1.Getting Started
Many people are looking into e-learning standards. This chapter highlights the basics that everyone needs to know.

  1. 1.1 What do I need to know?
  2. 1.2 Definitions of Behaviors
  3. 1.3 What questions do I need to ask an LMS vendor?
  4. 1.4 What questions do I need to ask an an Authoring tool vendor or course vendor?
  5. 1.5 Which LMS/Tool has a good implementation?
  6. 1.6 Alphabet Soup
1.1 What do I need to know?
Many people are asking about SCORM, AICC and IMS. You will need to know different information depending on what you do.
  1. LMS and tool developers need to understand the technical details of the specification so they can program the standards into their applications and work with other vendors to provide a complete solution.
  1. Course developers need to have a basic understanding of SCORM, AICC, and IMS capabilities so they can ask intelligent questions of their LMS, authoring tool vendors, and vendors who sell them courses.
1.2 Definitions of Behaviors
Beyond the specifications, there are also issues related to how the course behaves with respect to the student's actions. The specifications allow for many responses by the course content based on how the course author wants to deliver the content. These behaviors need to be understood before implementation, and might not be available from an LMS.
  1. Most LMSs are designed with a specific set of behaviors as imagined by the LMS designers. Similarly, the course content may produce behaviors beyond those expected by the LMS.
  1. Here are a few issues you need to consider when selecting a course authoring tool and an LMS.
    1. Do you want to allow students to retake tests? This affects the results that may appear in reports produced by the LMS.
    1. Do you overwrite previous results? If you allow students to re-take tests, will you be able to see how many times they took the test?
    1. Can students come back to content that they have "completed"? Often, this is desirable because you want to make the material available as a reference. However, if the LMS now changes the student's status because they have revisited the course, your reports may be misleading.
    1. How do you declare content "completion"? Is it based on the student reading all the content, or is it based on passing a specific test?
    1. Do you close down the browser when the student exits the course? The specification implies that the LMS is responsible for opening and closing browser windows (not the course), but many LMSs leave this as a course content responsibility.
    1. How do you define "lesson_location"? (current page, progress through course)
    1. Do you use the "score" variable for tests or for progress?
    1. What happens if you have multiple tests in one "unit"/"object"? Do the scores from the various tests get averaged with each other? What happens if the student takes the various tests in separate sessions?
    1. How does your LMS store and report results?
1.2.1 1.2a More on behaviors
Most people are familiar with plug-and-play standards. A CD player is a good example of a plug-and-play device since it will play any music regardless of the CD manufacturer or style of music. SCORM is a standard, but not yet plug-and-play standard. Because of this, managers responsible for purchasing SCORM based solutions need to be aware and knowledgeable so that they can ask the right questions to make the best decision.

When choosing eLearning technology, most managers want a SCORM based solution so they can be assured of interoperability between content and delivery platform. If they purchase or create an eLearning course they want to know that the course will work with their LMS and that their LMS will track, save, and report important information. What the SCORM spec provides is a definition of variables that can be transmitted to an LMS to capture a student's performance or attendance. Which variables are implemented and how they are used is open to interpretation.

Transmission and reception of variables sounds straightforward; however, it can be quite complex. For instance, each variable may trigger multiple behaviors by the Learning Management System. Behaviors relate to how the student's experience is affected relative to their actions. An example of a variable that can greatly affect behavior is lesson status. First of all, the decision of what criteria establish completion needs to be decided. Is it based on score or on visiting certain pages? If so, for how long? Next, the LMS's behavior based on this status should be defined: When a student completes a course are they locked out from returning to the content or are they allowed to use the course as a reference material in real time for productivity improvement? If they revisit the course, is their lesson status changed?

The SCORM specification allows for many responses by the course content based on how the course author wants to deliver the content. Not all behaviors may be available from an LMS, authoring tool, or course. Most authoring tools and LMSs only send or track the minimum variables required for passing SCORM conformance. These variables are course start, course stop, lesson status, time on course, and lesson score. Additional SCORM variables are available but are rarely implemented. For example, the specific answer provided by the student for each question can be tracked. If they answer the question multiple times, all of these submittals can be stored.

