To have a solid grasp of the concept of a SCORM content package, it is appropriate to consider and examine the root word which is SCORM. SCORM is an acronym that stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model. It is an international technical specification for E-courses and it works in conjunction with a standard Learning Management system. Once an E-course is SCORM compliant (which is the industry’s topmost standard) then such a course can be uploaded to a variety of Learning Management systems with minimal or no tweaking.
What is a SCORM Content Package?
A SCORM content package is a collection of specific contents that comply with the SCORM metric in a ZIP file for uploading or launching to any Learning Management System of choice. It is also known as a Package Interchange File (PIF) possessing all the prerequisite data that would be uploaded to a Learning Management system upon activation for the use of learners or customers in general. It can also be called a SCORM course or moodle.
- How do we distinguish a SCORM content package from other packages?
- What is the X factor that makes it unique for easy recognition?
- Are these features apparent or are they not easily visible?
- Does a SCORM content package share similarities with other packages of the sort?
- Content package? Are there special tools to be deployed or used? Can human intervention cut it?
- Is there an option where I code my way through it?
All these questions and more would have saturated your mind since SCORM is a pretty big thing and you do not want to mess it up by not following appropriate procedures. Do you remember what they said about devouring an elephant? You have to consume it in bits to relish the experience. Haste in any manner or form concerning the procedural aspects of SCORM portends doom as the procedures are independently necessary and jointly sufficient. The absence of one or more of these procedures negates the others.
Characteristics of a SCORM Package
The contents which every SCORM package should possess include:
1. XML Manifest file: The XML file describes the package and the contents embedded in it. Once the content has been represented in XML, it is saved into a file called “imsmanifest.xml”. The manifest file must always exist at the root of the content. The XML file in the same vein must consist of the following sub-elements unique identifier, the minimal metadata attempting a description of the package (the good thing about this being its ability to be applied to the course as a whole or to even individual resources and files to enhance their reusability), the SCORM version or type which can either be the first invention which is the 1.2 or 2004 with its improved versions denoted by their various versions with the parameter of editions( 2nd, 3rd, and 4th), resource definitions and organization of learning activities. Organizations simply refer to logically grouping resources into a hierarchical structure for order.
2. Resource files: These are essential files that make up part of the course or learning activities and they are of great importance to the overall course content or material.
3. Schema/definition (XSD and DTD) files that refer to the manifest file.
How to Create a SCORM Content Package?
Technology has simplified the entire creation or innovation process. Before the advent of authoring tools, only professionals could create or fashion SCORM content. You must be tech-savvy or have a considerable level of knowledge on the workings of SCORM packages before you could create one.
This process before the introduction of authoring software was considered technical and confusing as developers and programmers had to manually build the SCORM package from several HTML pages, write the code that binds the course to the LMS, and then put everything into a ZIP archive.
The reverse is the case recently as everyone has the luxury to create SCORM content packages without any strong grasp on the intricate elements of coding, programming, or software development. With an excellent authoring tool, you can now interact with your learning management system and all your training/learning materials can be gathered into a SCORM content package. The only role you are often saddled with is instructional design or uploading the package to the Learning Management System.
If you are considering creating a SCORM content package without authoring tools these are steps that should be taken:
1. Collect and accumulate necessary materials or contents to be uploaded: Doing this seems easy on the surface until the actual work commences. You would have to sift through a truckload of materials to select the ones that would be uploaded to your assigned platform. This involves videos, texts, and images. Once this step is completed everything else falls in line.
2. Create an HTML version of your course: A commonly known specification of SCORM is that your content must be displayable on a web page of web pages if you are making use of a Learning management system. Before you can create a SCORM content package your course needs to be organized into a series of HTML pages just like a website. You also have to ensure that the media uploaded can be uploaded to the platform.
This is quite a technical method because it requires a decent level of tech skills to pull it off. One of the ways is to structure your course in google docs and use the File| Download| Webpage option to download the HTML version of the course.
3. Add the SCORM files necessary for the LMS: In this phase, you would need to create a lot of files that would describe your course using SCORM recognized terminology and put them in a ZIP package alongside the HTML content that was created in the previous step.
4. Package the results into a ZIP: You should add your HTML and SCORM files to a ZIP archive. After doing this to test the compatibility of the contents uploaded to the platform you should do a test- run to see if the platform would process the package.
A SCORM package is a very vital part of the SCORM concept and the entire Learning management system. The usefulness of a SCORM content package to E-learning can’t be sidelined as this content communicates with the LMS to carry out certain commands to ensure the smooth running of the the- platform.
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