SCORM 1.2 and 2004 Sequencing & Navigation
Lock Media offers clients a comprehensive SCORM API coupled with a managed hosting solution that includes a SCORM Run-Time Data model for all Learning Management System functionaility. That functionailty includes all SCORM Sequencing and Navigation contained within compliant Sharable Content Objects (SCO's) built to SCORM 1.2 or SCORM 2004 standards.
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SCORM Sequencing and Navigation
A learner experiencing SCORM content does not necessarily exercise complete control over which learning object they experience and when. Content developers determine how much control is given to the learner based on organization and sequencing information defined in the content package's manifest.
When accessing SCORM content, a learner will experience only one learning object at a time. SCORM Sequencing and Navigation define the ability of a learner to navigate from one learning object to another and the sequence in which learning objects may be experienced by a learner.
In SCORM, a learning object (SCO) is not allowed to explicitly link to another. Rather, when a learner wishes to experience an activity they use navigation controls provided by the LMS (e.g. Start, Continue, Quit, etc) to issue navigation requests. The navigation requests are processed by the LMS to determine the sequence of learning activities.
Most of the complexity burden associated with SCORM navigation and sequencing lays with the implementers of a SCORM run-time environment (RTE) or learning management systems (LMS). Even for content developers, though, a basic understanding of how SCORM content is delivered at run-time is necessary.
SCORM Sequencing defines the behaviors and data model used by the SCORM run-time environment to determine how a content package will be delivered as a learning experience. It defines the functionality that a SCORM-conformant LMS must implement to process sequencing information at run-time based on learner interaction with content objects.
SCORM Sequencing depends on the following concepts:
- an activity tree representation of learning activities
- the Sequencing Definition Model
- the Sequencing Behaviors
Activities and Trees
An Activity Tree is a run-time representation of the <organization> structure defined in a content package's manifest file. The <organization> element is the root of the activity tree and each of its <item> elements corresponds to a learning activity.
Each activity in an activity tree represents an instructionally relevant unit of learning. An activity is a "meaningful unit of instruction" that may consist of a launchable learning object (leaf) or be composed of other learning activities (cluster).
Sequencing Definition Model
The Sequencing Definition Model is extensive and left defined in the SCORM Sequencing and Navigation book.
The Sequencing Behaviors are extensive and left defined in the SCORM Sequencing and Navigation book.
SCORM Navigation defines how learning and system initiated navigation events are triggered and processed, resulting in the identification of learning activity for delivery. Navigation is the process by which a learner and an LMS cooperate to identify navigation requests to realize a learning experience.
For a learner to access a course or any of its activities, it must issue a navigation request. The result of each navigation request (ideally) is one of two things: an activity is delivered to the learner or the current activity is taken away. Note that only one activity can be experienced by the learner at a time.
How the LMS knows which activity to deliver in response to a navigation request is defined by the content package's activity tree and sequencing information. By default, a learner experiencing a content package will choose an activity from the tree to launch.
Navigation events can be triggered by a learner through user interface devices provided by the LMS or content or directly by SCOs. The LMS will determine the type and style of the user interface presented to a learner at run-time for navigation.
Navigation Events, their source, and description:
- Start - LMS; request to identify the first or "starting" activity of a tree, typically generated automatically by the LMS when the learning begins a new attempt
- Resume All - LMS; request to resume a previously suspended attempt on an activity tree
- Continue - LMS or SCO; request to identify the "next" logical learning activity (in relation to the current activity) available in the tree
- Previous - LMS or SCO; request to identify the "previous" logical learning activity (in relation to the current activity) in the tree
- Choose - LMS or SCO; request to "jump" directly to a specific learning activity in the tree
- Abandon - LMS or SCO; request to prematurely or abnormally terminate the current attempt on the current activity
- Abandon All - LMS or SCO; request to prematurely or abnormally terminate the current attempt on the root activity of the tree
- Suspend All - LMS or SCO; request to "pause" the current attempt on the root activity of the tree
- Unqualified Exit - LMS or SCO; indicates the attempt on the current activity has finished normally and not as the result of another navigation event
- Exit All - LMS or SCO; indicates the current attempt on the root activity of the tree has finished normally
The result of processing a navigation event will be one of the following:
- If the effect of the event is to end the current attempt on the activity tree, the LMS will process an Exit All request and return control to the LMS
- The request will be honored and the sequencing system will be invoked, resulting in one of the following:
- A learning activity is identified for delivery
- No learning activity is identified for delivery
- An exception occurs resulting in undefined LMS-handled behavior
- The request will not be honored and the LMS will take no action until another navigation request is issued