SOAP for SCORM: LETSI's Web Services for Elearning

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LETSI's first project allows future online learning environments to support mobile, multi-learner, immersive, and collaborative learning activities. Today at MODSIM World, LETSI will demonstrate several prototypes that have implemented and tested the open source code, which is freely available, along with a Developer's Guide, at http://www.letsi.org/rtws.

A powerful and elegant method for linking online learning activities with enterprise learning management system outside the confines of the web browser," Christopher Sawwa, Director of eLearning at Meridian Knowledge Solutions.

At the MODSIM World Conference today, LETSI, the International Federation for Learning, Education, and Training Systems Interoperability, announced the release of its first project, Runtime Web Services for Learning (RTWS). The free software release:

1. Solves a known problem in the SCORM community, producing tools for programmers who are integrating new, free-standing learning environments (mobile, gaming, simulation, collaboration, …) with existing SCORM learning management systems.

2. Moves the SCORM community towards the web and its service oriented architecture, which will speed the adoption of new products, teaching techniques, and business models; and

3. Demonstrates LETSI’s innovative methodology – a rapid, agile, collaborative approach to solving data interoperability issues.

SCORM is a standard developed by the U.S. Department of Defense in the 1990s that is now used to track the activities of online learners in schools and corporations around the world. LETSI’s RTWS work will enable new types of elearning activities to easily integrate into existing tracking systems, call Learning Management Systems.

In her presentation today at MODSIM World, Erica Coss of Booz Allen Hamilton, presented the joint work of ten LETSI volunteer organizations that were involved in the final testing phase of this year-long project:

  • Rustici Software, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Meridian Knowledge Solutions instrumented their learning management systems to use web service communications for launching remote learning activities and tracking learners’ progress and performance.
  • OutStart, Boeing, Intelligent Automation, Booz Allen Hamilton, pipwerks, Imedia.it, Meridian, and Engineering and Computer Simulations, are modifying existing courses to use the new communications framework.

Ms. Coss will demonstrate delivery of student performance data across platforms (e.g., LMS, browser, PC desktop, mobile) from remote, standalone learning activities like simulations, games, virtual worlds, mobile apps, and intelligent tutors.

Future LETSI projects will continue to advance service-oriented software architectures for learning systems. Enabling communication across learning platforms fosters experimentation and adoption of innovative learning activities and new tools for teachers, students, and parents.

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Avron Barr
LETSI
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