Limiting the information stored and tracked, as most SCORM certified systems do, limits an organization's ability to use eLearning to its potential. Specifically, many authoring tools and LMSs only save lesson score as a percentage correct based on the most recent student session. If there are multiple tests in a single course, or if the student visits the course multiple times, this value could be a very incomplete reflection of the student's understanding. As a result, management lacks the information necessary for remediation. If every answer to every question is stored (and reported) management can review them to see if there is a problem with individual trainees or if there is a problem with the course content. If a course creator can identify a specific question missed by many students, they can change the question.
1.3 What questions do I need to ask an LMS vendor?
Most LMS's are designed with a specific set of behaviors as imagined by the LMS architects. Here are a few examples that need to be considered when selecting an LMS.
  1. Can students come back to content that they have "completed"? :
    1. Often, this is desirable because management wants to make the course available as reference material.
    1. Will reports mislead if the LMS changes the student's status because they have revisited the course?
  1. How do you declare content "completion"?
    1. Is it based on the student reading all the content?
    1. Is it based on passing a specific test?
  1. Does the LMS close down the browser when the student exits the course?
    1. The SCORM specification implies that the LMS is responsible for opening and closing browser windows (not the course).
    1. Many LMSs are designed so that it is the course's responsibility.
  1. Does the LMS allow students to retake tests?
    1. If so which score(s) is saved, or used?
    1. Can the LMS save multiple scores like first score, and best score?
    1. Can the LMS report more than one score?
  1. Does the LMS overwrite previous results?
    1. If it allows students to re-take tests, will management be able to see how many times the student took the test?
  1. Can the LMS save more then one score per course?
    1. Will the LMS support multiple chapter tests in a course?
    1. Will the LMS support chapter test scores?
  1. Is the score based on one test or an aggregate of multiple tests?
    1. If it is an aggregate, how does the LMS create this aggregate number?
    1. Is a score the % correct?
    1. Is the score a number correct?
  1. How does the LMS define "lesson_location"? (current page, progress through course, last bookmarked page).
  1. Will the LMS/course reopen on the last page visited by the student when they start a new session?
  1. Does the LMS use the "score" variable for tests or for progress (% of course visited)?
  1. Does the LMS save answers to specific test questions?
    This information can be used for remediation
    If so, the LMS can be used to conduct surveys.
  1. Are results stored by your LMS exportable to your corporate database?
  1. What types of reports come standard with your LMS?
  1. How can management create additional reports from existing data?
    Does management need to go back to the LMS vendor to have these reports created?
    Can management create the reports on their own?
It's True! It's True! Just because a vendor has implemented SCORM does not mean all course information is being saved.
1.4 What questions do I need to ask an an Authoring tool vendor or course vendor?
To make an informed decision when choosing an authoring tool or course you should ask the vendor the following questions:
  1. What standards does the tool (course) support?
  1. How much of the standard is implemented?
    1. Basics: course start, course stop, lesson status, and lesson score
    1. What additional variables does the course support?
    1. What behaviors can a course support?
  1. Can a course have multiple tests?
  1. Can a course send a score for each test?
  1. Can a course send a score and student's response for each test question?
  1. Is the score saved as a total right or as a percentage?
  1. Is the information sent based on one score per course, one score per test, or one score per test question?
  1. Is there a customized implementation available for each LMSs?
    1. Since each LMS implements the standards slightly differently, an authoring tool that does not provide a unique implementation for each LMS will only send the minimum information to an LMS.
  1. Has the course been run through the ADL/SCORM self-test?
  1. Will students need a separately installed plug-in on their computer for this communication?
  1. What information is actually sent to an LMS?
    1. If the course is SCORM conformant does that mean it reports test scores? (Many SCORM conformant courses don't have tests.)
    1. What other information can the course send and retrieve (e.g. bookmarks)?
  1. For authoring tools - what will it take to turn my course into SCORM?
    1. Will I use a simple pull down menu?
    1. Will I need to enter code into specific areas of my course and run my course through a debugger?
    1. Will I need to find and insert a plug-in? Is the plug-in created by the authoring company, is it freeware, is there any support for the plug-in?
It's True! It's True! An authoring tool or course may have functionality that the LMS can't capture, or vice-versa. It is important to understand what information you will want to capture and then make sure your LMS and authoring tool or course can meet your needs. Just asking a vendor if the course is SCORM conformant only guarantees that the content reports initiation and completion - it does not imply that any useful information is sent or stored.
1.5 Which LMS/Tool has a good implementation?
  1. Implementations are subjective. You need to know what you want to do and then be assured your vendor of choice can meet these needs.
  1. Once you choose a vendor, you should not have to think about standards. If standards are implemented correctly, they should work like "magic" e.g. simple pull down menu.
  1. A good implementation is invisible to students. Students should never be aware of a standards implementation.
1.6 Alphabet Soup
A short list of acronyms used within the course and relationships between the various organizations involved in creating these standards.

