This page intends to give an overview of the SCO reference model in e-Learning and to show current research trends and practices, based on this model.

By Elaine
SCORM - Coursework

Reasoning about LOM for adapting SCORM courseware

The Semantic Web is addressing the issue of adding meaning to online resources, to enable added value in use and reuse. Many proposals have been made for adding a semantic layer using DAML/OIL, OWL and OWL-S. SCORM 1.3 allows users to describe learning activities by including rules that dictate the presentation of learning items that make up the activity.

Learning activities are influenced by new models in pedagogy and psychology, in particular the active role of the learner.The internet has brought about a change from the traditional information giving approach to the new explorative approach where the learner searches for learning object worldwide and chooses the desired reading sequences. For the learning experience to be fruitful and personalised, the learner’s context must be considered. The context includes his/her expertise when suggesting new readings or by forcing him/her to focus on new literature.

The central goal of web based systems is to use knowledge about the domain, the student and the learning strategies that support flexible personalised learning and tutoring. This goal has been aided by the advances in the field of adaptive hypermedia with systems.

In web-based education, curriculum sequencing provides a reading sequence that is tailored for the learner. Given knowledge entities or competencies and information entities, it is possible to define a knowledge level that defines the learning dependencies among the knowledge entities. The framework then uses the knowledge level together with a learning goal to produce a sequence of learning objects that fit the requirements.

Competencies are closer to human intuition and eases reuse of learning objects as the learning object is taken into account when the same competence is involved. It also allows goal-directed reasoning processes through a set of pre-conditions (competencies necessary for learning object) and a set of effects (supplied competencies). Reasoners use these descriptions to sequence tasks, using techniques from the field of “reasoning about actions” and include planning, temporal projection and temporal explanation.

Learning object representation needs a standardised framework such as SCORM. SCORM defines learning units using SCO which are based on some structure and rules that define the learning activity by means of a manifest (SCORM terminology). SCORM systems use rules based on the operators sequence, if-then branching and presentation. The decision on which to choose the next item is taken by the LMS based on the rules in the manifest.

SCO can be annotated by adding a descriptive attribute from the IEEE LOM specification. The description of the LOM can be annotated from the contents of an ontology that can be used as the basis of querying and selection by an LMS. Given the framework of learning dependencies described by knowledge entities, it is possible to compose reading sequences by using standard planners. The algorithm is based on graph theory, builds a structure called a planning graph and propagates constraints quickly as the graph is built.

While general-purpose planners search a sequence of interest in the whole space of possible solutions, they may not always be practical in the context where teachers’ experience is required as an input to how the learning object must be structured. The ideal solution is to express schemas as learning strategies instead of ontology schemas directly. Learning strategies are rules that specify the overall structure of the learning object expressed as competencies.

Learning strategies are defined in terms of the ontologies of interest. The ontologies provide both a list of common terms, and also provide part-of and is-a relations between classifications. Learning strategies can be enhanced using connections or sequences of knowledge entities. This allows the use of procedural planning for refining the procedural planning search.


SCORM - eLearning Design

Mapping Method of SCORM Content Aggregation Model for eLearning Content Design

The aim of the paper is to describe the content aggregation model. The paper classifies the content aggregation model to a UML class diagram. The paper describes the basic details of what constitutes an XML schema. The schema will define the rules to design SCORM type e-Learning contents and proposes the rule of object-modelling the schema to a UML class diagram.

The SCORM Content Aggregation Model consists of assets, sharable content objects (SCO), content organisation and content aggregation. Asset and SCOs are the forms possible for calling directly by the LMS and include text, images and other media files. Content organisation is a defined structural diagram to provide a learning resources to learners and connects learning resources to actual assets.

A content package is a model packaging manifest files having defined learning structures, physical files (content) and files of learning contents with the aim of providing compatibility between different LMSs. The manifest has metadata describing the explanation of resources, organisation of presentation (by means of a learning taxonomy hierarchy) and resources connecting to the external learning resources.

The paper describes a set of rules for transforming SCORM CAM into a UML class diagram model. The following are the rules listed by the paper for completing the transformation:

1) Element of packages are named “CP”, the manifest “MF”, content “CONTENT” and the package element is expressed as the strong relation “filled-diamond”. Referenced elements are expressed by <<elt_ref>> and stereotypes and their attributes by <<attr>> stereotype.
2) The metadata that MF references is named “MD”, organisations and resources of content are referenced by “CA”, tied together by a unit and the element MF expressed by the weak aggregation (open diamond).
3) Three subordinate elements are expressed as weak aggregation relations and the content that each subordinate element can have are expressed as <<val>> stereotype.
4) The organisation and resource elements that CA references are expressed as strong aggregation relation.
5) The attribute of organisation element is expressed as <<attr>> stereotype, and the item referenced in this element is <<has type>> stereotype and references the attribute of item. Also the execution for the corresponding resource element is expressed as <<execute>> stereotype by the attributions of item. Each element is discriminated with an identifier (+n) because an item element can be made up of numerous elements.
6) The resource element(?) that a resource element(?) references is expressed as SOC and ASSET. Also the execution of SOC and ASSET is expressed as <<execute> stereotype and the execution of ASSET included in SOC is the same. Each element is discriminated with an identifier (+n) because SOC and ASSET elements can be made up of numerous elements.

