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SCORM implementation in elearning course


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Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content. I was part of this project, it was the first project in India, where we succesfully implemented SCORM standards. This paper got published in National Level elearning ELELTECH 2005 conducted by C-DAC hyderabad. Rajesh R. Nair []

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SCORM implementation in elearning course

  1. 1. Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content Rajshekhar AP (refer pg 118) Abstract C-DAC Hyderabad Content is the king in the context of any form of learning; with no exception to e-learning. G.Radha (refer pg 118) In this paper we address various issues C-DAC Hyderabad related to content development and offering in e-learning mode. Various issues related Dr.Sarat Chandra Babu (refer pg 127) with content are Reusability, Accessibility, C-DAC Hyderabad Interoperability and Durability. Implementation of content standards during the content development process would result in reducing the content related issues. There are various worldwide standards available among which Sharable Content Object reference Model (SCORM) has gained wide acceptance. The authors are involved in developing the content for Cyber Security course to offer in e-learning mode. This paper presents a specific case study in developing content to be offered in the e- learing mode for “Cyber Security” course. Rajesh R. Nair This course is intended to be offered for C-DAC Hyderabad network system administrators, Information Security officers and general users. This Rajesh Ravindra Nair is working as a Multimedia paper describes the implementation of Developer in C-DAC Hyderabad. He completed SCORM standards in developing the content M.Sc in Mathematics in 2001 from MDS Univ which includes generating metadata, content Ajmer and Diploma in Advanced Computer Arts aggregation and content packaging. The in 2003 from National Multimedia Resource authors gained experience using ADL’s tools Centre (C-DAC) Pune. Presently he is working in for SCORM conformance test. e-learning project. His areas of interest are Graphic Designing, 3D modeling, 2D animation and other multimedia related areas. 1. Introduction At present, in the world of distance education e-learning is in the forefront. As in any form of education, content is the crux in e-learning too. Content development is a systematic approach to gather, analyze, design and interpret the information for a particular topic in a specified manner. Since the content evolves over time, maintainability of the content has to be considered. This allows easy management of the content. Among other issues central to the content development, portability and interoperability take the spotlight. The solution for this problem is standardization of the content development process. The process of standardization wraps all other ELELTECH INDIA 2005 138
  2. 2. Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content processes involved in the development of adapted and integrated with one another to content to address the above said issues. form a more complete and easier-to- implement model. SCORM has implemented the Learning Object Metadata (LOM) from Standards impose certain order, providing IEEE standards and content packaging more uniform and precise access and specifications from IMS. SCORM has manipulation to e-learning resources and become widely accepted e-Learning data. Designers and developers of on-line standard in content development and most learning materials have a variety of software of the vendors are providing support in their tools at their disposal for creating learning products to test SCORM compliant content. content. These tools range from It defines a Web based learning Content presentation software packages to more Aggregation Model and a Runtime complex authoring environments. They are Environment for learning objects. Content very useful by giving the opportunity to the Aggregation Model Content Aggregation developers to create learning resources that Model (CAM) provides means to identify and might otherwise require extensive describe the learning content. Asset and programming skills. Unfortunately, a number Sharable Content Object (SCO) are the of software tools available from a wide components of the content as defined under variety of vendors produce instructional CAM. Asset is an electronic representation materials that do not share a common of media, text, images, sound, web pages, mechanism for finding and using the assessment objects or other pieces of data resources. In addition to this, the content that can be delivered to a Web client. A developed for one Learning Management SCO represents a collection of one or more System (LMS) may or may not be launched Assets that include a launching mechanism by another LMS. So there is need for through SCORM Run-Time environment standards to define the framework for e- (RTE) to communicate with LMS. A SCO learning content. So standards are desirable represents the lowest level granular learning for interoperability, convenience, flexibility, resource that can be tracked by an LMS and efficiency in the design, delivery and using the RTE. Asset and SCO are management of the learning content. associated with metadata to identify and describe the content and to make them reusable. 