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Scorm Implementation Strategies for Mobile

Scorm Implementation Strategies for Mobile



During the past three months I have been in contact with several organizations and vendors that have either already implemented SCORM or have been working on implementing SCORM as part of their mobile ...

During the past three months I have been in contact with several organizations and vendors that have either already implemented SCORM or have been working on implementing SCORM as part of their mobile learning strategy. This helped me to identify the use cases for this presentation.

My objectives for this presentation and also for my ongoing research interests are the following:

1) Generate a list of mobile learning technologies that use SCORM.

2) Publish general best practices for designing SCORM content for mobile devices.

3) Identify which technologies are available when implementing SCORM for mobile devices.

4) Identify potential updates to SCORM that will enhance future mobile learning.

Today I will talk about some specific mLearning examples and provide you with the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, and why) of each use case and how SCORM is being addressed as part of their mLearning strategy. Finally, I will conclude the session with the outcomes I recorded from analyzing these use cases. The outcomes will include:

• Notable Findings
• Common Technical Challenges and Considerations
• General Best Practices



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  • First, I would like to thank you all for attending this mLearnCon session on “SCORM Implementation Strategies for Mobile.” My name is Jason Haag and I work for the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative. For those of you not familiar with ADL or SCORM I will provide a quick overview after we test out our polling tool.
  • One of the biggest success stories this past decade in modern technology has been the mobile device. The fact that we know have a conference dedicated to mobile learning is evidence that mobile learning’s potential is just now starting to being realized. I’m going to present a poll question to see why you are here and also familiarize you with the polling tool that we will be using during this session:
  • The ADL Vision is to provide access to the highest quality education and training, tailored to individual needs, delivered cost-effectively, anywhere and anytime. We are actively engaged in the following high-level areas under this vision: web-based learning, content repositories, distributed simulation, job aiding, and immersive learning technologies. As you can see, mLearning will fall under most of these.
  • The ADL Initiative develops and implements learning technologies across the U.S. Department of Defense and US federal government. We collaborate with government, but also industry and academia to promote international specifications and standards for designing and delivering interoperable learning content.
  • Our biggest success story at ADL thus far has been SCORM; it just turned 10 years old this past January!So, SCORM is exactly what the acronym stands for…it’s a reference model for developing sharable content. It references other technical specifications for creating standardized learning content that can be used in any SCORM-compliant LMS. It addresses how to create metadata for the learning content & how it should be aggregated and packaged, how learning activities can be sequenced, and how it should communicate with a LMS in a standard way. The main driver for creating the SCORM was that several of the DoD services were creating learning content online, but the return on investment was costly because of the existence of so many proprietary training systems and a lack of systems that supported standards-based content. SCORM provides the ability for one organization to share their content with another, but more importantly it provides the organization without losing their content if they ever had to change learning management systems. However, SCORM has taken on international adoption and is being implemented all over the world and not just by the DoD.
  • These high-level requirements translated into what we call the “-illities”. To become recognized as an adoptable standard and realistic solution, we determined that it must be meet the following requirements:Accessibility: In other words, the content should be capable of being accessed from multiple locations and delivered to multiple locations. Another word that think should be used instead of Accessibility is “Portability”. A primary example of this would be the US Navy. They have a requirement to deliver training to multiple environments: On Land (Unclassified and Classified), On Ships, and in Disconnected Environments. The portability that SCORM inherently provides for the same course to be distributed to multiple environments.Interoperability:An example of this is for one course to be developed for one system, but capable of being used in another system regardless of the LMS software used to host the course. For example, A course developed by the Navy on Sexual Harrassment can also be used by the Army because it was developed according to the SCORM standard.Durability:An example of this would that even if a particular operating system or browser or other piece of software used to render the course changes it should not impact whether the course still works.Reusability: There are many potential types of reuse that fall under this umbrella. Some examples are being able to reuse complete courses, lessons, and assets such as flash or media files in different contexts.
  • ADL Co-Lab NetworkThe ADL Initiative sponsors a network of collaborative-laboratories (Co-Labs). The ADL Co-Labs work with government, industry, and academia to develop and disseminate common guidelines, lessons learned, and tutorials for ADL and to share resources among all stakeholders. The ADL Initiative directly funds two of the Co-Labs – the ADL Co-Laboratory Hub in Alexandria, VA and the Joint ADL Co-Lab in Orlando, FL.ADL Partnership Lab NetworkThrough a Memorandum of Understanding with the host country, the ADL Initiative recognizes a network of ADL Partnership Labs around the world. The Partnership Labs work within their country and with other Partnership Labs and ADL to further ADL’s vision and to develop and disseminate common guidelines, lessons learned, and tutorials for ADL and to share resources among all stakeholders.
