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7 Key Questions to Ask Your LMS Vendor about SCORM

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Hey – this is Susan from Rustici Software. And we’re talking about RFPs for learning management systems today. Specifically, I’ve got the seven most important questions you need to ask if you’re planning to include SCORM as a requirement in your RFP. We’re going to skip the most important question – why you want SCORM in the first place. That’s a whole ‘nother video. We’re going to start with the assumption that you actually do want and need to have SCORM included in your LMS, so the issue remains of how to get it in there in a way that allows you to get the most out of it. Now, at Rustici Software, we do SCORM and we do … SCORM. It’s all we do. As a result, we’ve seen it done well and we’ve seen it done quite … can I say badly? Horribly? Hair-pullingly? It's one thing to say you're SCORM conformant or compatible; it's quite another thing to actually be conformant or compatible. As a result, we hear a lot of bad things about SCORM. But we know it’s possible for you to get what you need and not have it be a complete headache. If you’re out to have SCORM in your LMS, these are the seven things we recommend you ask your LMS vendor before signing on the dotted line. (We actually have more than 27 of them but we didn't want to include them all in this video. So if you're interested in a more complete discussion, visit our website to get the paper with the full discussion with all the questions. So ... seven questions. Currently, there are five versions of SCORM. 1.1, 1.2 and then within 2004, a second, third and fourth edition. The most widely adopted right now is 1.2 so at a minimum, you're going to want them to support that. SCORM 2004 adds a lot of great functionality but it is not quite commonly adopted ... yet. So you might want to keep that in mind. Certification ensures that a system meets the letter of the specification not necessarily your functional needs. But certification not necessarily the most important thing. If they aren't certified, you can ask them to ensure their claim of SCORM conformance is legitimate by showing you their test suite logs. ADL produces a conformance test suite that runs all of the same tests that a certification auditor would do. Ask to see those logs. and they're going to tell you whether or not they're SCORM conformant whether or not they've gone through the certification process. BIG NOTE HERE: If they cannot pass the full set of conformance tests, they are not - most definitely NOT - SCORM conformant. They might be SCORM-ish SCORM-y kinda SCORM-like but they are not SCORM conformant. And implementations like that are the most dangerous. We're talking unending compatibility problems for you. And tons of headaches for us because people start complaining about SCORM. If there's anything you're going to get out of this video, please, please, please, ask the vendor, demand that the vendor show you some kind of proof that they are SCORM conformant. You're going to want to get in and play with the LMS a bit and look for several different things. LIke how many windows does the LMS open for the user? Does it provide progress and status reports? Does it have an easy to use and navigate course menu? Things of that nature that are going to impact the experience for your learners. You want to make sure the system does more than just mark things as completed. You want it to put data where you expect it to go and use it the way you expect it to be used. SCORM can provide a wealth of information about what a learner does in the course but it's up to the LMS to keep the data and use it. You want to know what kind of reports there are how data is tracked, what the learner is going to see about that information at a minimum. A sandbox is wonderful for playing and testing content but it's not that useful if the sandbox does not precisely replicate your production environment. These can create huge support headaches and are notorious for causing compatibility problems. A lot of it stems from a misunderstanding about what SCORM requires. SCORM requires JavaScript not Java. And that's seven questions! I hope this gives you a good start on what to ask your LMS vendor to ensure you get a SCORM implementation that brings you joy rather than headaches. If you have any questions about anything I've mentioned or SCORM in general, please drop by our website at and ask us. We like questions! So 'til next time, I'm Susan with Rustici Software. Where we make SCORM easy.

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 5 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Rustici Software
Director: Susan Lewis
Views: 146
Posted by: rusticisoftware on Oct 30, 2009

If you're sending out an RFP for a learning management system, you'll need more than just a checkbox asking if they have SCORM. Here are the seven most important (we have at least 27 total!) questions you need to ask.

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