Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How LMS's work?

This is a continuation of a dialog I had with one of our customers. They asked a lot of thought provoking questions. I have not seen this type of dialog any place and thought others would be interested. I am familiar with over 60 LMS's since I have written LMS packs to work with them.

Do most LMS record only the first or best score but not all sessions of a student

This is what I have seen.

Some LMS say they are Scorm compliant but that is only true when their own authoring tool is used

Answer: Generally False. There are just a few that claim SCORM, but really are not.

Is an authoring tool responsible to provide different SCORM behaviors?

Answer: In theory, this in True; in practice this is false. I have only once seen an LMS that adapted their code when a problem was pointed out to them. Most LMS vendors fault the authoring tool using the reasoning, “no other authoring tool courses have this problem” or “we have hundreds of courses that work – the problem must be in your course”. For example ReadyGo worked with a course creation company that was selling their courses via one of the "big" named LMS's. ReadyGo had not had any success reporting test results to this LMS. The LMS told me that it must be our tool. I contacted the CTO of the course creation company. He told me that their courses did not have tests. This shows how empty the term “compliant” can be

Does the scorm model believes that a course has one final test and only one final grade.

Answer: True – but this is more a function of the course authors. The specification does not explicitly say so, but it has become the most common implementation.

Question: In scorm a student views a course once and never returns to reference the material?

Answer: True, although this is more an assumed LMS/author behavior. SCORM 2004 actually is set up so that a student can see a particular SCO multiple times in one “course”.

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