Dear Drupal User

Dear Drupal User.

I’m so happy for you… your relationship with Drew Pal has brought so many great things to your life and your work… I couldn’t be more thrilled for you. In every relationship, though, I know tough times come along, and I can sympathize. I recently heard from a mutual friend that you’ve hit a real snag in your relationship. It seems that your dear friend is failing to meet your needs in a very important, very personal way. Drew just doesn’t seem to understand why SCORM is important to you.

I know a lot of guys like Drew. They say they care about your needs. Sometimes, they make sincere efforts to be there for you… but do they last? Do they really understand? I know Drew’s been giving you lip service about this for years… wasn’t it back in 2007 when he said he would really work on this SCORM thing? That didn’t work out, did it? So what did Drew do then? Drew thought he could bring in one of his buddies… he thought the two of them together could embrace your needs. The problem, though, is that Mo Dull isn’t all that great with SCORM either. Mo is more of an early 2000’s guy, since he’s yet to embrace SCORM 2004. So then you were stuck with Mo and Drew together, and neither of them really did what you needed them to do. Twice the headache.

You’re not ready to throw Drew to the wolves, though, are you? He does great things for you, and you can trust him. You know what you’ve got, and you really kind of like it, you just wish it did this one thing better? I think it’s time for me to introduce you to the Cloud…

The SCORM Cloud is the best kind of therapist… he sits between you and Drew and explains what you really mean to each other. With SCORM Cloud serving the content, there are no mixed messages, no disastrous incidents… Your needs are met… you can deliver SCORM content without a headache. And Drew? Drew would be thrilled. Drew wouldn’t have to spend any of his time and energy trying to understand this crazy SCORM stuff. He would get the simple, grunt sized pieces of information that he needed.

SCORM Cloud therapy, like most valuable things, does come with a cost. The good doctor spends countless hours in continuing education to keep up with the evolving “illness” that is SCORM, and hosting these pieces of content isn’t a trivial expense. That cost is simply passed on to you, since Drew himself won’t pay.

Drupal User, I would love to introduce you to SCORM Cloud. Scheduling that appointment would take a bit of time on both our parts, but your sincere interest in ongoing therapy would make it worth my while. Please, send me a note, and we’ll introduce the two of you.

Tim

Note: We haven’t put together the connection for Drupal and SCORM Cloud yet. We would love for you to do that yourself. Or, if you’d rather we do it, let us know that it would be useful for you, and we can help out. And if you have another piece of open source software that you’d like us to integrate, let us know that as well… Moodle, Sakai, WordPress, all of these systems would fit together with the SCORM Cloud beautifully… just give us a good reason.


  • So, Tim, I guess I’m still left wondering in what way would integration be compelling? It seems to me with the content managment systems you’ve mentioned (Drupal, Joomla, WordPress as examples), there’s two ways I look at them for possible integrations:

    1) These CMSs act as authoring tools to publish to the SCORM cloud.
    2) These CMSs present SCORM content FROM the SCORM cloud.

    Obviously, you could also combine the two (I guess).

    I’ll take a stab at WordPress.

    I guess there’s a compelling thought to turn a group blog into a collaborative authoring environment for learning content. Okay. But you’re still making it a one-post, one-content deal.

    There’s probably a variety of ways to “present” content from the Cloud into a WP blog. You could mash-up the keywords or categories (or both) from teh blog with metadata in your content repository in your Cloud account, to auto-suggest content from the Cloud. That’s interesting. Mzinga does this (so I hear), but at least that’s finally a reason to do any kind of metadata.

    You could tie an e-commerce plugin into WP or Joomla to unlock E-Learning content so you could support custom training centers where the Cloud acts as the back-end and the reporting system. Mashup that reporting with whatever transaction records, etc.

    I mean, to me these are obvious examples. I don’t have a picture of how I’d mashup the data you have in the Cloud with other data streams. Maybe scatterplt by geographic location what E-Learning subjects are popular? A mashup of content metadata and Google Maps? Could be interesting — a WHAT AND WHERE are we learning today?

    Just my .02.

    -a-

  • I absolutely love Aaron’s comments here. Why? Because they push beyond my initial vision to things that could/will come down the road.

    WRT #1. Today, we have no intent to extend the CMSs to publish content to the SCORM Cloud. Love to see it done, yes, but that’s not what we’re talking about today.

