June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Computers in Education
13.1322.1 - 13.1322.10
User Adaptive Interactive Courses in SCORM Compliant Learning Management Systems Abstract
Traditional on-line courses are static: Unaware of the learner, they present the same content to every user that participates in the course, independent of the background and the experience of the learner. Furthermore, content is often static and leaves little freedom to the learner. One might argue that this is because currently applied standards like SCORM 1.2 do not allow much more than static content linked statically within the learning management system.
However, while the upcoming version 4 of SCORM 2004 addresses adaptivity at the level of the learning management system, we present a class of dynamic interactive content objects in this paper that provide adaptivity at the level of the learning objects themselves while also leaving lots of freedom to the learner.
Since the data mining required for adaptivity happens outside of the learning management system, the presented learning objects already provide their full functionality within SCORM 1.2.
A SCORM  compliant eLearning system consists of two layers: A learning management system (LMS) that regulates access to the contents, administrates the students, their scores and the assessment results, and sharable content objects (SCOs) that implement the content to be learned, let those be by simple text documents, images or interactive content like questionnaires or applets. The learner gains access to the LMS by a web-browser which embeds the content provided by SCOs into a common framework administrated by the LMS. The communication between the SCO and the LMS handled by java script, a simple scripting language that is executed by the browser of the learner. For that reason, the LMS provides information on the user to the SCO, and the SCO returns information on the learning success back to the LMS.
Most SCOs are not very spectacular: Text files, possibly some embedded images and simple multiple-choice questionnaires make up most of the content seen by the authors. Truly interactive applets are rarely seen, and if so, the interactivity is often limited. If compared to lab- based interactive hands-on experiments as found in the curriculum of engineering or scientific studies, this type of learning material has little to offer and goes only little beyond an interactive book. By that, the LMS is degraded to a content management system for web-based data.
Here we present the concept of “virtual laboratories”, a framework for students to freely perform experiments and simulations, quite similar to a real student lab. It is complemented by interactive courses run by an intelligent and user-adaptive course system. The overall system, laboratory and course system, forms a learning object (a SCO) in the sense of the SCORM standard, and thus can be plugged into existing learning management systems like Moodle  or Ilias . Remote experiments and simulations are actively used in various experimental sciences, related training courses have also been explored in chemistry, see e.g.  and electrical engineering, e.g. by
Jeschke, S., & Pfeiffer, O., & Richter, T. (2008, June), User Adaptive Interactive Courses In Scorm Compliant Learning Management Systems Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3873
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