In the remaining part of the paper the authors reverse engineer a SCORM CAM model into the UML version to verify the validity of the generated model.


SCORM Resources

The SCORM Standard and its Application in Web-Based Education Resources Buidling.

The different eLearning systems collect a lot of material that accelerate the development of eLearning. SCORM can be used for creating reusable learning objects. SCORM is a ‘reference model’ that collects standards and specifications for packing and sequencing of sharable, reusable learning content. If we define SCORM as bookshelf, the standards and specifications are books on the bookshelf. SCORM is defined in four ‘books’: Overview book, Run-Time Environment Book , Content Aggregation Model Book and Sequencing and Overview Book.

The SCORM CAM (Content Aggregation Model) is made up of Content Model (assessing the basic format of the learning resources of the Sharable Content Object (SCO)and describe its functionality related content objects by using content aggregation), Metadata (describing the attribute of the learning resource) and content packaging (common way to package Assets, Sharable Content Object and Content Organizations).

The SCORM Run-Time Environment describes a common communication mechanism between content objects and LMSs based on JAVAScript API, and is common data model for tackling a learner’s experience with content objects.
The SCORM Sequencing and Navigation Book enables the definition of rules to control the logical flow of SCOs in a learning experience.

To create a SCORM courseware, one first needs a team to collaborate together to create a sharable, reusable interoperable SCORM. SCOs, which are based on specific instructional objectives, are created. These are packaged as a learning content and reused in different LMSs for different instructional objectives. Secondly a manifest is created as a special XML which serves as a guide to the rest of the files to work on a website. Thirdly, metadata occurs to describe the learning objects Finally, the SCORM courseware is packaged and tested.

This shows us how SCORM Courseware can be easily created supplying conformant learning content. SCORM standards will further greater facilitation for Web-Based resources-building and this at a lower financial cost.


By Lara

1. SCORM and LOs

E-learning is made up of many sources of information that are built together to create an online learning environment. These pieces of infomation follow the same standard when written so that they can be integrated in the same e-learning environment and thus make it easier to share them. The most common e-learning standard is SCORM (Nordmann and Neumann, 2008). The pieces of information are known as learning objects (LOs) and these should use both audio and text, have a glossary, be independant from each other and should have a consistent GUI (Nordmann and Neumann, 2008). SCORM organises LOs (learning objects) so that there is flexibility, interoperability, reusability and adaptivity


2. SCORM Compliant LMSs

E-learning nowadays is centered around LMS (Learning Management Systems). A Learning Management System should be able to manage collaborative learning, content presentation, assessment and presenting information in an appropriate time frame (Morimoto, Ueno, Yokoyama and Miyadera, 2007). The LMS should ideally be SCORM compliant so that it follows a de facto standard. There is no one SCORM compliant LMS and a lot of work is being done to construct such a LMS. Many are done for research purposes and to test the extent of these SCORM compliant LMSs. In their study, Morimoto, Ueno, Yokoyama and Miyadera (2007) developed a SCORM compliant LMS. A SCORM-LST was first developed to add facilitation in the form of collaborative learning, assessment and multiple users. The LMS then works hand in hand with the SCORM-LST to provide autonomous learning and user interface. The ability for learners to connect with each other is also a feature of this SCORM compliant LMS.


3. SCORM and ITSs

SCORM has several facilities that are beneficial to ITSs (Intelligent Tutoring Systems). ITSs provide “adaptive real time sequencing of learning activities” but the objects developed for ITSs were not interoperable and reusable on different platforms (Santos & Figueira, 2010). This made them difficult to work with. What if the LOs of ITSs were to be developed using the SCORM? This would solve a lot of problems since the main objectives of the SCORM are interoperability and reusability. SCORM was used to develop web-based training using its sequencing and navigation specification (Santos & Figueira, 2010).
References
Morimoto, Y., Ueno, M., Yokoyama, S., and Miyadera, Y. (2007). A SCORM-compliant Learning Management System that Enhances Learning by Managing the Learning Itself. Seventh IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies. Retrieved October 16, from https://vle.um.edu.mt/vle1112/file.php/2628/Literature/SCORM_LMS.pdf

Nordmann, M., and Neumann, J. (2008). Learning Application Suite – Crearing and Playing SCORM Compatible Web and Computer Based Training. Retrieved October 16, from https://vle.um.edu.mt/vle1112/file.php/2628/Literature/SCORM_CBT.pdf

Santos, G., and Figueira, À. (2010). Web-Based Intelligent Tutoring Systems Using the SCORM 2004 Specification. Retrieved October 16, from https://vle.um.edu.mt/vle1112/file.php/2628/Literature/SCORM_CS.pdf