2. Content development Standards and SCORM The SCORM Content Aggregation Model further defines how learning content can be There are number of organizations working aggregated into a course or portion of a to develop specifications and standards course. Content Organizations provides such as IMS, ADL, ARIADNE, IEEE, ISO etc different paths of learning by aggregating to provide framework for e-learning different SCOs. Content packaging provides architectures, to facilitate interoperability, a standardized way to exchange SCOs content management, Learning Object Meta between different systems or tools. Content data, course sequencing, content packaging Packaging also defines the structure and the etc. One of the widely accepted content intended behavior of content organizations. development standards is Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) defined 3. Run-Time Environment by Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative. The purpose of the SCORM Run-time SCORM is a suite of technical standards Environment is to provide a means for that enable e-learning environments to find, interoperability between SCORM content import, share, reuse, and export learning packages and LMS. A requirement of the content in a standardized way. SCORM SCORM is that learning content should be provides adilities such as content interoperable across multiple LMSs Reusability, Accessibility, Interoperability, regardless of the tools used to create the and Durability. SCORM references content. specifications, standards and guidelines For this to be possible, there must be a developed by other organizations and common way to launch learning content, to ELELTECH INDIA 2005 139
  3. 3. Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content communicate with an LMS and a predefined activities of this course development include language or vocabulary forming the basis of formulation of course syllabus based on the communication. These three aspects of SCORM standards, Identification of SCOs, the RTE are Launch, Application Program Identification of metadata specific to the Interface (API) and Data Model. The Launch course, defining a learning path for content mechanism defines a common way for delivery and evaluation methodology. LMSs to start learning content. The communication protocols are standardized 4.2 Design of Course Syllabus through the use of a common API. The API is the communication mechanism for The syllabus of the course was designed in informing the LMS of the state of the consultation with domain experts. The learning content such as initialized, finished structure of the course is also important as it or in an error condition. Also the getting and defines the learning paths for different target setting data (e.g., score, time limits, etc.) audience. Design of course syllabus is the between the LMS and the SCO is achieved basis for identifying the SCOs. through the APIs. A Data Model defines elements that both the LMS and SCO are 4.3 Identifying the SCO expected to “know” about such as the status of the learning content. A SCO can contain a single learning object or a collection of learning objects, tests, Understanding the importance of standards scenarios etc. Additional aspect of SCO conformance in a e-learning course, we that one has to keep in mind while designing decided to implement SCORM in the Cyber it is, a SCO must be standalone. This Security course. restricts a SCO from having any dependencies with other SCOs. The contents of Cyber Security is structured 4. Design and development of an in a hierarchical fashion. Unit is at the e-Learning course with SCORM highest level of this hierarchy and lesson at specifications the lowest level. In this hierarchy a lesson by itself can provide learning experience to the To develop a course that follows the user. So we have identified lesson as a specifications of SCORM, we need to SCO as it forms the most granular object implement the process to perform all the that can be tracked and delivered by an steps involved. The process is discussed LMS. The structure of a unit is shown here. here. 4.4 Course: Cyber Security 4.1 Development of Cyber Security Course confirming to SCORM Unit – 2: Network Security Module-1: Access Control Systems and We have developed course content for Methodologies Cyber Security, which is intended for Lesson-1:Identification and System administrators and Information Authentication Techniques security officers. This course has a Lesson-2:Various Identification and requirement of being offered through e- Authentication Techniques learning mode. In view of delivery of the Lesson-3: Access Control Issues course in e-learning mode, we took an approach to implement the SCORM Module-2: Virtual Private Network standards to make it interoperable with Lesson-1: Introduction to VPN LMSs. This activity required a study to Lesson-2: Cryptography for VPNs understand SCORM in depth, chalking out a Lesson-3: Layer-3 IP VPNs process to implement it specific to the Lesson-4: Securing Application course and meeting the course objectives at Streams the same time. After thorough study of Lesson-5: IPSec VPN Design & SCORM, we have come out with a process Deployment and VPN Case Study for implementing it in the course. The major ELELTECH INDIA 2005 140
  4. 4. Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content 10. lifecycle entity Module-3: Intrusion Detection Systems 11. lifecycle date and Vulnerability Assessment systems Lesson-1: Overview of IDS 12. metametadata identifier entry Lesson-2:IDS Types (Host Based 13. metametadata identifier catalog IDS & Network Based IDS) 14. technical format Lesson-3: Monitoring, Logging, 15. technical size responding to an Attack & 16. technical location Vulnerability Assessment 17. technical requirement orcomposite type Lesson-4: Intrusion Prevention OS Systems 18. technicalrequirement orcompositetypebrowser 19. technical otherplatformrequirements Module-4: Firewalls Lesson-1: Overview of Firewall 20. technical duration Lesson-2: Types of firewalls 21. educational interactivitytype (Packet Filtering, Application 22. educational learingresourcetype Gateways & Stateful Inspection) 