eLearning is a huge buzz word today, especially in the workplace. In an effort to leverage the cost of staff development and to provide training when necessary, many companies are looking toward using eLearning. However, if you have never deployed an eLearning solution, how do you get started? Do you just go out and purchase the courses you need? If you do, how do you know that what you purchased will provide you with the results you need, or the data necessary for reporting? What is the meaning of these terms that others seem to know -- for example, what does “SCORM compliant” mean? If you don’t know the answer, you’re not alone—many don’t.
Before you begin the planning phase of an eLearning project, it is a good idea to prepare yourself with the basics. Some preliminary research can help you determine what to look for when shopping for an LMS that meets your company’s needs.
Let’s get started by taking a look at some terms. In this age of eLearning and compliance reporting, most companies have a dual goal of providing required training and to report on which staff members have completed this training. To avoid late nights of manually tracking and compiling data, the use of a LMS (Learning Management System) that can capture and record training results is beneficial. However, there must be a mechanism in place to allow the LMS and the eLearning content (training course) to communicate.
The communication mechanism most often talked about today is called SCORM. This acronym stands for "Shareable Content Object Reference Model." This standard is a result of a U.S. Government initiative on Advanced Distributive Learning. In a nutshell, SCORM is a “set of specifications for developing, packaging and delivering high-quality education and training materials whenever and wherever they are needed."
SCORM-compliant courses leverage course development investments by ensuring that compliant courses are RAID:
- Reusable: easily modified and used by different development tools,
- Accessible: can be searched and made available as needed by both learners and content developers,
- Interoperable: operates across a wide variety of hardware, operating systems and web browsers, and
- Durable: does not require significant modifications with new versions of system software.
If you want to learn more about LMS products, visit www.gyrus.com. Gyrus has been building Learning Management software since the 1980s, and their LMS solution, GyrusAim, is SCORM 2011.2 compliant.