SCORM 1.2 Certification in Moodle

Roberto Pinna did some great groundwork setting the SCORM module up, but unfortunately ran out of time to devote to it, and since then, SCORM in Moodle had really taken a dive! :-( – it’s became unreliable, there was a mounting list of bugs, and forum posts sitting with no response. Piers Harding and I took up the challenge to tackle the “Beast” and see if we could make it a bit more reliable, and compliant!

The first task of cleaning out the Moodle Tracker has been a mammoth one, sifting through a range of duplicates/bad SCORM packages, and red herrings! We’ve finally got the tracker into a manageable state (32 issues as of the time I write this post!)

Thanks to Piers hard work getting the ADL Self-Test Suite working – Moodle 1.9.3 and Moodle 1.8.7 both pass all tests in the test suite! – we’re hoping to get “Official Certification” at some point! – I hope we get a fancy logo to display somewhere on the site! :-)

One of our constant battles at the moment is the number of people requesting help in the forums with older versions of Moodle – with the number of bugs fixed in Moodle 1.9.3 and 1.8.7 it’s really hard to gauge whether the person is referring to an old bug, or an issue with their SCORM object! – I’ll say it here again! – If you’re using SCORM, please upgrade to 1.9.3 or 1.8.7 before posting your request for help! – it will certainly help us focus on the work instead of re-hashing old issues!

There’s still a lot of outstanding work on SCORM that we’d like to get to! – Top of my list are:
MDL-16651 – ability to delete SCORM responses
MDL-12588 – Restrict SCORM module availability via time/date duration
These 2 should be really easy to implement, and I’m surprised they haven’t been in the Moodle Tracker untill recently.

Others that I’d like to see good solutions on are:
MDL-17115 – In 1.9.3 we’ve added a small countdown to the page to give a visual indication of a delay that has always been there! – It’s annoying a lot of people as they weren’t aware that the delay was being forced in the first place, and now we are displaying the countdown, the time it’s taking the SCORM object to load is much more visible. This delay is there to wait for the browser to load all the JavaScript API stuff before trying to call the SCORM object. This really needs to be done in a much cleverer way! – I’d like to see an extra check added to the time delay that somehow checks to see if the JavaScript API has loaded and redirects the user as soon as it finds the API. I think there could be a range of different ways of achieving this…if anyone has some good solid Ideas, I’d love to hear them!

The other thing that annoys me a lot is the reporting or lack of reporting for SCORM in Moodle – it’s clunky, and isn’t easy to get the information that everyone wants. There are a range of bugs in the Moodle Tracker related to reporting – I’d love to see some good examples on how reporting is managed in other LMS – let me know if you’ve got screenshots/etc that we can base some work on!

A lot of the grading/reporting issues people are having are related to settings that are being set incorrectly in their SCORM authoring tool. Piers has been working on a patch for Moodle 2.0 (not 1.9 sorry!) – that allows a teacher to force a range of settings even if set incorrectly in the SCORM package – see MDL-11501 for the details on this.

AICC is supported in the SCORM module, however there are still a lot of bugs in 1.9 – we’ve pushed these into Moodle 2.0, but haven’t had the time to test them properly in 1.9 – after talking with a few people this week, I might be interested in patching this for 1.9.4 – if anyone has any funding they could put towards this, make sure you let me know! – Also – let me know if getting AICC Certification would be useful – there don’t seem to be that many people using AICC in the forums…although that could be due to the number of AICC related bugs in 1.9!

I couldn’t finish this post without “mentioning” SCORM 2004…. this is still a way off for us, the common statement is “some of it’s there, but it’s missing sequencing and navigation”. I don’t expect we’d get this done before Moodle 2.0 release, It’s hard to balance whether time should be spent on the SCORM 2004 stuff, or the other structural/scalability issues. My feeling is that we need a good base to build the 2004 stuff into, and at the moment, the base is stronger than it was, but it still needs improvement! We still need help with managing the large number of forum posts – if there’s anything posted which you have experience with (or you’ve seen previous posts with similar info) it would be great for you to chime in and share you experience!

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3 Responses to “SCORM 1.2 Certification in Moodle”

  1. Tim Martin says:

    I spent a fair amount of time on your post over the last few days. It has, in part, gotten us thinking about how Moodle and our SCORM Engine might play together. I’ve posted a message in which I quote you (and congratulate you) on your SCORM 1.2 conformance and thoughts on SCORM 2004. I’d love for you and others to offer your thoughts on what might be a path forward for some with regard to Moodle and SCORM 2004…

    http://www.scorm.com/scormblog/2008/11/challenging-problems.aspx

    Tim

  2. dan says:

    Thanks Tim – interesting post! …. now we just have to convince you to make your engine open source ;-)

  3. [...] community have put some real effort into moving the platform toward SCORM 1.2 certification. As Dan Marsden mentions, the most recent versions of Moodle can pass the test suite, and they’re moving [...]