  1. AICC = Aviation Industry CBT Committee
  1. CBT = Computer Based Training
  1. IEEE = Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
  1. LTSC = Learning Technology Standards Committee
  1. IMS = "An organization dedicated to developing specification for distributed learning"
  1. SCORM = Sharable Content Object Reference Model
    1. SCORM Version 1.2 = AICC + IMS
  1. ADL = Advanced Distributed Learning initiative started by US White House in 1997 (parent of SCORM)
  1. XML = eXtensible Markup Language (a superset of HTML)
2.AICC and the Purposes for Standards
An overview of the AICC specification's components, their purpose, and their implications.

  1. 2.1 AICC Practical Definition
  2. 2.2 AICC's History
  3. 2.3 AICC Communication Methods - HACP
  4. 2.4 AICC Communication - API
  5. 2.5 AICC Information Transfer
  6. 2.6 AICC Course Structure Files
  7. 2.7 AICC Levels
  8. 2.8 AICC Summary
  9. 2.9 AICC Weaknesses
  10. 2.10 AICC Integration
2.1 AICC Practical Definition
AICC is broken into two major sections

  1. Course Server Communication:
    1. How do student results get stored?
    1. How does the course "player" obtain user preferences?
  1. Course Structure Definition:
    1. How does the server load & broadcast course content?
    1. What content is served next?
2.2 AICC's History
AICC has been around for a while. AICC's structure has been defined by its history. To better understand AICC's structure, you need to understand its history.
  1. AICC was initially designed for file-based communication (this explains its strange structure).
  1. Initially, AICC was designed to have courses played by an executable
    1. A stand-alone program that plays on the student’s computer and stores results locally on the hard disk. At the end, the executable would transmit results to the server.
    1. This architecture allowed for local memory. This is a different paradigm than browsers (which have no local memory between sessions).
  1. With the arrival of the web, and ubiquitous use of browsers, AICC added a browser-based format for transferring information in the files.
  1. AICC decided to package the contents of the files into a web form as a "post"-ing
2.3 AICC Communication Methods - HACP
For web compatibility, two main communication models for results/settings were introduced: HACP (HTTP AICC Communication Protocol "Appendix A") and API (Application Programming Interface "Appendix B")
  1. HACP: HTTP AICC Communication Protocol - Described in Appendix A of the specification
    1. "Files" are packaged as a web page form result and are "posted" to the server
    1. The course can report results or can request information from the server
    1. Server responds with a "plain/text" message in the form of an AICC "file"
  1. Limitations to this implementation:
    1. AICC was initially designed for client server computing. The web paradigm is for dumb browsers and intelligent servers as apposed to the client server paradigm which is for intelligent client and intelligent server.
    1. This architecture is a problem for the web since browsers earlier than IE 5.5 cannot interpret this response, it can only display it as text. Browsers later than Microsoft IE 5.5 and Netscape 6.2 no longer have this limitation, but there are other security issues that affect the communication.
    1. To make Appendix A work with older browsers, either the browser needs to do all its communication through a Java applet, or there needs to be a relay device that converts the server response into a form that the browser can interpret (JavaScript).
2.4 AICC Communication - API
API Application Programming Interface - Described in Appendix B of the specification.
  1. Specifically Appendix B:
    1. Describes how a course communicates with a "parent" frame
    1. Defines a series of function calls that are defined for saving the different “file” information in the parent frame
    1. How a course can retrieve information from parent frame directly
    1. How a parent frame communicates with server
  1. Characteristics of Appendix B include:
    1. Protocol for the parent frame communication is not defined (this allows use of any communication including HACP)
    1. Most implementations have the parent frame using a Java applet handling the communication.
    1. When courses start, the parent frame must obtain the entire environment information (including previous history) from the server.
2.5 AICC Information Transfer
Course information is saved and stored in the structure/content files. The information stored in the Structure/Content of AICC "Files" include the following:
  1. Core: Session_Id, Score, Date, exit status, lesson_location
    1. Must be supported for AICC "compliance"
    1. Most LMSs only support the core specifications
  1. Core_Lesson: Suspend_data:
    1. Any information the course wants to retrieve at the next startup
  1. Student_Preferences: Language, audio, etc.
    1. Configuration of "player" => not useful for Web browser
  1. Objectives: for each "objective" (test question):
    1. Stores score, time
  1. Interactions: For each "interaction" (test question):
    1. Saves scores, correct answer, student answer, objective ID
  1. Paths: Removed from specification
    1. Stores how long student was on each page
2.6 AICC Course Structure Files
The Course Structure Files are a series of files containing data to describe the structure of your course. They address:
  1. Where are blocks located (a block may consist of multiple units)
  1. Where are the files for each unit located
  1. What units make up each block
  1. What units must a student complete before being allowed to continue
2.7 AICC Levels
There are several AICC "Levels" (1, 2, 3a, 3b). These describe the complexity of the CSF (Course Structure Files). The AICC Level does not address the information that is transferred from the browser to the server. The Level of compliance is based on what features of the CSF a particular LMS supports.
  1. Level 1: Basic structure of course, location, description, implied order
  1. Level 2: Level 1 + prerequisites for each unit + completion requirements
  1. Level 3a: Level 2 + more complex relationships allowed for prerequisites and completion requirements

