As the development of eLearning has evolved, standards have been created to support these methods. A standard is a group of recommendations developed and adhered to by a group of representative users. The emergence of these standards is due to several factors including: the strong growth of eLearning, the wide range of available content on the internet, the multinational/multilingual implications, and the various types of training programs now available.
This content used in conjunction remote training programs adheres to one or several standards. So, what are the main standards and what are their specific functions?
AICC (Aviation Industry CBT Committee): norms pertaining to US Civil Aviation standards. These guidelines allow for the standardization of communication between training program content and eLearning platforms.
SCORM: These also regulate communications between content and eLearning platforms. This set of norms is more fluid and adaptable for future usage than AICC norms.
TinCan or xAPI: The limitations of SCORM led to the creation of TinCan or xAPI (API Experience) which refers to a new way to handle information. Its make-up was broadened to allow for the easy and efficient integration of new and future technologies.
LOM (Learning Object Metadata): is an XML encoded model as defined by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. This model is an assortment of metadata associated to a piece of eLearning content. This metadata is then regrouped across a series of categories (general characteristics, life cycle, pedagogical attributes or even its ownership rights).
QTI (Question and Test Interoperability): is a standard format for the representation of assessment content developed by IMS GLC. It is an XML data model that defines the structure of questions, responses and results from an evaluation process.
IMS (Instructional Management Systems): Specifications from the IMS Global Learning Consortium. These specifications are representation models that can be adapted to SCORM and AICC norm platforms.
LMS (Learning Management System): A management system for training programs procedures or, in other words: eLearning platforms.
LCMS (Learning Content Management System): Identical to LMS only with management functionality for training program content.
In closing, while this list may not be exhaustive, it is important to remember that the main objectives of eLearning norms are to standardize the indexing of diverse types of content, to allow for the sharing of learning content across different environments, to assure the inter-functionality of content with the various eLearning platforms, and to allow the stacking of “bricks” or basic training modules to create customized training solutions.
There is no denying that norms allow for the streamlining of costs of training while permitting for knowledge to be shared rapidly if not instantaneously regardless of a company’s personnel or geographical location.
Caroline Irrmann, web editor