tool to convert any PowerPoint file into an .swf Flash file - you might recognise it. Both of those files are simply PowerPoint files which have been converted into .swf files using the paid-for version of iSpring's tool. There's no interaction (other than sleeping looking through the slides) and the .swfs have been bundled up into a "SCORM package".

What this means for the publisher is clear - they can now tout this as being a "VLE-friendly piece of E-Learning" - all because it can be referred to as a piece of SCORM content, and the company can suddenly try to tap into the deep pool of Harnessing Technology monies which any school which doesn't want to do a lot of thinking might throw at any vendors who mention HT enough in their promotional blurb. (The phrase you're looking for there, by the way, is ker-ching.)

What this means for the school is that they pay a lot of money for a PowerPoint file dressed up to be something it isn't. If you are really that bothered about getting a PowerPoint into your VLE and want to make it accessible to everyone, not just those with PowerPoint at home, then use something like the iSpring Converter and upload it as a Flash file.

What sticks in my mind in all of this are the conversations I've had with those looking after VLEs in schools. When asked about the quality of the 'VLE content' being offered to them by publishers the overwhelming opinion is "it's rubbish, really, really poor and unusable". I've seen (as above) simple converted PowerPoints, simple Flash videos and even pictures packaged as "SCORM" - which again points to the vague nature of the standard being the reason why anyone can get away with almost anything if it ends in .zip and contains some alleged learning content.

If you're a publisher, I'd love you to understand this - people in schools know rubbish when they see it (and won't use it), and no amount of Scormifying or VLE-ising your content makes it any good simply because it sits in a learning platform. Schools have rumbled you, they know it's poor quality and frankly, if you try and foist substandard on them, people need to be told...

so... if you're a teacher, or someone from a content provider willing to be honest (no adverts please) about your experiences with SCORM then I'd love to hear from you. Any good or bad pieces of SCORM content you've used - please give an example by leaving a comment - and name & praise / name & shame them!

26 comments:

  1. Mmm.. Coming from a well know, global publisher we were shouted at from every direction (apart from those that actually mattered..) to 'SCORM or DIE'. When we looked below the noise we found that schools weren't exactly screaming for SCORM content and nobody could give us a definitive definition of what it should look like (one publisher told us 'it's just a word document with a bit of tagging'!!?). The final nail in the coffin short term was that it's a completely new ball game to create decent, and i mean create not repackage, decent worthwhile content that makes the most of the system, and that ultimately costs money. A lot of money on something that my well vanish tomorrow.
    We'll wait and see and preserve our reputation thank you.

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  2. Hi Ian,

    Great post. I dealt with SCORM a little while back: http://www.learningconversations.co.uk/main/index.php/2008/08/08/scorm-warning?blog=5

    That post looked at it from the demand point of view. Too many potential purchasers (schools, companies etc) hear the buzzword SCORM and think it applies to them.

    It's a battle worth fighting if we're to stop people wasting their money!

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  3. Great post, i've frequently encountered many of these problems myself and I think you are right on the money.

    I can't speak about the educational value of content packages, but with my Moodle developer hat on, i've commited patches provided by LJCreate and seen many useful bug reports from them. This kind of positive contribution is enormously useful when trying to identify problems found with packages developers tend not to have access to.

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  4. Ian - excellent post. Just to say that graphic with SCORM on it is one that I just made up, it isn't anything official.

    I guess this almost sums up the status of SCORM anyway.

    From my perspective I have found SCORM to be the best way of integrating some complex Flash / Javascript and display issues within Moodle. In some ways, the SCORM functionality was a side issue, but as SCORM within Moodle is a packaged .zip file I can generate muliple files to support Flash, especially the complex Javascript and related files and .zip them all up.

    I agree 100% with the limitations of SCORM, but for me it has been the best way to get Flash to display reliably and positively within Moodle.

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  5. Please remove JSH Education software from your site imediately.

    JSH Education Ltd

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  6. @JSH, may I ask why you wish the publicly available sample software to be removed? It is freely available from the ER4L SCORM samples page and is clearly attributed as being published by JSH Education.