  1. Level 3b: Level 3a + objective relationships. Objectives may be used in requirements/prerequisites
2.8 AICC Summary
The schematic below shows what pieces constitute the AICC Specification. The browser-server communication may be done using either the HACP or the API method. The communication plus the Course Structure Files define a course as AICC.
2.9 AICC Weaknesses
Unfortunately AICC is a specification driven by a "committee" of "committees". This has driven the specification to a (lower) common denominator. Some of the problems found in the specification are listed below:
  1. Each time student results are submitted, they overwrite their previous results on LMS. This means that the browser must retrieve all the previous results, manage them, and resubmit them.
  1. The browser is responsible for doing many things that are much more effectively done by a server (Browser has no memory, whereas the server is a database)
  1. Most LMSs only support the Core set of data. This means that you are unable to get results of specific test questions since the score is rolled up into one number.
  1. HACP method: The browser is generally unable to interpret server-to-player communication without Java applet or other plug-in. Some plug-ins designed to do this communication appear to use old AICC standards. Unfortunately, several LMSs have determined that they are AICC compliant because they function with these older standards.
  1. AICC "Compliance" technically means almost nothing:
    1. Many courses that are "compliant" do not have any tests, so there is no real communication between the course and the server
    1. To obtain compliance, you contract with an outside agency that says you are compliant based on the specifications you gave them - so they are just validating that you have implemented the specification as you understand it.
  1. URL-encoding is unclear. Encoding means that when the data is transmitted over the network, unprintable characters (such as carriage returns) are represented by their ASCII table number. Some LMS have interpreted the requirement to mean that the messages sent from the course are already encoded, while others encode the message as soon as they receive it. This means that there is a high likelihood that the messages will either never be encoded or that they will be double-encoded. When the message is not encoded properly, the LMS cannot interpret it, so browser-to-LMS communication fails.
  1. "Levels" refer only to the course structure files: They have no impact on the amount or quality of the information transferred between a course and a server
2.10 AICC Integration
The primary problem when trying to integrate an AICC course with an AICC server is the interpretation of the AICC specifications. Specifically the issues come up with the following:
  1. Scoring
    1. How do you keep a student from retaking a test, thereby overwriting their score?
    1. Some vendors only handle a simple number 0-100 (no decimal support). The issue is, without decimal support, how do you grade a test that has multiple matching questions?
  1. Where is data placed for transfer?
    1. Can use both objectives and interactions to store results of one test.
    1. Each vendor may interpret differently
  1. Assignable Units
    1. An assignable unit is the smallest piece of a course that can be served
    1. Each time the student changes assignable units, the server must be involved, this may lead to slow courses being served to students.
    1. Note: ReadyGo interprets an AU as either a chapter or a whole course
  1. Compliance:
    1. Many courses have been certified as compliant; however on further investigation, these courses do not have any tests or tracking.
3.IEEE IMS Content Sharing Specification
An overview of the IMS specification, its purpose, and implications.

  1. 3.1 IMS (XML) Overview
  2. 3.2 IMS Course Packaging
  3. 3.3 Example manifest portion
3.1 IMS (XML) Overview
The IMS specification is an XML-based standard that currently can be used to describe a course's structure. It does not address browser-to-server communication. This information is only used when loading the course into the server.
  1. IMS is driven by IEEE LTSC
  1. The IMS 1.1 specification describes Content Packaging
  1. Course Descriptor Files:
    1. Manifest: List of files that make up the course
    1. The manifest contains a Description of each "Resource"
    1. A "resource" may be a graphic, an HTML page, a chapter, or an entire course
  1. The format of the "Manifest" is IMS XML
  1. XML is not a solution...it is only a mechanism.
  1. XML is over-hyped!
    1. XML is a flexible data storage format
    1. Every organization/company is trying to define their own standard for the storage of data
    1. Analogy: "Does your course produce XML?" = "Is your car made of Aluminum?" Aluminum does not tell you anything about a car. It is just a metal used in the building of cars. XML doesn't define anything about a course or a web site, it can just be used as a data storage format
3.2 IMS Course Packaging
The IMS Manifest Contains:

  1. Metadata: Describes format of Manifest
  1. Organization:
    1. Structure of Course
    1. Points to "resources"
  1. Resource List
    1. Location of each resource
    1. Description of each resource
    1. Type of each resource
  1. Newer versions of this specification
    1. Sequencing between units: handling prerequisites and order of course delivery based on student performance is being addressed.
3.3 Example manifest portion

  1. <?xml version="1.0"?>
    <manifest identifier="MANIFEST1">
    <metadata><schema>IMS Content</schema>
    <imsmd:langstring xml:lang="en-US">IMS Content Packaging Sample - Simple Manifest</imsmd:langstring></imsmd:title>
    <organizations default="TOC1">
    <organization identifier="TOC1">
    <item identifier="ITEM1" identifierref="RESOURCE1">
    <title>Lesson 1</title>
    <item identifier="ITEM2" identifierref="RESOURCE2">
    <title>Introduction 1</title>
    <resource identifier="RESOURCE1" type="webcontent" href="lesson1.htm">
    <file href="lesson1.htm"/>
This chapter provides an overview of the SCORM specification's components, their purpose, and their implications.

  1. 4.1 SCORM Overview
  2. 4.2 SCORM Technical Details
  3. 4.3 Other/Future Specifications
  4. 4.4 SCORM 2004
  5. 4.5 Implications of the Specification
4.1 SCORM Overview
SCORM 1.2 combines the AICC API (Appendix B) specification for browser-parent frame communication with the IMS 1.1 (or 1.2) specification for content packaging.
  1. SCORM is an initiative started by the US government
    1. The US Army has a US$700 Million Request for Proposals for training
    1. All proposals to the US Army have to be SCORM conformant
  1. ADL (Advanced Distributed Learning) Co-Labs - developer of the SCORM standard
    1. One Lab in Virginia (military/corporate) and one in Madison, Wisconsin at the University of Wisconsin (academic)
    1. SCORM hosts "Plug-Fest"s where standards are discussed and products are presented

    1. http://www.adlnet.org
  1. Ideal of SCORM is to produce course content that is reusable
    1. You can take resources from several courses, and let the server put them together at delivery time
    1. Currently, this will create courses that look like a book made up of articles from multiple magazines just stapled together
4.2 SCORM Technical Details
Current SCORM implementation
  1. Lesson-Server communication based on AICC API (appendix B) mechanism
    1. This allows each vendor to specify browser server communication
    1. Requires parent/navigation frame to host API
  1. Some AICC calls have been slightly modified
  1. AICC data like "Paths" has been entirely removed. Some capabilities were not supported by any LMSs, but in the future they may be missed.
  1. Course Structure File uses IMS 1.1 directly
    1. Less structural information than AICC
    1. More per-file information
  1. Specification suggests creating an archive in zip format for transfer of the course - this is very useful.
4.3 Other/Future Specifications
These are a few of the other and future specifications.
  1. IMS QT (Questions and Testing)
    1. Idea is that author puts information into XML file
    1. Server reads XML file, and formats it for delivery at run time
  1. Microsoft LRN is a variation of the IMS content packaging specification.
  1. Other IMS: We have heard vendors discussing a spec where the course is stored entirely in XML, and then the server renders it based on format information independent of the course too early to tell what this will look like.
  1. ARIADNE: A European initiative. Not sure where it is going at this time.
4.4 SCORM 2004
The specification for SCORM 1.3 was released for Beta testing in June 2003. The full release now called SCORM 2004 was released in January 2004.
  1. Several of the course-to-server data sets have been modified.
  1. The primary modification is expansion to describe course/unit sequencing. This refers to what content is served next based on the student's performance.
  1. The new version also allows for assets (e.g. graphics, glossaries, etc.) that may be shared between different SCOs (Shareable Content Objects). This applies, for example, to a glossary that is available to all the objects.
  1. For an LMS to be SCORM 2004 complient they will need to change their current architecture. This is why you don't see very many SCORM 2004 complient LMSs.
It's True! It's True! Be wary of any Authoring tool that claims SCORM 2004 complience. Some authoring tool vendors only send a "course start" and "course end". Since their SCORM implementation doesn't do much they can pass a certification test.
4.5 Implications of the Specification
The following are a few results of the specification.
  1. Communication between content and server is standardized.
    1. The courses can use any look-and-feel.
    1. You can create any multimedia element & include it in course. The only requirement for tracking is that the results be mapped into the AICC/SCORM data model.
  1. Dynamic (server generated) content not permitted.
    1. All files to be used by course must be created ahead of time
    1. This is primarily so that you can transport your course between servers, and not be tied-down to a specific platform.
  1. With SCORM 1.3 sequencing, it may be possible to have the server direct the student’s path based on multi-unit results
ReadyGo's approach to the standards
  1. 5.1 ReadyGo’s Approach
  2. 5.2 Making your ReadyGo Course SCORM conformant
  3. 5.3 Sharing and Reusing Course Objects
  4. 5.4 ReadyGo Conformance to Standards
  5. 5.5 ReadyGo Server-Side Testing
5.1 ReadyGo’s Approach
ReadyGo Web Course Builder can be used to produce courses that utilize AICC, IMS, and SCORM specifications. The author does not need to know the internals of the specification. The author just selects which LMS they are using, and they generate their course.