  • Before I begin with covering the use cases, I would like to mention that one of the prerequisites for this session is that you have an understanding of ADL concepts and principles behind SCORM I will be referencing SCORM quite often. However, we will not be digging deeply into the technical aspects of SCORM. Also, I would like to point out that we work with all to support industry and do not make specific product recommendations. My objectives for this session and also for my ongoing research interests are the following:
  • Today I will talk about some specific mLearning examples and provide you with the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, and why) of each use case and how SCORM is being addressed as part of their mLearning strategy. The outcomes will include:
  • Also, to start things off I would like to go over a few acronyms that I will commonly use throughout the presentation:While most of you should already have heard of most of these acronyms I’m going to read through them quickly just so you know what I’m referring to when I use them during my presentation.
  • ADL provided me with the opportunity to focus on mobile technology late last year so I have been working closely with one of the most well known mobile learning experts who also works for ADL, Judy Brown. We are working a mobile learning reference App that will be released soon by ADL. She featured this during her pre-conference session on Monday. We are also testing this on a number of devices to ensure cross-platform compatibility.
  • I purchased my first Smartphone/PDA, the Kyocera 7135 Smartphone in 2003. Since then I have also used BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and now use the iPhone as my primary mobile device. I’m going to be looking at Android 2.2 more closely in the next few months.
  • Did you know that the Kyocera 7135 Smartphone was the second generation to one of the first Smartphone’s available in the US Market in 2001? That brings me to a great poll question to start of today’s session: The intent of providing this poll question is to look and see if there is more recent Smartphones dominate the landscape. The idea behind this is that recent mobile industry statistics show that adoption has increased significantly since the introduction of the iPhone. Also, I wanted to know what my mobile devices are most commonly used by my audience since I will be talking about some of these devices when covering the use cases.POLL QUESTION #2: Which of the following Smartphones have you used as either your primary or secondary mobile device (please check all that apply):PALM OS or Web OS (Treo or other)Symbian OS (Nokia)Windows MobileRIM (BlackBerry)iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPadAndroid OS Other (Not listed here)None of the above
  • So after looking at the results we can compare it to the recent statistics that Steve Jobs presented at Apple’s WWDC two weeks ago which now shows that RIM and iPhone are the big leaders in the market. These are the overall results of the market share. The first quarter of 2010 actually reported Blackberrry in first, Android in second, and iPhone in third in terms of sales for the quarter so Android is quickly gaining ground in this market.According to Gartner, mobile usage and Smartphone adoption is set to explode in 2010 with over 1.2 billion getting hands on with web capable handsets.
  • During the past three months I have been in contact with several organizations and vendors that have either already implemented SCORM or have been working on implementing SCORM as part of their mobile learning strategy. This helped me to identify the use cases for this presentation.
  • -The Multimedia Information Networking (MINE) Research Lab at Tamkang University in Taiwan.-Primarily work on Research & Development (R&D), but also have users of their solution that includes pilots & flight attendants of TransAsia Airline, Officers of the Institute for Information Industry of Taiwan (Non-gov’t agency), and Taiwan Knowledge Bank (a distance learning organization in Taiwan).-Pocket SCORM:- The Pocket SCORM architecture provides learners with the ability to experience SCORM content through a mobile device. - It can dynamically adjust the content to adapt to the features of the mobile device (screen dimensions, improved scrolling, and note taking capability). This is called MINE Mode. The Pocket SCORM solution communicates with their LMS using either the wireless network coverage on the device or by syncing with a laptop or pc and using its wireless Internet connection.
  • -The Mine Lab determined that local storage and interactivity are key factors when deciding on the best approach to take for development (Web App vs. Native). -So they are targeting the iPhone and iPad for developing their new app, PAD SCORM.
  • Developed business case for mobile learning based on the need for internal compliance training of employees working long hours outside of the officeNeeded to provide training to 60,000 employees from different business units in 38 different countries.Wanted to enable learning outside of the office during naturally occurring downtime such as daily commuting, business trips, waiting rooms, etc.
  • -So far, this is the largest Mobile SCORM use case. They recently went from 22,000 BlackBerry deployed devices to well over 55,000 and expanded the number of courses they provide as well (currently only deploying on BlackBerry)-Latest number of player activations just over 5,500 (trend is an average increase of 500 new users per week).-MultipleLMS environments (Custom LMS by Merrill Lynch and Saba used by Bank of America).-Also conduct surveys to collect Level 1 (Reaction) evaluation data
  • -Achieved a significant increase in average competency score
  • -Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing companyWhy?- Research evidence proved that their time-strapped senior executives needed compliance training at their fingertips (on their BlackBerry mobile devices provided by the company). Their traditional e-learning courses required 40 or more minutes to complete the courses and they didn’t have this extra time during the typical workday.Recently expanded beyond compliance topics to include how the employee can create appropriate performance objectives as part of their performance management.
  • Mandatory compliance training to include the following: data privacy, imports and exports, and financial regulations.While all content is created in 5-15 minutes chunks, all pages within the mobile content are bookmarked using SCORM so they can always pick up where they left off.