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  7. Think you've hurt someone's feelings, Ian :-)

    Of course, if you 'remove JSH Education software from your site imediately' (sic), there's nothing to stop you retaining the links to their site while leaving your central message intact.

    Rather than demand removal, I would have thought it might be more productive of JSH Education to respond to your point and to explain why schools should continue to purchase a set of converted PPT files for good money.

    John Connell

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  8. Oh my goodness. Are JSH Education going to do a TALMOS? I hope for their sake they don't (bye bye positive Google ranking...)

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  9. JSH - your outstandingly unhelpful reaction to this most thoughtful blog post leaves you open to accusations of bullying. Ian Usher has made a great contribution to this debate - where is your reasoned response?

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  10. You have previously ignored an email asking for the removal of this content sent to your bucks email address in which we asked you to remove the software.

    You have also ignored the explicit instruction we posted to this blog (but you have acknowledged receipt by your subsequent posting).

    Please remove our software immediately from your site.

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  11. @JSH please do not assume because you've sent an email that it has been received, or even read. The email was sent to an address that I do not monitor or ever give out as a means of contacting me (try searching for it), but thanks for bringing it to my attention. So, to clarify your assertion above that it had been "ignored", please understand that this was not the case.
    My acknowledgement of your comment was to ask for clarification; if you'd like to clarify anything you are of course welcome to.
    Of course I will remove the material - but should point out that it is at time of writing freely available on the internet through ER4L's SCORM Samples page with no license and, perhaps more importantly, no clear limitations on what schools can do with the materials once they have been freely downloaded. I'm sure if you wished to find out if many schools had been downloading the materials for free, it is within your capability to do so.
    I will amend the blog post to reflect the removal, but will include instructions on how schools interested in evaluating the materials offered can do so.
    In the meantime, if you have any views on how SCORM packages containing solely PowerPoint presentations benefit learners, I'd love to hear them. I'm sure that between everyone there is a way of working out what's best for learners and schools in all of this.

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  12. Given that you have simply used material that is currently freely available on the web, Ian, I doubt that there is much, if anything, that JSH could do. Empty threat, I'd say.

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  13. This just goes to show the real reason 'education' companies like JSH Education are in the business. What a completely wrong line and approach to take.

    I hope that, having ignored my reference to the TALMOS debacle, they get what's coming to them! :-o

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  14. JSH Education are now all over the twitterverse, I suspect that is where most of the recent comments originate. They may find Web 2.0 can be a very lonely and sometimes unforgiving place if you get it wrong

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  15. Thanks for a really useful and clear summary of the pros and 'cons' of SCORM. I'm never going to be a position to buy content, but I produce a lot of my own and have never been clear on the benefits of SCORM compliance.

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  16. Thank you for your detailed response Ian, and amending your blog accordingly.

    This is an excellent site and we have no doubt whatsoever that you have the best interests of schools and learners alike as your sole consideration.

    Keep up the excellent work.

    JSH Education Ltd

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  17. As one of the people shouting at companies to 'SCORM or DIE', as Adam put it, it tends to be shouted as an attempt to get content providers to change from the endless series of Powerpoint slides to truly interactive resources.

    One of the issues is that many providers, schools and teachers cannot make up their mind whether they want small sets or SCORM resources (usually small subsets of resources or even a single learning object such as multi-choice questions) or a complete unit of work (eg several lessons of materials ready to go on a platform).

    Perhaps it comes down to your views on whether you buy a curriculum in (too many companies / schools to mention here) or whether your school is happy to buy resources and create their own curriculum ... even even buy a range of resources for students to choose themselves!

    We know where we would like it all to eventually go, but some schools (many?) are not there yet ... so giving them too much choice can hurt as much as giving them not enough.

    The arguement from some of these companies is that you *are* buying a curriculum and not a set of resources to be picked apart ...

