E-learning vendor Saba Software has released a free tool that automates the process of validating whether content will work with standards-based learning management systems (LMSs). Enterprises should evaluate it.
On 5 March 2003, Saba announced the availability SCORM Detective, a tool for measuring how well LMSs conform to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM). Enterprises can download SCORM Detective for free from the Web site of the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative ( www.adlnet.org/forums/tools/messageview.cfm?catid=70.&threadid=732 ).
This tool will help enterprises more quickly adopt e-learning content for their LMSs. Many e-learning vendors base their LMSs on SCORM, a unified reference model of interrelated technical specifications meeting U.S. Department of Defense requirements for Web-based learning content. SCORM is now overseen by the ADL Initiative, a collaboration involving government, industry and academia to establish a distributed learning environment with interoperable tools and course content. Gartner has always advised enterprises to test their content to ensure compatibility with the LMS. Although SCORM has attracted wide support, enterprises have had to continue performing the work manually because there has been no easy way to certify that e-learning content, which can come from innumerable sources, will work on SCORM-compliant LMSs.
Saba's SCORM Detective represents one of the first automated tools for assuring SCORM-based content and LMSs will work together. Tools like this can help enterprises prevalidate content for their LMSs. Saba's tool will thus help to speed up the testing process. Automation will also save enterprises money, which should help to improve the return on their e-learning investments.
Enterprises should investigate SCORM Detective. However, the tool may work more efficiently on some LMSs than others. If enterprises determine that an automated tool can work more efficiently, they should ask their own LMS vendors when they plan to make similar tools available. Gartner expects that by mid-2003, other vendors will also offer a SCORM validation tool.
Analytical Source: James Lundy, Gartner Research
Recommended Reading and Related Research
"2003 E-Learning Suite MQ: Beyond Partial Suites" — The e-learning suite market is shifting away from point product and partial suites to comprehensive ones. By James Lundy
"2003 LMS Magic Quadrant: Enter the Powerhouse Vendors" — Because of the sheer number of vendors that are competing in this space, we advise enterprises to do extra due diligence in areas such as vendor viability. By James Lundy
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