  1. ReadyGo uses modified AICC or SCORM communication components based on how each LMS interprets the specification. This means that ReadyGo works with each LMS vendor to build up knowledge of their interpretation.
  1. When you generate your ReadyGo course, WCB reads files specific to each vendor and incorporates the information into the HTML pages. These files address the browser-to-server data transfer.
  1. Course Structure Files (AICC, SCORM, and IMS) are generated based on the information provided with each page/graphic. For example, the description of a graphic used in the course is obtained from the "ALT" tag provided by the course author.
  1. If you are an LMS vendor who is interested in working with ReadyGo, please use the demo version, choose one of the AICC/SCORM options, and then tell us what components need modification.
5.2 Making your ReadyGo Course SCORM conformant
To create a SCORM 1.2 conformant course, simply go to the Testing | Course-wide setup... menu, and select one of the SCORM choices (or your LMS name). Then, regenerate your course.
  1. ReadyGo will automatically add all the necessary code (JavaScript) to your course files so that your course:
    1. Connects to the SCORM API when launched by an LMS
    1. Reports how students are doing on the tests/assessments
    1. Reports course completion when the student reaches the end of a chapter or SCO
    2. Setting a course to be SCORM conformant
  1. You don't need to do any coding - just add the content for your course (including test questions and answers).

  1. ReadyGo also creates the XML file named imsmanifest.xml that is required so the LMS can load the course. All content for the XML file is taken from the information you provide during construction of your course. For example, "ALT" tags for images are used as descriptions for these objects.
It's True! It's True! When you generate the course, you can request that ReadyGo create a compressed archive containing your entire course plus the necessary SCORM XML files. You can then send this entire package (as a single file) to your LMS for display.

5.2.1 5.2a What are all the options for LMS/Storage Method within ReadyGo?
ReadyGo contains a long list of Storage Methods/LMS names. What is each one of them?This list refers primarily to the way test scores are transmitted to the server. In terms of Course Structure Files (AICC) or XML Manifest files (SCORM), ReadyGo produces the files automatically. For AICC, CSFs with Level 3B are produced. (Note that most LMSs only use the Level 1 features of the AICC CSFs.)

