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ItemSingle Copy Re-use of Sharable Content ObjectsIp, 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.
ItemA layered approach to the re-use of content and its presentationCANALE, ENRICO ; Ip, Albert ( 2004)This paper deals with techniques for overcoming the mosaic effect - an impediment to the sharing of content, and proposes layered re-use as a conceptual framework for solving the problem. The mosaic effect occurs when a course is built by sequencing Shareable Content Objects (SCOs) from a variety of independent sources. Because SCOs have their own individual "look and feel", courses made up of SCOs from different sources suffer from inconsistent presentation styles and interfaces in the format of the learning content. To overcome the mosaic effect, it is necessary to separate content from its presentation. Two techniques have been put forward as solutions to the mosaic effect in the SCORM environment. The first is the Dynamic Appearance Model (DAM) and the second is SCORM with Style-Sheet Support (SCORM-SSS). While the DAM proposes content to be encoded in XML and uses XSL transformations for correct rendering, SCORM-SSS is based on content in HTML and proposes course related style-sheets to ensure the desired course presentation. This paper develops the concept of layered re-use in which the re-use of content and content structures is governed by specifications appropriate to the content level (e.g. SCORM, IMS QTI specifications) and the re-use of" look and feel" properties and their application throughout a course is governed by HTML-based specifications applied at the display level. In layered re-use terms, for any one course there may be many content models within the content layer and for a particular user or cohort there is a single display model. The advantages of adopting layered re-use include, a) ease of technical implementation (at scale and wide scope), b) low impact on course development work-flows, c) ease of maintenance against growing complexity in course design and re-design and d) it supports the DAM and SCORM-SSS developments as complementary approaches to overcoming the mosaic effect.