    Still ... after having a number of heated discussions with some content providers that their stuff just does not work (one company wanted many schools to relax all local security on IE so that it would run without any errors because *they coded it badly and with no regard for security* and wondered why they lost schools!) I understand now that a chunk of work to do with schools is to help them understand what *is* and *isn't* a good resource and how to gauge whether a company providing resources are helpful, forward-thinking and happy to redevelop things based of customer feedback.

    One company has just jumped to the bottom of the pile due to being unable to professionally take criticism.

    Almost reminds me of the numpty sales drone from an Anti-Virus firm who got a junior lawyer to send EduGeek.net a cease and desist letter due to members slating the performance of their product. A fantastic way to win friends and influence people.

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  18. Ian, I've been following the JSH thread here and on Twitter for which you seem to have the majority on your side. Some I feel have made some rather unfair comments with regard to a commercial supplier. You make the point that, "people in schools know rubbish when they see it (and won't use it)", in other words, the market will in the end decide whether a product sells or not. You of course have the perfect right to say whether you think is good or bad, and your opinion might or might not influence a purchaser. Nothing wrong with that. Where I disagree with you, is the assumption that you can place any material on the web with impunity and without permission of the producer of that material. You suggest in some of your responses on twitter that the lack of any licence statement, or copyright notice means it's OK to do what you want with it. eg:

    @John_Howarth so I'm guessing I've no reason to remove it, as the software is freely available to anyone without charge?

    mwclarkson: @iusher I believe there is a difference between the right to use and the right to publish - providing the ability does not imply the right.

    mbarrow: @mwclarkson @iusher I agree just because it is available for download does not mean it can be republished esp. when used in a negative way

    @mbarrow if I publish something & make it freely available, isn't it my responsibility to licence it, not users' to guess the Terms Of Use?

    The bottom line is you downloaded a zip file, extracted the contents, then re-published part of that file selectively to illustrate you point. How it was originally published and distributed is not the point. You re-published it in a different way without permission, and JSH had the right to ask you to remove it. Most jump to the conclusion that they are upset because there was implied criticism of their product. I don't take that line, they are defending their property rights, and perhaps you also own them an apology.

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  19. I just don't accept Gareth's take on this at all, and I certainly do not think that Ian owes anyone an apology, least of all the software supplier. What is the difference between, on the one hand, Ian reviewing a piece of software, as an example of a type or trend he has spotted, and choosing to display some elements of that software to illustrate his point, and, on the other hand, a review of a film (online or on TV, say) that also shows a clip of the film for illustrative purposes?

    The company in question has made the software freely available for download by anyone who comes across it (although I note it is now no longer visible on the site in question) - would they have an objection if a school or a local authority downloaded the software and made it available across a VLE or portal for teachers to try out in class? Or is it only certain kinds of 'publishing' that they choose to object to?

    The UK Copyright Service defines 'fair use' as:

    Under fair use rules, it may be possible to use quotations or excerpts, where the work has been made available to the public, (i.e. published). Provided that:

    The use is deemed acceptable under the terms of fair dealing.

    That the quoted material is justified, and no more than is necessary is included.

    That the source of the quoted material is mentioned, along with the name of the author.


    We might argue over the definition here of 'no more than necessary' but I think it would be difficult for JSH to argue misuse of their material overall, given that they made the material available in the first place.

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  20. I did not see the original post so I am not sure how much was published but isn't there some provision for republishing for evaluative purposes / review purposes / editorial reasons?

    Anyway, that aside it has been interesting watching this develop on twitter and a great example of a company not getting the web 2.0 world we now live in.

    I am sick to death of being bombarded by scorm content providers at present and locally we advocate that learning platforms should be populated by teacher generated content and only buy in stuff as a last resort.

    As to Harnessing Technology.. I don't know how other LAs are handling this but our accountants are quite clear. This is a capital grant for capital purchases.