List of LMS/grading methods available in ReadyGo
  • No Storage - Tests Graded by Browser: This is the default for ReadyGo courses. There is no reporting of grades to a central server. The course can be served entirely from a CD-ROM, hard-disk, etc.
  • ReadyGo Server Side Testing: ReadyGo has developed a very inexpensive student registration and assessment collection engine. Server Side Testing can be hosted on any standard web server. It does all collection on a per-course basis. Results are stored as ASCII comma-separated variable lists so you can load them into your database easily. Server Side Testing does not conform to AICC or SCORM standards, but it does collect all student results, and it can generate test questions in randomized order.
  • SCORM: The basic SCORM implementation of a ReadyGo course fills in only the[CORE] set of data. This includes a test score for each SCO/unit and completion status.
  • SCORM + objectives (packed index): This version does everything in the basic SCORM version, but it also stores an interaction and an objective for each test question as it is answered. The "packed index" means that as each test is graded, the new submissions are appended to existing ones. So if you have a test with 3 questions, each time the student answers the same test questions, the number of interactions and objectives in increased by 3. Results are ordered based on the submission order. Each test/survey question becomes an objective and an interaction. Both SCORM+objectives methods report pass/fail scores for each test question in addition to what the student actually submitted as a response.
  • SCORM+objectives: This implementation stores the interactions based on their location in the course, regardless of when the student submits the responses. So, for example, if you have 2 tests in your unit, each of which has 3 questions, all submissions related to the first question on the second test will be stored at index 3. The submissions for the first test will always be stored at locations 0, 1, and 2. Each test question is considered one interaction.
  • AICC Appendix A (Basic): Uses the HACP communication method for AICC. This only stores the [core] set of data using putParam. Most LMSs only use the [core] set. Data is URL encoded prior to transmission to the LMS.
  • AICC Appendix B (CMI) with putInteractions: Stores the [core] set using the API function putParam(). It also stores interactions using putInteractions(). This approach is what has become SCORM. Each interaction retains its storage index.
  • Knowledge Planet KP2000: AICC Appendix A basic with URL encoded data transmitted to the LMS. At startup, this approach requires a "relay" servlet that translates the LMS response from "plain/text" into JavaScript variables that the browser can interpret. When the student reaches the end of the course, the course is reported as completed.
  • KP2000 Minimum Status Change: Same as Knowledge Planet KP2000, but course completion status is left as incomplete so that it can be set through another system.
  • LearnFrame: AICC Appendix A basic, data is URL encoded prior to transmission to the LMS.
  • Meridian KSI (SCORM): SCORM + objectives.
  • Oracle iLearning:For use with Oracle's iLearning LMS. ReadyGo is the only tool currently integrated with their system. It uses a combination of AICC Appendix B (CMI/API) for course communication and a customized IMS 1.1 for course structure file information.
  • AICC Appendix A (Extended): Uses HACP for course-to-LMS communication. This version also includes putInteractions to report scores for individual test questions.
  • GeoMetrix Training Partner 2000: AICC Appendix A basic. Responses are URL encoded prior to transmission to the server,
  • Question Mark Perception: This approach creates links from the "Test/Survey"button in the ReadyGo course to the specified setup for QuestionMark's server-based assessment engine. Test questions are build in QuestionMark. (Low priced option)
  • Avilar (LMS RTE Level 3 SCORM Certified):SCORM + objectives (packed index). Scores are normalized to between 0 an 100.
  • ThinQ Training Server LMS: AICC Appendix A basic. Answers are URL encoded prior to transmission.
  • Docent: AICC Appendix A basic. Answers are not URL encoded prior to transmission.
  • Saba: AICC Appendix A basic. Answers are not URL encoded prior to transmission. Submittal must have all non-AICC form variables before AICC_DATA.
  • GeoLearning AICC Appendix A basic, no URL encoding. Because GeoLearning uses Cold Fusion students who have the ColdFusion software installed on their computer may have trouble viewing courses. Also, the course URL, that contains routing information needs to be URL-decoded multiple times because Windows XP re-encodes it.
  • LearnerWeb SCORM. This is an inexpensive LMS produced by MaxIT
  • Isoph Blue AICC Appendix A basic, no URL encoding

5.3 Sharing and Reusing Course Objects
ReadyGo has several options that make your content highly reusable. ReadyGo's structure gives you many more definitions of course "objects" including chapters, pages, tests, etc.
  1. You can copy/paste any course settings, entire course, chapter, page, FAQs page, test, quiz, survey, step-by-step, try-this, tell-me-more, glossary, etc. from one course to another. This means, for example, that if you create a glossary, you can simply copy/paste it into another course so that it is used there.
    1. When you regenerate your course, all the content has a uniform look-and-feel. That way you don't end up with a course that looks like a
      R a N s O m N o T E
  1. You can copy/paste PowerPoint presentations into your ReadyGo courses. Page titles are brought over as titles; bullets come over as bullets. Save your graphics as files and then add them into ReadyGo.
  1. You can press the "Preview Text" button on the toolbar. The course's text is saved as an ASCII file that is loaded into your word processor. You can also copy/paste any ReadyGo course element into your word processor.
  1. Regenerate your course so it has other standards enabled (e.g. AICC) simply by changing your Grading Method selection. Now, if you change LMSs, you don't have to completely re-implement your course.
  1. The Manifest built by ReadyGo lists all the course assets (graphics) with the "ALT" tag you provide as their descriptor. You can use this list to find the graphics you want to reuse.
  1. Change the look-and-feel of your course content, and regenerate it for different customers.
It's True! It's True! ReadyGo courses meet the ADA, Section 508 recommendations for courses to work with blind readers.

