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A method for storing standardised learning content in a content repository

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131712D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Nov-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-16
Document File: 5 page(s) / 196K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

We propose a system allowing for content complying to the SCORM learning content standard to be stored in a content repository in an optimally re-usable way. The system allows for re-use to take place both at the content level, in terms of resources, and at the structure level, in terms of items, organizations and manifests Aditionally, we describe a folder storage structure which allows this content to be stored.

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A method for storing standardised learning content in a content repository

The SCORM standard defines a format for learning content. It allows learning items (lessons, documents, presentations, exams) to be aggregated into courses, along with metadata which is provided separately.

    A SCORM package, as shown in Diagram 1 below, represents a course as a combination of a manifest file and physical files. The manifest file, stored in XML format, defines the course structure in terms of Organizations and Items, collectively referred to as Learning Objects (LOs). It also stores metadata for the LOs along with resource definitions which can refer to physical files from the package, or URLs of remote resources. The items referred to by resources contain the course content. The combination of manifest and physical files is stored in a zipped archive file.

Diagram 1 - SCORM Package Structure

    Within the Organizations section of the Manifest file, the course structure is defined as a hierarchy of Items. These represent units of learning (courses, modules, lessons) and can either contain other items or contain a reference to a resource. This allows a course structure of Course, Module, Lesson to be represented as Organization, Item, Item, with each LO contained within the previous one. The leaf LOs contain references to Resources which point to physical learning content, either stored in the SCORM package or in remote location referenced by a URL.

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Diagram 2 - SCORM Organization Structure

    This representation allows for re-use of resources and physical files within a single SCORM package. Even though Learning Objects are valuable resources requiring a signficant investment of time and effort to create, this representation does not allow for Items or Organizations to be re-used within a package without duplication, nor does it provide a method for sharing Learning Objects between several packages (Diagram 3).

Diagram 3: Item re-use in SCORM package

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    The Java Content Repository, defined in JSR-170 provides a standardised interface to content repositories using a tree structure for data representation. It allows for versioning of content and provides a method for linking between nodes. It also allows custom node types to be created and metadata to be attached to nodes.

Docs/Standards: Document Name URL Copy SCORM Content
Agregation Model

                   http://www.adlnet.org/scorm /history/2004/documents.cf m
JSR-170 - Java Content
Repository

http://www.jcp.org/en/jsr/det ail?id=170

    We have designed an object model to represent the information contained in a SCORM course. The model maps the content of a SCORM package to a set of custom JCR nodes. Each element from a SCORM manifest is represented by a seperate node type. The nodes are connected using JCR links, allowing a single node to be contained in several course structures. A p...