Instructional Design Basics


What Goes UP Must?

Physics is a science that we deal with everyday, yet few of us really understand the laws and principals that form this study.

Yeah we may have a cursory understanding of some of the concepts that surround it, but that is about it. And that’s ok as it isn’t really necessary to understand physics in order to get by; however, one thing that you must remember is that physics isn’t something you can ignore:

Don’t ignore physics

When it comes to online learning the same is true about SCORM, which is a key technology that controls your online training initiatives.   SCORM is a term that you may have heard about and you may even know what it is suppose to do, but few of us really need to understand it.  And that’s ok just as long as you don’t ignore it.

Funny Acronyms

SCORM stands for the Sharable Content Object Reference Model—you now know more about SCORM then most people—and as to what it is, well SCORM is a set if standards and specifications that enable web-based learning. It does this by allowing communication between your courses and your Learning Management System (LMS).

This communication is important in order to track your training.  Here your courses need to be able to update your LMS as to your users’ status.  Specifically you may need your courses to indicate:

  • When a user has started a course,
  • What page they were last on,
  • When they have completed a course and
  • What score they had in the course.

With this communication, you can prove your employees have fulfilled their training requirements when the State, Joint Commission, or other agency asks you to pull a training record from your LMS.

Another related technology is AICC, which is also a set of standards that allow for course and LMS communication. AICC stands for the Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee and is an older set of standards for online training.  The main difference between the two is that AICC works better with content not hosted on your LMS and as such is often a popular choice when choosing a 3rd party vendor solution like McKesson.

The Dying LMS

There have been recent discussions about the death of the LMS.  Here learning professionals have talked about the rise of informal and social learning activities.  And it is true that these are some powerful methods to push/pull training content.  It is also true that much of our knowledge comes from on-the-job activities rather then formal training measures.  This however doesn’t signal the death of the LMS, rather quite the opposite.

Learning Management Systems are adapting to theses demands and are expanding their functionality. Here they are incorporating social learning by developing deep user profiles within their systems in order to track discussions, expertise and enable networking.  They are also developing mobile applications that will allow for informal learning integration. With these applications and the constant online presence available with mobile solutions your LMS will soon be able to track informal content in this regard.

Taking Advantage of Physics

So you can’t ignore these technologies—what then do you need to do?  Well this is where we come in as the CLL can set up your courses with the right standard or if you are building your own courses with Articulate, Captivate, CourseLab or Flash, we can walk you through the steps needed to use this technology.

All of which means that you’ll be good to go with SCORM— here you may not understand it, but at least you can use it with your solution.  And just like physics, you’ll be able to do some cool things with it:

A good use of physics