23. educational intendedenduserrole Lesson-3: De Militarised Zones & 24. educational difficulty Firewall Features 25. educational typicallearningtime duration 26. rights cost Module-5: Server Management Lesson-1: User Management & 27. rights copyright and otherrestrictions Setting up User Privileges 28. rights description Lesson-2: DNS Security & Load Balancing 4.6 Naming and storing the Files: Module-6: Telecommunications & Internet Security When content development is being done, Lesson-1: Fax Security many people would handle the content. So it Lesson-2: Security Risk Analysis is always better to have a Content for voice-over-Internet Repository. Along with it some naming Lesson-3: Next Generation conventions have to be followed. Networks For example, presentation material in Lesson-4:Voice-over-packet service Lesson1 of Topic1 of Module1 and Unit1 architectures, standards & could be given the name as emerging products, which address Unit1_Module1_Topic1_Lesson1.ppt. It is key security issues important to keep in mind that underscores should be used as separator as some 4.5 Identifying the metadata attributes operating systems may not be able to The metadata forms the basis of SCORM. identify a filename with blank spaces or any The mandatory metadata attributes specified other delimiters as separators. Also the by SCORM and a subset of optional content should be stored in a central metadata attributes specific to the course repository with the directory structure were considered. The list of the metadata following the same naming convention. attributes for a SCO i.e Basics of Communication Systems & Issues in 4.7 Metadata Repository Computer Networking are 1. general identifier The SCORM implementation guide specifies 2. general identifier entry creation of a central repository for the 3. general identifier catalog content metadata. We have developed a 4. general title central repository for the metadata using MS 5. general description Access. The metadata of all the SCOs are 6. general keyword entered into this repository. The metadata 7. lifecycle version repository schema is shown in fig.2 8. lifecycle status 9. lifecycle role ELELTECH INDIA 2005 141
  5. 5. Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content Figure 2 Metadata repository schema entry of all the metadata values and 4.8 Generating the Metadata generates an XML file for the inputs given. For the purpose of generating the metadata, Below is the snapshot of the interface a web-based application has been developed for generating metadata in XML developed. It provides the GUI to facilitate format. Figure 3 Metadata Generator for SCO metadata ELELTECH INDIA 2005 142
  6. 6. Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content functions loadPage(), unloadPage() 4.9 Packaging the Content: provided in SCOFunctions.js file. Once metadata has been generated, the The next step in this process is sequencing SCO has to interact with the LMS so that it and packaging the content. Default can be launched by the LMS. For this, each sequencing as per the course structure was SCO must be embedded with JavaScript defined before packaging the course functions that would communicate with the content. Using the Reload Editor the LMS. Each Lesson of Cyber Security contents were arranged into organizations Content, has been embedded with the and these organizations have been JavaScript functions that are provided by packaged as a zip file. A package descriptor ADL. There are two JavaScript files (imsmanifest.xml) has been created by the available for this purpose- SCOFunctions.js Reload Editor for this zipped content. The and APIWrapper.js. We have made the content organization created using Reload content launchable by embedding the editor for unit 2 is shown in Fig.4. Figure 4 content organizations of Cyber Security Course Contents ELELTECH INDIA 2005 143
  7. 7. Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content Metadata Generator for all the SCOs and 4.9 Validating the SCO metadata and the the package descriptor generated by Reload Package Descriptor using ADL Test Suite Editor after packaging the content have ADL has provided a test suite using which passed the ADL SCORM conformance the SCO metadata and Package descriptor tests. can be validated. In this cyber security course, the SCO metadata generated by the Figure 5 Conformance Test Suite ELELTECH INDIA 2005 144
  8. 8. Experiences of SCORM Implementation Process in Cyber Security Course Content To carry out conformance test, ADL also provides a sample RTE that can deliver a ml content package if the package is SCORM conforming. The Cyber Security content s/presentations/techlearnisd2002/techlearnis package was imported successfully and d2002.pdf delivered in the Sample RTE. We have also ported this course content onto Atutor which is a open source e- learning tool. The RTE implementation of Atutor has delivered the course package according to the default sequence provided in the imsmanifest file. Conclusion Developing online courses using SCOs has a lot of future potential. This provides the ability to access a repository for anytime, anywhere and reusable learning content. At the same time we should be conscious about the issues related with the implementation. They are, identifying SCO, which can be standalone and reused and repurposed in different contexts. Next is the selection of metadata specific to the course. Development or using the existing tools for metadata repository and learning content repository decide the ease of maintaining the course. Based on our design team experiences, we believe these efforts are possible for implementing SCORM standards in e-learning course content development. References ts/developersguide/ ndex.jsp ologies/index.html e.asp ls/refguide/mms01.htm ELELTECH INDIA 2005 145