Learning object standard

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There exist a certain number of standards to define various parts of learning objects. Most of these standards define a learning object in terms of IMS Content Packaging. I.e. There is a widely accepted common data structure withing which Learning Object Metadata Standard and educational "organizations" can be defined.

Assembly and data description
Modeling languages (see educational modeling language)
Combined profiles
More stuff

Overview table standardized learning objects

The following overview table attempts to provide a summary of the most common specifications and standards used to define learning objects, mostly things that one could put inside an IMS Content Packaging. For more information you'd have to click on various links ...

This table needs some additions and fixes. Please don't fully trust this, I am just trying to summarize information and by no means I feel passionate about e-learning standards
- Daniel K. Schneider 14:48, 14 March 2007 (MET).
Name Version Description Status Origin Standards Body Part of / adopted by Integrates with
Comments/ explanations Not all are shown Contents are more or less copied from relevant web sites Is it really used ? and where Who worked on the spec. Who is the final authority Is it part of a collection / profile ? Can it contain others or is it containable ?

Content Packaging

(overall structure of a reusable learning object, e.g. metadata, resources and minimal sequencing)
IMS Content Packaging (CP) 1.1.2 (8/2001) The IMS Content Packaging Specification provides the functionality to describe and package learning materials, such as an individual course or a collection of courses, into interoperable, distributable packages. Content Packaging addresses the description, structure, and location of online learning materials and the definition of some particular content types. IMS CP can be extented Ariadne and others IMS SCORM 1.2 Can contain: IMS Learning Resource Meta Data (almost IEEE LOM)
1.1.3 (7/2003) Minor change of 1.1.2 IMS IMS
1.1.4 (2004) A maintenance release of 1.1.2 (17 precisions meaning that badly written 1.1.3 files should be fixed) Imports in most LMS (if it can handle the organizations part ...) IMS IMS SCORM 1.4 Can contain: IEEE LOM IMS LD IMS SS IMS QTI Is extended by the SCORM CAM Model
1.2 (end 2006) No idea IMS IMS SCORM 1.4

Content / Course Structure models

(these include content packaging + specifications for more sophisticated resources & sequences)
AICC Course Structure Format (see below) AICC AICC
SCORM Content Structure Format (CSF) This format is deprecated (replaced by IMS CP + Scorm CAM extensions that integrate CFS functionality) AICC ADL SCORM 1.1
SCORM Sharable Content Objects (SCOs) A single launchable resource that can communicate with an LMS using the SCORM RTE. Scorm opposes SCO to assets (i.e. simple electronic representations of media, such as text, images, sound, web pages or other pieces of data that can be delivered using web technologies.) SCORM 1.2 SCORM 2004
SCORM Content Aggregation Model (CAM) SCORM 1.2 The CAM specifies how you should package your content so that it can be imported into an LMS (Assembling, labeling and packaging of learning content) ADL SCORM 1.2 IMS CP IEEE LOM SCORM CP extensions (assets vs. SCOs, Sequencing and navigation info)

Meta Data

(description of an overall learning object or parts of it)
IMS Meta-Data (MD) 1.2 (2001) 1.2.1 (2001) 1.2.2 (draft) 1.2.4 (2001) Outdated now, but older "profiles" require one of these versions. Differences among subversions are minor Elements from Ariadne, Dublin Core, AICC IMS
Learning Object Metadata Standard (LOM) IEEE Std 1484.12.1 - 2002 (IMS 1.3) A slightly cleaned up version of IMS Meta Data 1.2 Part of Content Profiles; Used by some learning object repository IMS IEEE IMS Meta-Data 1.3; SCORM 1.2 SCORM 2004; Many repositories Usually part of an IMS CP (or extensions)
Dublin Core Very popular with digital library, e.g. DSPACE

Pedagogical contents and activities

(see Educational modelling languages)
IMS Content Packaging (CP) (default organization) By default, IMS CP allows to define a tree-based organization of learning items. Each item can refer to resources (assets) that the learner can access through a player (lms). SCORM 1.2 SCORM 2004 IMS CP 1.1.x
IMS Simple Sequencing (SS) SCORM 2004
IMS Learning Design (LD) not in any SCORM profile
IMS Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) 1.2 1.2 Lite 1.2.1 The IMS Question & Test Interoperability (QTI) specification describes a data model for the representation of question (assessmentItem) and test (assessmentTest) data and their corresponding results reports IMS CP
2.0 2.1 This version adds many features. IMS CP IMS LD IMS SS SCORM 2004

Run-Time environment

specifications and data models
Scorm Run-Time Environment (RTE) 1.3 1.3.1 The RTE specifies how content should behave once it has been launched by the LMS. Includes: API, API Instance, Launch, Session methods, Data Transfer Methods, Support Methods, Temporal Model, Run-Time Data Model. ADL SCORM 1.2
1.0 (more recent !) SCORM 2004
Scorm Sequencing and Navigation (SN) 1.3 1.3.1 Activity Tree, Learning Activities, Sequencing Information, Navigation Information, Navigation Data Model. See also: The SCORM CAM SCORM 2004 1st/2nd (Scorm 1.3) IMS SS Sequencing Rules and Behaviors
1.0 SCORM 2004 3rd ed.
AICC CMI Data Model This data model makes sure that a defined set of information about SCOs can be tracked by different LMS environments AICC (also IEEE?) SCORM 1.2 (RTE); AICC Computer Managed Instruction (CMI)
IEEE ECMAScript Application Programming Interface for Content to Runtime Services Communication IEEE SCORM 2004
IEEE Data Model For Content Object Communication IEEE SCORM 2004


(collections of one or more specifications / standards)
AICC Computer Managed Instruction (CMI) specifications Contains: ICC Course Structure Format; AICC CMI Data Model;
SCORM Content Aggregation Model (CAM) The CAM specifies how you should package your content so that it can be imported into an LMS ADL SCORM 1.2 IMS CP IMS MD SCORM CP extensions
SCORM 1.0 Rarely used ADL
1.1 Not well supported (most systems support 1.2) ADL
1.2 This is still the most popular profile (2006)On dec 18 2006, there were 71 certified systems. Elements from IMS, AICC, ARIADNE, IEEE LTSC ADL IMS CP IMS MD SCORM RTE SCORM CAM
2004 1st & 2nd edition (alias SCORM 1.3 / 1.3.1) IEEE LOM IMS CP Sequencing and Navigation SN (includes IMS SS) SCORM Conttent Aggregation Model (CAM)
2004 (1st, 2nd, 3rd edition) On dec 18, 2006 there were 32 certified products, but no major players. ADL IEEE LOM IMS CP Sequencing and Navigation SN (includes IMS SS) IEEE ECMAScript API IEEE Data Model for Content Object Communication


You will find many more links in all the other articles related to standards and educational modeling languages ....