5.4 ReadyGo Conformance to Standards
ReadyGo has been certified to be conformant for SCORM 1.2: SCO Run-time, Meta-data, and Content Package.

  1. For backward compatibility, SCORM 1.1 tests were also applied to ReadyGo. ReadyGo passed the CSF test (no longer supported by SCORM).
  1. For AICC compatibility, ReadyGo courses have been tested successfully with Knowledge Planet, LearnFrame, GeoMetrix, Docent, Saba (several versions), GeoLearning, DK Systems ONTrack, Click2Learn, ThinQ, Isoph Blue, and others.
  1. ReadyGo courses have been tested with a number of learning management systems that support SCORM (Avilar, MeridianKSI, Saba, LearnerWeb, Learn.Net, Telefonica A+).
  1. By entering the "ALT" tags for the figure, and by adding audio to your course, you can make your course meet the Section 508 recommendations. Additionally, ReadyGo courses include one-key navigation so blind readers can use their keyboard to travel through the course.
5.5 ReadyGo Server-Side Testing
For vendors who do not use AICC/SCORM, but have a database system, we recommend using ReadyGo's Server-Side Testing. It is a stand-alone component that works with any standard web server.
  1. SST uses an internal ReadyGo protocol that is optimal for web communication.
  1. Customers can host SST on their system, and just load the results files into their database, spreadsheet, or management system.

  1. ReadyGo is open to adding ODBC-hooks to SST if other system vendors (such as ERM database companies) want to work with us. This provides the end-customer with an inexpensive add-on component to their large database system.
  1. Courses using SST can be launched using an AICC-like URL so that student registration is handled by the LMS. For this option, the student must be pre-registered.
ReadyGo hopes you have found this course useful. Please fill in the test/survey to obtain a certificate.

6.1.1 6.1a
ReadyGo supports 15 different types of test questions including test questions build with other tools. The test on the last page of chapter two includes all types of ReadyGo test questions. If you pass the last test in the course you will receive a certificate.
1. Which of the following specifications adopts work done by the others in the list?

1. A. AICC 2. B. IMS 3. C. IEEE 4. D. SCORM
1 Correct Answer: D

2. True or False: All web browsers can interpret the AICC Appendix A (HACP) response from a server.
True False
2 Correct Answer: False

3. True or False: Only a limited number of learning management systems store and report results for individual test questions collected through AICC or SCORM.
True False
3 Correct Answer: True

4. Please provide us with any comments you may have about this course. If you have any questions, please e-mail us.
4 Correct Answer:

5. Please evaluate how the following statement applies to your experience:
I found this course very useful.
Strongly Disagree

Strongly Agree

No Opinion

6. Would you like this course to include more technical details and examples or fewer?
More Technical

Less Technical

7. Which of the following best describes your position?
1. A. Programmer 2. B. Instructional Designer/Professional Course Developer 3. C. Graphic Designer 4. D. Trainer 5. E. Other
7 Correct Answer: A

8. Which of the following describe your company/organization? (You may select more than one)
1. A. Organization that does not sell eLearning products 2. B. Organization that sells eLearning products 3. C. You already use an LMS 4. D. You are thinking about using an LMS 5. E. You are purchasing already created (off the shelf) courses 6. F. You want to create your own courses 7. G. You are an LMS manufacturer/vendor
8 Correct Answer:

9. You work for:
1. A. Government 2. B. Educational (K-12) 3. C. Educational (College/University +) 4. D. Industry/Corporate 5. E. Not-for-Profit (Charity)
9 Correct Answer: A


Advanced Distributed Learning initiative started by US White House in 1997 (parent of SCORM) See http://www.adlnet.org


Aviation Industry CBT Committee - an organization developing standards for learning systems.


Computer Based Training - Traditionally, CBT refers to CD-ROM based courses that are delivered through a stand-alone executable at the student's workstation.


Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers - A large association of Engineers. One of their sub-committees (LTSC) has been very involved in the development of standards for eLearning.


"An organization dedicated to developing specification for distributed learning" - The IMS specifications (developed by IEEE LTSC) describe packaging of course content. New specifications describe testing.


Learning Technology Standards Committee - part of IEEE, involved in the development of the IMS standard


Sharable Content Object Reference Model
Version 1.2 consists of the AICC specification for communication from the course material to the server (parent frame) plus the IMS specification for content packaging (course structure files).Version 1.3 adds inter-unit sequencing to 1.2, and modifies some of the data structures.


eXtensible Markup Language (a superset of HTML): A format for storing data.