A blog post of two halves.
Anybody getting into the world of Virtual/Managed Learning Environments/Platforms will rapidly become aware of the "standard" that is SCORM. It's presented as a means to allow content providers to put their content into a learning platform in a format that is platform agnostic, i.e. it should work in any platform. More than that, it is used to provide feedback to the learning platform itself as to who has accessed the content and (sometimes) how long they spent on the task and whether they got to the end. It tells you nothing about the learning that took place.
I'll be the first to admit that I'd never really considered the limitations of SCORM - especially the way in which it is packaged up for learners to access, so was very pleased to read Ian Usher's blog post on the subject. It's somewhat technical for some, but it makes very interesting/essential reading for anyone interested in subscribing to or buying content for their learning platform. I draw two conclusions:
- Only buy content where the package allows you to break it up into chunks so that the teacher can present the learner with the precise piece of learning that they need for the task without having to go through loads of navigation.
- Review the actual content thoroughly - just because the piece is SCORM "compliant" doesn't make it good content (or even interactive). Ian demonstrates how simple it is to convert a PowerPoint into a piece of SCORM content. Now, there are good PowerPoints and bad PowerPoints, but the bottom line is, it's still a slideshow, it's not interactive content.
An object lesson for bulliesIan's obvious point in his blogpost was to make sure that people needed to be aware of the limitations of SCORM, and to ask the relevant questions when considering what content to buy. As an example he used some freely available sample content from JSH Education to show how a PowerPoint could easily be converted to SCORM content (see conclusion 2 above). His regular readers will have read the article and drawn the necessary lessons from it. Enter JSH Education. Via a comment on his blog they demanded that their content be removed (without stating any reason why). Ian has 1030 followers on Twitter, and all it took was one tweet to the effect that a content provider had made a "take down" demand for conversations to erupt all over Twitter. I imagine there was a huge spike in readership on his blog, too. The result is that JSH Education look very foolish indeed and have turned what was a well written post aimed at informing into yet another Twitter cause celebre. The question is, when will corporates "get" the web? They can no longer control their brands in the way they used to and using old style bully boy tactics will lead to them being outed for what they are.
Engage with the conversation, don't try to silence it.