Chris’s Scorm work

October 31, 2007


Chris’s OpenLearn files he had to convert into being Schorm compliant
Originally uploaded by openlearn2007

Chris is up – was worried he didn’t have any ppt … but he just plugged on the projector – he said that was a relief that was working – it is a relief for me as well – its so much easier to blog when there are slides.

He is warning that some aspects of the presentation might get too technical – so he is giving is a public health warning.

ALPE project (http://adenu.ia.uned.es/alpe/) is a European project based in Spain dealing with accessibility … its project aims to offer an accessible VLE system and to spread the word about inclusion in e-learning.

ALPE services:
1) Accessible learning
2) Content enhancement
3) Content evaluation (evaluate content by using a checklist and the best practices)
4) Consultancy and training (connects to their business partners – I think this might be Indra)

.lrn (http://dotlrn.org/) is the VLE being used in this Spanish university which is similar to Moodle.

SCORM means Sharable Content Object Reference Model and from my searching on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCORM) – “is a collection of standards and specifications for web-based e-learning.”

Questions that the consortium are asking:
1) How can we test our accessible VLE? – the answer to do this is that we need some learning materials to test this.
2) Where can we get some accessible SCORM compliant learning material from? – he wasn’t certain
3) But redid the question to say “Where can he get some learning material” – and this he thought he could do through OpenLearn
4) How do we convert OpenLearn content to SCORM? – he had no idea but decided to try something out and develop a process

His OpenLearn content had to be placed into XML (which he says he hates because of all the brackets). He had to modify the style sheets for look and feel and also add the missing descriptions for images. Then modify how the pages are generated (something to do with XSLT – extensible stylesheet language transformations) and then generate new pages (guess with the style sheets you can do this?) and then he needed to grab the descriptions, tags etc through extracting the metadata.

He is now showing a slide of the learning space of a course TL180 (I think) – he was worried about worms and Trojans … this course was quite short and allowed to project the explore what it needs. The OpenLearn content is just in the end a bunch of files. His key to figuring how to do this is through the “How to” tips from a pdf file.

He was pleasantly surprised how the openlearn content was structured. After making modifications and using the tips, a bunch of html files were able to be created. SCORM has its own page navigation and the page numbers had to be stripped off since it has its own navigation system.

He had to combine all these html files, and he had to use a tool call reload (?) to help him combine the content. To make the navigational structure he had to drag in each page by hand. So, he had to mess about with the process (tinkering anyone?) ….

The interesting part … here comes the results from the ALPE project … he is showing us a slide what the packaged SCORM materials looked like after using the OpenLearn content. It’s ready to start trials to look to see what problems the users would have (oh I thought he already did the trials the results are just the finished combined materials – which is a lot of hard work dealing with XML etc. – but it’s a lot more fun to see the end-users take on it).

Accessibility enhancements he did:
1) strengthened use of semantic mark-up – e.g. the bold tag is a visual thing and it becomes tag as emphasized and thus can be understood by the end-users (is he talking about visually impaired people in this context?)
2) Added small number of diagram descriptions – e.g. describing what the diagrams are and what they look like – he said this is hard work
3) Ensured description pop ups were formatted correctly
4) Adjusted some of the Javascript actions

Challenges he had to overcome whilst making these materials SCORM compliant
1) Understanding the structure of the material (e.g. the XML)
2) Understanding conversion process
3) Editing of XSLT transforms
4) Fiddly to generate pages
5) Editing of existing material
6) Restructuring or repurposing the materials

His further work in this would be:
1) Structured evaluation of the environment (I would like to see the results of this and actually how he plan to go about doing this)
2) Internal evaluating of a selected materials
3) Ideally: everything should be automated (the conversion I think he is talking about)
4) Resulting HTML could be simpler
5) Material can be used … oops missed it
Question time:

Daisy is asking about dynamic content … and Chris is saying it has primarily been restricted to static content …

I asked how he intended to evaluate it and he said they were going to look at navigation and the ability for students to post in other webpages etc. – I was hoping to get some information on the experimental design etc. and think-aloud strategies – but that is my quantitative empirical background coming into play here.

Some guy: How long it took to convert the materials

Chris said it took him 2 weeks to actually the answer the process and he has a batch file programme and he could convert an OpenLearn course in about 2 hrs … and he hesitantly says he might be willing to share this programme.

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