Tuesday, June 02, 2009

#ASTD09 SCORM Virtual Environments and Research

Presentation: Update- SCORM Virtual Environments and Research
Presenter: Eric Roberts, ADL

Catching up with some work and some conference setup for the Innovations in eLearning conference. In the dark. In a corner. By an outlet. Of course.

Also - if you are looking at my Twitter feed and notice there is no picture, I've been trying to replace it and any image I choose isn't loading correctly. No error message, tells me everything is OK, then it just does not appear.

I'll try again after all of this conference craziness is over and I am back at my main work PC. For now - I look like a question mark in a blue square.

My superpower is Invisibility....so I guess that makes sense.....

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[Nice touch, Dr. Roberts is wandering around getting questions.]

ADL - Provide access to the highest quality education and training tailored to individual needs, delivered cost effectively, anywhere and anytime.

Instruction in Defense department - was all created by vendors with own proprietary systems.
- Lack of interoperability identified in 1997
- Defense seemed to be a good idea for hosting - top-down, Interest in common.

Why start with the military?
- Large training investment
- Innovation in technology applications
- Ability to scale - drive the market
- Executive order 13111

Functional Requirements - Accessable, Interoperable, Durable, Reusable.

SCORM - Sharable Content Object Reference Model
- Redeploy, rearrange, repurpose, rewrite
- Deliver materials through LMS
- More than 50 vendors with SCORM compliant LMSs as of today
- Widespread global adoption. US DoD by Instruction, NATO by directive, everyone else by choice.
- More than 10 million course completions in DoD
+ Also used in Korea.
+ Medbiquitous - help create instruction across entire industry.

Essentially - every group does not necessarily have to create their own stuff.
Much easier to share materials between groups.
Development costs down 5%, Maintenance costs down 85% as a result of standardization

Today - stable SCORM 2004. Now in 4th edition.
- Best with traditional didactic instruction
- Not so easily accomodates - collaborative learning. Though it has been tweaked.
+ Learning portfolios one option
- Instructionally agnostic

Criticisms
- Clunky
- It's an agreement among groups to do the same thing.
- Question: How to move the industry. What would they be willing to do so everything works together


Future SCORM 2.0
New Learning Architecture
- Simulations, games, virtual worlds
- Mobile systems
- Performance support
- S1000D Tech Manuals
- Intelligent tutoring systems
- Collaborative learning

New Enterprise Architectures
- Post Google Knowledge Management
- Service-oriented software architecture
- Future LMS architecture

Most recent SCORM 2004 4th ed
- Want to tread lightly on vendor freedoms
- Released March 31, 2009
- Increase interoperability
- New features
- DoD is now interested in making sure that we get really robust interoperability
+ More tests so more assurance that instructional materials mesh
+ New test suite and sample run time environment

- Improved content packaging
- Broader objective sharing
- Partial completion Rollup
- Jump Navigation Request (enable direct navigation to an activity.)

[Here, he loses the rest of his presentation......and realizes he's been working with an earlier edition. I think this moved a bit fast for the general audience.]

ADL Orientation
"The heart of the educational process consists of providing aids and dialogs for translating experience into more powerful systems of notation and ordering." - Jerome Bruner

Engagement Affordances
- Factual text, lecture, story, project, simulation, games, virtual worlds, user-constructed experience
- Wouldn't it be nice if these were interoperable too?

Simulations - instructionally effective. A given.

Games - some controversy in the effectiveness.
- ADL interest - research and development of best practices
- What games can and cannot do.
- "All games are simulations, not all simulations are games."
- Piaget points out that in games, the player owns the consequences of their behavior in a way more significant fashion than in traditional instruction
- Flow - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

- Gameplay
+ Luddology - the gameplay element. Limbic system
+ Narratology - where you are trying to make sense of the experience. Cerebral Cortex
+ A good instructional game will deal with both effectively.
+ If there is a tension between limbic and cerebral - limbic will win.
+ Haven't figured out how to solve this.
+ Sense that SCORM is not the solution to optimize this platform

New Media
- Senior Strategist, Emerging Media US DoD.
+ Concerned about use of MySpace, Facebook, Twitter et al that may have unintended consequences.
+ Ex. Sarah Palin that she is going to Afganistan with Stephen Colber in July. Colbert told to say little. Palin broke his security.
- People are communicating. Communications can be meaningful. Right now, not programmatically intentional.

Virtual Worlds
- "We should get it...cause it's good"
- Would be nice if instructional experiences could be more seamless without log in/out
- There is a federal consortium that tracks more than 250 virtual worlds being provided.
- Paulette Robinson robinsonp@ndu.edu
- Most common example - Second Life
- There has been some interoperability in virtual worlds (text only) between Metaverse and Second Life.
- Some attention to shared experiences across worlds. Still a lot of focus on getting them to WORK, rather than the affordances
+ The sense of presence....being there.
+ May be result of time spent.
+ Some report that being there in virtual world is like being there in real world. Idea still not fleshed out (haha)
- DoD is interested in potential benefits for training.
+ Seen in teambuilding etc.
- ADL - has good experience in multi-media world (25 years), not as certain with Virtual Worlds. Still figuring out how it all works technology is still quite new.

ADL Registry - sharing learning (under constuction)
Davis - the predecessor system. Focused on images

SCORM compliant content by definition will be more structured!
- Not inherently more protected. [The implementation will create the protections because the passwords help generate the tracking and scoring. Often its behind the firewall]

Relationship between ADL / SCORM / SCORM 2.0 / LETSI
- LETSI thought SCORM would be divested from DoD
- DoD will retain control of SCORM
- LETSI will be re-looking at the assumptions
- SCORM - 1 learner in a managed environment.
- LETSI - looking at collaborative environments and other types of environment

DoD policy DEVOTED to industry standards rather than customized solutions.
- Was involved in creating LETSI with assumption that they would take over SCORM stewardship (which is where things stood last I talked to Avron).
- DoD not comfortable giving away control since they are the ones mandating use.

ADL loves LETSI and feel that they can solve some problems that ADL inside DoD cannot.
- Both want effective instructional experiences regardless of platform.

Will LETSI focus on applicability of SCORM standards?
- Roberts: SIPFA - all information systems in K--12 schools interoperable. They adopted SCORM as standard and tweaked to meet their environemnt. Also done by Medbiquitous. People taking platform and doing additional work.
- Avron Barr (LETSI): LETSI working with the TOOL developers. The TOOL developers will help you. Hope next generation will provide more tools.

Little hard data on the effectiveness of games and virtual worlds.
- Sense of immersion and engagement that games provide not easily measurable through quantitative means.
- The tools education researchers have not well suited to reasearching games / virtual world effectiveness.

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