cmi5 in SCORM Cloud

Last week, Rustici Software launched cmi5 in their SCORM Cloud utility. While this isn’t the most scintillating news, it is a major step.  The SCORM Cloud implementation and support provides vendors and content developers with a place to test cmi5 launchable activities.  The ability to test in an environment like this is vital to assure that cmi5 and xAPI have been applied correctly in new tools and new functionality in existing tools.  For commercial vendors, this testing is vital.

Setting up a SCORM Cloud account is easy.  Check out details on xAPI on SCORM Cloud.  Initial use of SCORM Cloud is free.  The free version is great for individual testing and small implementations.

What is cmi5?

cmi5 is a profile that sits on top of the xAPI specification and helps control content in the xAPI ecosystem.  It allows content to be loaded to LMSs, but doesn’t require an LMS.  Many people short cut the explanation by saying it’s the SCORM replacement.  But that really limits the understanding of what it is.

Yes, cmi5 has all the capabilities that SCORM has to launch content in an LMS. But it goes well beyond what SCORM has been capable of delivering

ADL developed cmi5 with the following goals:
  • Interoperability – not only can cmi5 conformant content be launched in an LMS,  but it can be launched by various tools as long as they have been programmed to accept cmi5 data.
  • Extensibility – because it sits on top of xAPI, cmi5 extends the capability to collect data on learning experiences outside of the LMS and through the xAPI extensions, provide extensive detail on results and context of the activities within the course,
  • Mobile Support – cmi5 content can be accessed via mobile devices

The ADL cmi5 work group is developing a document which goes into detail regarding what cmi5 can do versus SCORM.  You can view their working document here.

A major benefit of cmi5 is that most of the attributes are content-specific.  The xAPI statements carry all of the information about the content with the content.  SCORM content depended on the LMS to keep it organized.  (cmi5 content is self-aware).  What this means is that the content doesn’t have to sit in the same place as the LMS.  In our cloud-based. distributed content world, this is huge.

With Rustici’s adding cmi5 to SCORM Cloud, we should see more and accelerated development of authoring tools that support the creation of rich xAPI/cmi5 content.

To learn more aboutcmi5, go to the xAPI Resource Center.

What do you think?  Have you explored cmi5 and/or xAPI?  What are your thoughts on cmi5?  Please share your thoughts by replying below in the comments below.

Do As Marketing Does – Part 3 Channels

It is very clear that the changes that will impact learning and development in 2017 and beyond will require very different skills than what we depended upon in the past.   We need to look to other fields for practices we can borrow.  Learning from our colleagues will not only accelerate our abilities to serve our learners and organizations better, but the collaboration will enhance our efforts to integrate with the businesses we serve.

In 6 Things That Learning Professionals Can Learn from Marketers, Todd Kasenberg provides ideas that we can learn from our colleagues in Marketing.  I think he’s dead on with these suggestions.  The 6 things are:

  1. Address learner motivations to get engagement
  2. Be relevant
  3. Get your channels right
  4. Manage cognitive load
  5. Get then trying out (“trialling”) behaviors quickly
  6. Anticipate and handle the objections

Over the next six days, I’m going to flesh out each of these topics and how they fit into the work we do in Learning and Development.

Get your channels right

Marketers know that you match the message to the stage of the buying cycle, and then figure out what channels will get the message delivered most effectively. There are whole toolsets that help marketers figure out “channels” and “channel enablement”.

Kasenberg isn’t very articulate in making his point on this concept, but he’s right.  Marketing, particularly social media marketing, has the understanding to deep drill on customer data to understand which channels speak to each customer.  We all witness now with the ads that are delivered to us in every online environment we work in.

The know the right time to post the right content to the right sites to enhance their exposure to the right customers.  Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer help them schedule engagements with their customers.

L&D understands that there are multiple channels to deliver.  A recent #lrnchat Twitter Chat was dedicated to discussing how multiple channels will impact our work in 2017.  But many of us have fallen into an assumption that delivering to multiple channels means delivering the same content to each channel so that learners will have the same experience regardless of how they access it.

I believe this is missing the mark.  I blame part of it on responsive design efforts that assure content renders well on any device – desktop, tablet or phone.  When content needs to be rendered across all platforms, responsive design is awesome.  But not all content needs to be rendered across all platforms.

Devices aren’t the only channels available to us.  Email, enterprise social networks, communities of practice, newsletters, manager’s team messages, any form of communication in the organization could be a channel for learning.

We need to get to a point where we develop our learning experiences to be multi-modal delivering different bits of content, assessment, review, and reinforcement in different channels that we know will have the best possible impact.  Imagine if we created a microlearning module on team communication and used the company calendaring system to know when each individual was heading into a team meeting and sent the module to them 1/2 an hour before their meeting.

There are folks like Cathy Moore’s Action Mapping and Catherine Lombardozzi’s Learning Environment Design Framework that are leading the way, but overall we have much to learn and our social media marketing colleagues have solutions that we should be borrowing.

Next: Do as Marketing Does – Part 4  Manage Cognitive Load

What do you think?

  • Do you use multiple channels to drive learning?  Which ones?
  • What’s the coolest experience you’ve had using non-standard channels?

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

Here Today. Gone Tomorrow?

Will today’s tech trends prove to be long lasting?

Earlier this week Henry Cloke posted an interesting question to the Learning Education and Training Professionals Group on LinkedIn.  I thought I’d repost his question here, provide my answer and then hopefully my silent readers might comment with their answers.

Henry asked, What’s the biggest trend in the learning technologies space (and is it here to stay)?  He put forward six candidates:

  • mLearning – do we really learn on our mobile devices?
  • Bite-sized learning – linked to the rise of mLearning, isn’t this just good practise… didn’t we know this years ago?
  • Gamification – surely it’s time to go beyond badges, points and leaderboards?
  • Game-based learning – expensive and difficult to implement
  • Virtual Reality – expensive and difficult to implement
  • Personalisation – again, this is just good practise – is the industry really just realising this?
  • xAPI – the group added this tool to the list by concensus

My answer to his question was: Continue reading “Here Today. Gone Tomorrow?”