  • -With more than 5,000 completions (updated from 1,000 in 2009), overall user satisfaction ratings averaged 4.4 on a 5.0 scale for their mobile content compared to a 4.0 learner satisfaction for their traditional e-learning courses.-You have to wonder that if the learner’s satisfaction is influenced by the convenience factor. There are more interruptions in the workplace when trying to take training. A recent NY Times article cited a 2005 study, “No Task Left Behind? Examining the Nature of Fragmented Work,” found that people were interrupted and moved from one project to another about every 11 minutes. And each time, it took about 25 minutes to circle back to that same project. Mobile learning has the advantage of having access to the learner during times when they are less frequently interrupted than in the workplace.
  • -Since the two previous use cases are using the Intuition Mobile SCORM Player, I have provided some additional information about this solution and background about why they decided to support SCORM:Have also developed extensive integrations with published content such as ToolBook.
  • Recently started to provide a mLearning solution targeted to provide just–in–time learning as part of their total elearning solution.
  • -The Web-based (Mobile Browser) App was implemented using JavaScript since this one is the most ubiquitous technologies supported in mobile browsers.-Had to make changes to their SCORM implementation because of incompatibility for pop up windows on mobile devices.-Discovered the setTimeOut() JavaScript method isn’t supported by some browsers (such a opera mini ) and this method was commonly used in conjunction with recording time spent in a SCO..
  • -Accomplishes synchronization of learning data using JavaScript extension using the BlackBerry Widget SDK.
  • -A majority of their customers fall into the following categories: compliance, post sales product support, professional development, and healthcare.
  • - With more recent advances being made by the mobile browser their approach is building Web-based (Mobile Browser) Apps, and foresee this as a good approach because legacy devices won’t be updated. - The number of legacy mobile devices will continue to decrease while newer devices will continue to increase.KISS allows them not to worry about creating multiple apps for multiple platforms (costly)Agile approach is great for performance support!
  • Large percentage of existing customers have flash-based SCORM content being delivered through their traditional LMS and desktop browser that they would like have available on mobile devices.
  • Delivers formal and informal learning with online courses and assessments to major smart phones. Supports multiple languages and multiple audiences, and with the ability to manage and brand mobile portals. Detailed ad-hoc Reporting
  • Have several clients interested in their SCORM solution on mobile devices.New market of mobile LMS Apps and mobile SCORM content is on the rise.
  • -Proved that the SCORM content prototype successfully launches and tracks using the SCORM Cloud and Moodle implementation on Safari for iPhone.-WordPress and FaceBook already have mobile versions of their applications widely available on all devices
  •  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- POLL QUESTION #4: Where would you take advantage of mLearning if given the opportunity? During business travelWhile commuting to workAt homeIn the officeWhile using social media tools (e.g. FaceBook)---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
  • So far I’ve covered each of the use cases and provided the notable findings. Next, I will cover some of the technical challenges that were common across these use cases. Not all of these were specific to every single use case, but these were the common ones that were reported by at least half of the use cases.
  • -So for, we have only heard of Articulate,ToolBook and Trivantis as tools that are working to support Mobile SCORM content. We will be looking at various mobile content authoring tools more closely in upcoming months.
  • - A formal learning experience is linear, has assessment based on learning objectives and meant to be a one-time learning or structured experience.- Performance support can simply be a chunk of information needed to help the individual do a job or task. If designing performance support material, it should be delivered as pure web content. Performance support content is more dynamic and needs to be able to be updated in real-time and quickly. The implication from a technical standpoint is that you don’t want performance-support content to be downloaded and become stale. If that content is not fresh from a performance-support perspective then people won’t come back to it. Identify the target device(s) and potential OS version(s) (In the use case with Merrill Lynch it was challenging because of support for older BlackBerry devices, but was somewhat easier because they identified the device in the beginning).Should we develop a Web-based (mobile browser) App? or Native App for each device? Or both? There are several pros and cons to each approach and the decision should be driven by well-defined business requirements or the project can suffer significantly from scope creep.Creating a Native App requires that you build/develop a unique instance of your Mobile SCORM solution for each mobile platform. - This can be very costly as the learning curve for a new SDK is steep when compared to developing for a Web-based (mobile browser) App that leverages HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.However, Native Apps on newer device platforms such as Android and iPhone provide more robust interactivity than what is generally available when creating a Web-based (mobile browser) App.Who will provide support for your mobile learning initiative? Do you need a help desk?Dependency outside of your normal IT infrastructure (Which course? Problem with e-learning course or mobile course? More people might be needed to support the mLearning initiative depending upon its size.)
  • -When designing for smaller devices, determine the smallest screen area you are going to support. -Accenture used a trick to first develop content on 4 x 6 cards to get an understanding of their screen space limitations, and then created word templates with these dimensions to start creating the content.  
  • - Mention that there are still 7 pending interviews and please contact me if you have a use case to share

Scorm Implementation Strategies for Mobile Scorm Implementation Strategies for Mobile Presentation Transcript