Building the Perfect SCORMTM
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Creating Sharable Content Objects (SCO's) that successfully interact with a Learning Management System (LMS) via the SCORM Runtime Environment is problematic at best. Most developers are not able to run their LMS locally on their desktop. And even when they get to test the SCO against the actual LMS, they are not able to view the individual messages or see the return values. In addition, advanced authoring environments such as ToolBook® hide much of the runtime communication from the developer. This is nice until the developer needs to add capabilities or debug a problem. At that point, they need to know what SCORM messages get sent and when.
Enter SCORM Watch. It becomes your testing LMS. You give it the path to the SCO and (optionally) settings such as the window size, student name, and mastery score. It then launches the SCO and displays all the messages and values sent to and from the SCO. Better yet, SCORM Watch retains settings such as completion status and test score. You can then launch the SCO again to see how it reacts the next time. You can even save the path and other settings to an external file so that you can re-test your SCO's later from a given state.
SCORM Watch boasts numerous innovative features such as the ability to collapse unused areas of the screen, a special "swap" window to switch between SCORM Watch and the SCO, and special logging of interaction messages. It works with both SCORM 1.2 and 1.3 (2004) SCO's.
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Lastly, there is the joy of testing all of this. I cannot recommend highly enough Platte Canyon's SCORM Watch where this is concerned. If you are at all serious about getting into this, then SCORM Watch is a must have.
BTW, I really like using this tool. Much easier and more robust than anything else I have used.
This is a great program; you’re to be congratulated.
I would launch the SCO and watch the raw score and status changes take place (changes appear in green). I could also read all the SCORM calls. "Get" values are in blue, "Set" values are in purple. All the lines are numbered so I could read the order of the SCORM events. Then all I had to do was to change the values in SCORM Watch to test all the variations in the script. Using a drop-down box to set the value and hit the launch button again, the whole event would repeat under different variables, and I could check that the Actions Editor script is functioning according to plan.
I have one of the early copies of SCORM Watch from Platte Canyon and it is a very valuable tool. It acts like an LMS in that it launches your SCOs, then allows you to see the values that are read and written to and from the LMS (SCORM Watch). This is great when you are trying to debug.