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  21. @AdvisoryMatters
    Gareth, I have to say I don't agree. SCORM is being marketed to schools as a panacea to solve their issues with online learning. The compressed and hidden nature of the physical .zip files which hold the SCORM content reflect the obfuscation and smoke & mirrors which sees a lot of publishers putting poor quality content straight from physical media into virtual systems - and I defy anyone to try and maintain that this isn't in some part due directly the nature of the funding, rather than from a point of view that SCORM content is universally sound. However, to read the blurb or listen to sales people you'd imagine it was an educational magic bullet.
    Even today I've had distressed emails from a school asking for help because they'd been told that this content ("It's got a .zip extension on it...") would be simple to use - the school is wondering if they've wasted £600 on this.
    To unpick the .zip file (which in itself contains two SCORM zip files and the standalone .swf file, so I don't agree that sharing the .swf was taking it out of context) is essential to understand what's there - the alternative suggestion that we shouldn't examine what we are being encouraged to purchase is irresponsible when we have such large budgets at stake in times where value for money and quality are even more important than they have been previously.
    If any publisher is scared of their material being analysed, then why publish samples of it for free? I have a responsibility to schools in my Local Authority to do my best to evaluate what's being pushed to them - particularly in areas that they may have little expertise in, and I'm not going to take it lightly.
    I note that the JSH material has now been removed from the ER4L web site - does this mean that they are not keen on schools evaluating things before they are bought, or that the education market isn't for them? Just as importantly, what happens to those schools who have downloaded it and used it? Are they now in breach of an agreement that they never knew about?
    Whatever the real story, if a car manufacturer refused to let me test drive their vehicle, or chastised me when I did so for daring to look under the bonnet in a public place to check the build quality and how it was assembled so I could understand it better, I'd rather walk.

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  22. Well put, Ian. The simple question to ask is, had your 'review' been positive about the software in question would any of this nonsense have arisen? I doubt it.

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  23. The key point of this post still stands 100% for me. Looking in my school post today I received two additional adverts from companies claiming stuff like "THE best SCORM-compliant software" to "empower our VLE".

    Companies are using 'SCORM' as a complex sounding term to try and market their materials. Nine years ago they used the term 'ICT' in the same way.

    I reckon companies should use the term "TWAIN" content. As all ICT teachers know, TWAIN is the term that refers to older ways of connecting devices such as scanners. TWAIN stands for Technology Without An Interesting Name.

    This post is ideal for all schools to read as they see how the SCORM label is simply being used to confuse and befuddle those who hold the purse strings in schools.

    "Oh - is that SCORM compliant?" "Wow!"

    As I posted earlier, I've found SCORM to be a great way to glue together technologies to get them working within VLEs. Yet, just as has even been discovered within this post itself, there is dodgy repackaging practice going on.

    Fair enough companies using SCORM, and fair enough companies using the terminology to promote their products. Yet not fair enough in the way that SCORM is promoted as the 'solution'.

    SCORM refers to reusable learning objects that are trackable. You could purchase millions of pounds worth of SCORM content and it wouldn't make a jot of difference to students' learning. You could purchase a pencil and it makes an immense difference.

    SCORM is a tool to support learning that needs to be effectively used. Blog posts like this are vital so colleagues read all the adverts but then say "Yes, but what difference and impact will it make for our students?"

    Thank you Ian for posting all this - great stuff.

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  24. Thanks for this most informative post Ian. Most useful as I am swotting up for a potential post as ELearning Director in charge of a VLE. You can guess which company will be low on the list of suppliers if I am successful!
    Dan

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  25. Remember that some schools host their VLE internally, and that they won't be uploading the content via the internet, but just copying onto the server locally.

    These multi GB files don't seem so bad when you are copying directly from the DVD.

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  26. I agree with Adam in the 1st comment. A year ago there was a lot of noise about SCORM as the Way to Solve World Peace. I think the more savvy publishers have now realised that it does a poor job in packaging their content for teachers.

    From my experience, SCORM seems to do a good job of making quiz-style content compatible with any VLE (as Andrew Field says above) but a BAD job of classifying larger content packages into meaningful units.

    I'd also strongly agree with your secondary point about chunks of content. I hope that where we are going with Teachable.net puts us in your Good Content Provider bucket. We want teachers to be able to pick and choose ready made nuggets to then fit into their VLE courses however they want.

    We could make them into SCORM .zip files ... but not one of our users has asked for that yet!

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