SCORM

When will Moodle become FULLY SCORM and/or Tin Canconformant?

 
 
Picture of Brian W
When will Moodle become FULLY SCORM and/or Tin Canconformant?
 

(I'm sorry if this question has already been asked but I looked and couldn't find the answer.)

I know there are various SCORM add-ons available for Moodle. But is it safe to assume that at some point soon Moodle will fully conform to SCORM standards?  I understand that Tin Can may supercede SCORM in some way so maybe my question is a bit off base.

Bottom line: I need all learning content to be stored as XML so it is parsable into a database at a very granular level. Moodle would need to be extremely XML friendly for me to use it.

Thx.

 
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Picture of Dan Marsden
Re: When will Moodle become FULLY SCORM and/or Tin Canconformant?
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The only way to get a guaranteed time-frame for "Completion" would be for someone to fund the time for a senior Moodle Developer to do the work. We've had a small amount of funding that has allowed me to look at the patch for Tin can Jamie wrote in MDL-35433 and I've tidied it up a lot and renamed a few parts here:
https://github.com/danmarsden/moodle/compare/moodle:master...master_MDL-35433

This still needs some further thought - I'm still on the fence about the best way to implement it in core. 

We have given up on SCORM 2004 (but still support SCORM 1.2 and AICC - see my blog/other posts in the forums about this)

The SCORM module is maintained by volunteers like me - occasionally people pay for my time to fix something in SCORM that is annoying them (in my day job I work for the NZ Moodle Partner Catalyst IT) - and I spend a lot of time outside work as a volunteer improving SCORM support and have spent a lot of time looking at Tin Can.

Moodle provides fully compliant support for SCORM 1.2 and AICC but not SCORM 2004 or Tin Can.

Bottom line... if you need full SCORM or Tin Can compliant support from an LMS - Moodle doesn't currently provide it in core so you have the following options:

* Pay for Rustici's commercial plugin (which supports SCORM and Tin Can better than Moodle core) and use it with your Moodle site.

* Use your own Learning Record store (Learning Locker, Rustici, ADL have open source options and there are many other commercial options)
Then use the 3rd party plugin for Moodle that allows you to play tin can content with the external LRS

* Play with the alpha code I linked above.

* Find a big chunk of funding to pay for someones time to further develop tin can for Moodle.

* Use another LMS that supports SCORM or Tin Can better.

Good luck!

 
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Picture of John D. Black
Re: When will Moodle become FULLY SCORM and/or Tin Canconformant?
 

I keep wondering if SCORM/Tin Can/Experience capabilities are not given priority at Moodle HQ and that's why development is relegated to volunteer-only status. Perhaps the pedagogy is not considered to be sufficiently "social constructionist" (a long-standing topic of discussion). I assure you that these types of presentations are not only essential to corporate and government training programs but become ever more significant to colleges and schools as they switch to "flipped classroom" pedagogy.

 
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Picture of Dan Marsden
Re: When will Moodle become FULLY SCORM and/or Tin Canconformant?
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Moodle HQ provided funding that allowed us to become fully SCORM 1.2 compliant and personally I think we do a pretty good job of maintaining it as volunteers - we have a very low bug count in the tracker compared with other "HQ Supported" plugins but there's always room for improvement.

Tin Can is a hard one though - there's a lot of buzz around but predominantly it is being used as a SCORM replacement and most tools that allow Tin Can content to be developed can also export as SCORM 1.2 (which Moodle supports) so the justification is not completely straight-forward.

Most teachers are interested in completion, grade and question/answer reporting which SCORM 1.2 and Moodle do relatively well.

There are many core projects that Moodle HQ focus on that directly affect a much larger group of the Moodle userbase like improved logging/reporting, Gradebook improvements, usability improvements. Personally I think this is a wise use of the limited funding and developer time available at Moodle HQ.

Don't get me wrong - I do think Tin Can offers some interesting improvements to the SCORM spec which is why I've spent some time on it and why we've managed to get some pieces of funding to look at it (although not as much as I'd like) One of the areas that interests me a lot is the offline capabilities that Tin Can offers but this will only be useful to a smaller subset of Tin Can users.

 
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Picture of John D. Black
Re: When will Moodle become FULLY SCORM and/or Tin Canconformant?
 

Oh gosh, Dan! No disrespect intended. You and the other volunteers do wonderful work. I've been a Moodler since 2007 and have seen dramatic improvements. I'm grateful and my hat is off to you!

 
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Picture of Dan Marsden
Re: When will Moodle become FULLY SCORM and/or Tin Canconformant?
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hah - no disrespect felt! - I just think Moodle HQ has pretty good priorities and the major core tasks they work on are more important in the greater scheme than focusing on things like SCORM (which is supported pretty well already) and Tin Can which is new and not used by many and is already similar to existing functionality that is available.

 
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Picture of Ron Meske
Re: When will Moodle become FULLY SCORM and/or Tin Canconformant?
 

Hi Dan,

The SCORM support really is good in Moodle.  In the corporate environment we have come in contact with many LMS varieties over the years and they all have their quirks with how they implemented the SCORM specs and some big names we have had to debug their own players for them to help our clients get more reliable experiences.  Moodle support of SCORM is one of the best and I attribute that to the developers listening to the reports by the community and making fixes much more quickly.

So a big thank you to all who have and still work on the SCORM interface for Moodle.

I do disagree with you on one point about the Tin Can API.  Offline use will not be relegated to a smaller subset of Tin Can users for very long, it is a much bigger issue.  The demand for being able to take training on mobile devices is accelerating quickly.  Every client of ours is now asking if the SCORM courses we create for them will run on a mobile device and then the second question is, will it work offline. 

I know for Moodle it all comes down to funding, but I think the demand for the ability to take a course offline is only going to increase.  Though this would be a major change to Moodle core, think what it would be like to allow a student to download an activity to their device of choice and then disconnect so they are not using up their data plan or tied to WiFi connection.  It would give back the ability to take your assignment and go outside and sit under a tree to complete it. big grin

If Moodle were to offer this, it would be a major win in the market for all users.

 
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Picture of Marcus Green
Re: When will Moodle become FULLY SCORM and/or Tin Canconformant?
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Even if Moodle becomes the most SCORM compliant thing in the history of compliance, you will then need to be confident that any SCORM generating tool you use is entirely compliant. I am not.

 
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Picture of Dan Marsden
Re: When will Moodle become FULLY SCORM and/or Tin Canconformant?
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yes I hear that pain... I feel that pain a lot while working on bugs in the tracker! smile

I'm hoping that the Tin Can spec is better than the SCORM spec in this respect and we will find more consistant implementations that are easier to deal with.

 
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Picture of Dan Marsden
Re: When will Moodle become FULLY SCORM and/or Tin Canconformant?
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The  feature I like the most from the Tin Can API compared with SCORM is the offline access possibilities and I'm sure there will be a demand/use for this feature but I still remain to be convinced how many people will actually use it.

You might be interested to read this post related to providing offline access to Moodle Courses and sync of SCORM attempts back to a main site:
https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=260100
Obviously this method won't support mobile devices well but it is being used to deliver training in areas with no or limited internet connectivity on laptop/desktops.

There is also work going on with the Moodle Mobile app that allows a lot of content to be stored offline on the device and it makes sense to add Tin Can support at some point to improve this further.
 
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