SCORM 2.0: LETSI Announces a Call for Participation

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LETSI, Learning Education Training Systems Interoperability, the international, nonprofit federation dedicated to improving individual and organizational learning, has taken on the task of developing the next generation of SCORM, the Sharable Content Object Reference Model. As part of this initiative, LETSI is soliciting White Papers from all stakeholders interested in shaping the future direction of SCORM and the implementation of learning systems technology.

Stakeholders in all parts of the education and training world are invited to submit White Papers concerning the technical and pedagogical requirements for future learning systems interoperability. The deadline for submission is August 15, 2008. The open solicitation was announced May 28th, 2008 at the SCORM Technical Working Group meeting, hosted by the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative in Alexandria, VA.

The development of the next SCORM, the Sharable Content Object Reference Model, has been tasked to LETSI, a new international federation for Learning-Education-Training Systems Interoperability. LETSI's goal is to advance innovation and adoption of learning technology across all market sectors and to support the use of open software standards in learning technology.

Open standards reduce life cycle costs and risks, and promote innovation. SCORM allows content developed in one system to be shared and fully functional within any other SCORM-conformant system. SCORM has been successfully used to develop sharable content in self-paced military training; automobile sales force training; healthcare professional re-certification; K-12 after-school tutoring in South Korea; and many other types of e-learning applications. Over the last decade, SCORM has become the de facto international software standard for learning systems interoperability.

SCORM 2.0 will include specifications and standards created and managed using open, transparent processes that are not encumbered by patents, licenses or restrictions that would impinge on its availability to the global LET community. LETSI will create an open source software community to support SCORM adopters and product developers. LETSI itself does not develop the component standards that go into SCORM.

"Given the demands for harmonization across international technical learning standards, Core SCORM will be based on unencumbered open standards to maximize market growth and global adoption and implementation." -- Paul Jesukiewicz, Deputy Director, Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative.

The U.S. Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (ADL), which has been the advocate and steward of the first ten years of SCORM's development, will continue to support the SCORM community and will maintain the current version, SCORM 2004. LETSI was formed by the ADL and eleven other organizations to provide an international, balanced, open forum for SCORM development and to harmonize activity across the diverse communities that are investing in learning technology: public education, higher education, for-profit education, military training, professional development/certification, corporate training, and on-the-job performance support.

To accommodate these diverse market needs, SCORM 2.0 will have two components:

1) A general reference model, Core SCORM, based on widely adopted, accredited learning
technology standards that support basic interoperability.

2) Additional components that support broadly applicable LET functionality and instructional
capabilities based on specifications that are not yet standards.

SCORM 2.0 will have a modular, extensible architecture that will allow specific communities of practice to adapt and extend the model with functionality and innovations that are important for their particular situation (e.g., a new medical simulation standard or aviation-industry specific metadata). LETSI will play the leadership role in publicizing such extensions and will consider them for future inclusion in SCORM.

In mid-October, LETSI will host a 3-day SCORM 2.0 Workshop where participants will discuss alternative future learning technology solutions. The results will be incorporated in the next release of SCORM, which LETSI will announce at year's end. It is expected that new products that are SCORM 2.0 conformant will begin to appear in late 2009.

LETSI is sponsored by a dozen organizations with commitments to SCORM and to the development of open learning technology standards. LETSI is organized as a program under the IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization. For more information about LETSI, please visit: http://www.letsi.org.

LETSI's White Paper Solicitation is available here:
http://www.letsi.org/letsi/download/attachments/4751660/LETSI+White+Paper+Solicitation+on+SCORM+31May08+FINAL.pdf

For more information about the white paper solicitation and the SCORM 2.0 Workshop, visit:
http://www.letsi.org/SCORM2/

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Avron Barr
LETSI
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