Melbourne Students & Learning - Research Publications

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    Single Copy Re-use of Sharable Content Objects
    Ip, Mr Albert ; Canale, Dr Enrico (Causal Productions, 2004-05)
    This paper puts forward a generic solution to the problem of re-use of Sharable Content Objects (SCOs) from multiple content repositories without making new copies of the SCOs. The solution has already been partly implemented by Open Learning Australia using Avilar’s WebMentor as the Learning Management System (LMS) and Harvest Road’s Hive as the Learning Content Management System (LCMS). The use of this technique to enable multiple LMSs to access SCOs stored in a single LCMS has already been demonstrated at Plugfest 7, a forum sponsored by the Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Laboratory. This paper further develops previous work, provides technical specifications and proposes an extension to the IMS content packaging specification to encourage adoption of this approach by LMS vendors to enable delivery of SCOs from multiple repositories.This technique has little overhead in terms of SCO development, management of courses and installation of courses. The model also enables the implementation of secure fetching of SCOs (via server-side authentication techniques) and hence is compatible with enforced digital rights management. The model includes a proposal for a technically minor extension to the content packaging specification. This is one of several proposed extensions that pose wider implications for the potential use of SCORM within education and training. Wider adoption has been hindered by SCORM’s pedagogical inflexibility and the maintenance problems associated with large scale re-use of learning objects. These significant problems can be solved with extensions to the SCORM specifications, demonstrating a robustness in design that gives SCORM the potential to become widely used across all sectors of education and training.