    WRT #2. Yes. I believe that each of the CMS style open source products could benefit from great SCORM support. Some have it to a point (Moodle comes to mind, with its imminent 1.2 certification) and others have it not at all. Clearly I believe in great support, and I want each of these systems to have it. They can do so by integrating the Cloud and allowing us to host/deliver their content.

    WRT WordPress. Your vision fits pretty well with mine. When I see WP, I see a system that already tracks users. I picture a plugin that ties it together with SCORM Cloud and allows administrators to upload SCORM Content to WP. The administrator can then assign content to the various users. These users would then have a sidebar widget (theoretically) that would allow them to launch their content and see their progress.

    From my point of view, any system that tracks users can be extended quickly to import/deliver/track SCORM training. That’s the first big leap here.

    As the “futurist” that you are, Aaron, you’re starting to pick up on some of the fun stuff that can happen AFTER people start adopting a centralized delivery mechanism. Those who are willing (you would have to opt in) could share their data across the segmented SCORM Cloud installations.

    That shared data would allow you to do some of the things you’re imagining. What are people training on? Where? Imagine a content author soliciting feedback from a centralized system ACROSS the various systems using it.

    And then, down the road (again, for those who CHOOSE to), you could much more easily allow folks from various entities to collaborate, discuss, etc… At the risk of sounding cliche, centralized content delivery could make it possible to “break down walls” that divide LMSs today, again, for THOSE WHO WANT TO.

    So, yes, Aaron, you and are dreaming of some fun things that could happen. Today, step one, is getting many systems tied together with the Cloud so that they can do the basics well… From there, we extend.

    Thanks again for taking the time… other thoughts/ideas are MORE than welcome.

  • Daragh O Brien

    Are you aware of anyone doing work to integrate ScormCloud with Drupal? Might be the answer to a challenge I’m having in a business project.

    If there isn’t anyone working on this I’d be interested to discuss how to get that started.

  • Daragh.

    To my knowledge, there isn’t anyone integrating with Drupal yet. That’s not to say no one is doing it, but I don’t know about it if they are.

    I’d love to help you get started on the integration (and help you in whatever way suits). I’ll reach to you via email as well.

    Tim

  • Hi Tim,

    Any news about someone working on a Drupal integration?

    Thx

  • No news at this point. We’d still love to see the community pick it up, and we’d be happy to help with that as time allows. (Further, if someone wants to pay us to create the module, we could do that as well.)

    Do you have some real interest on your end?

  • Chris D.

    We certainly have an interest. 🙂

    Until now, we’ve been using an in-house model that I based on my initial readings of the SCORM documentation. As you have noted, the Patridge family was wrong. Doing it halfway is doing it no way at all. (Ok… not quite true as my SCORM-inspired system has served us reasonably well over the last few years, but…)

    I have recently written a new export routine to package our content (all based in flash) for use in a SCORM-conformant LMS. Rather than re-re-inventing the wheel, I’d like to implement a new delivery system that leverages the SCORM Cloud.

    Our preferred CMS is Drupal so this is where I’d like to focus my efforts. I won’t have a lot of time to devote to it, so it would be more of a labour of love sort of thing. 🙂

    What aspects do you see as the primary requirements for integrating the Cloud with Drupal?

    Cheers.

  • Tess Crossen

    Chris,
    Have you had any success with this. I work at Penn State and we are desperate to get some labs working in Drupal. These labs work in Moodle–so there is a comparison. I need a consultant that could give attention to this for us.

    Tess

  • Tess.

    We’ve actually got a company that’s creating a Drupal integration as we speak. They don’t have a delivery date yet, but they are doing real work right now. Would you like me to connect you with them so you can keep up with the progress?

    Tim

  • Hi Tim,

    We’re a instructor lead training business and short term we’re looking at using the web for more ways to engage with our delegates.

    We are having great success developing our new services with the help of Drupal, focusing on building an online environment for delegates pre, during and post course.

    We’ve found Drupal great for building forums, questions and answers, managing membership, and providing course information.

    What I see is an opportunity to use SCORM Cloud as the tool for the delivery of additional training material and assessments.

    Where we would look to integrate the two would be to
    1) push delegate account information in SCORM Cloud from Drupal
    2) pull assessment information from SCORM Cloud into Drupal

    Later this year, we’ll start looking into the feasibility of this, but at the moment I can’t see why this wouldn’t be relatively straight forward using your PHP Library.

    Cheers,
    Simon.

  • Simon.

    I love that you’re playing with it. Keep following us, as there’s already some great Drupal work going on. We have a client and a Drupal dev shop that have got a module working already. We’ll share more as they continue along the path.

    Tim