Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The thought behind ReadyGo's SCORM implementation

We realized early on that there was a difference between the specification (e.g. SCORM, AICC) and the "behavior" you want to experience. So we left our tool open to use different LMS-packs when the author creates the course. The author does need to contact us, but
we can produce a new behavior for $200-$500.

What does "behavior" mean? The combination of what the course reports
and what the server stores, and how the server acts based on the data is
what we call "behavior". For example, suppose your LMS forbids students
from retaking a course if they have completed it. In that case, if the
course reports the lesson status as "completed", the students will lose
access to it. To bypass this, the course could report "Passed" as the
status. Or, suppose your LMS overwrites previous status every time the
student retakes the test. In this case, the course has to check status
at the beginning of the course (not always possible), and would need to
ensure that it does not change the status from "completed" to
"incomplete" just because the student revisits the course.

By the way, in our current release of the ReadyGo authoring tool, we
have added a "custom" question type. You can use this to add your own
Flash or JavaScript. You hook up the results computed by your
Flash/JavaScript to the variables needed by ReadyGo, and the tool will
turn your custom interaction into a SCORM or AICC tracked element in the
test. Is this what you were looking for in your "I'd love to see" section?

ReadyGo has also pursued an alternative to LMS which is a
tracking/assessment engine. This uses basic web technologies to store
every test result every time the student responds. The data is stored
in Comma-Separated-

Variable text files (for portability). The web-based
reporting module has a group of reports. The look/feel is driven by
style sheets so that part is customizable. For users needing more
customization, we provide an Excel macro that will pull the results in,
and create the same reports. Since source code is provided, you can
then extend the reports using Excel as a simple database. If you have
dBase knowledge, of course, you can just pull the CSV files into your
database (first column = primary key), and you can create your own
queries. Since this module diverges from SCORM/AICC we can also do
things (easily for the author) like randomizing question and
answer/distratctor order. Also, the user can access all the course
content without needing to re-login every time. That is what I
previously alluded to regarding Web-technologies rather than

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