Can’t want what we don’t know about

Once upon a time, there was no sliced bread*. And people were happy because they didn’t know they wanted sliced bread.

Then someone gave them sliced bread. Suspicion, amazement and eventually joy erupted. Suddenly, they wanted, no needed, sliced bread. These days, it’s tough to sell bread that isn’t pre-sliced.

It’s a common problem in product development – delivering something amazing you know people will want but can’t ask for because they don’t even know it is possible. (Face it, did you know you needed TIVO before it came along? I’m waiting for a radio version, pretty please!)

I’m seeing a little of this as I explore the LMS world. Lots of talk about reporting and what should be there and whether anyone cares and who should care. I see admins refusing to bother because no one asks for anything other than the bare bones already provided. I see trainers who would love to know more but figure their LMS just can’t deliver so they suffer in silence. I see instructional designers who feel there has to be a better way to judge the success of a course than just a single score at the end.

Lots of talking, not much asking, very little doing.

One of the nice things about SCORM (yes, there are a few) is the amount of data that just naturally gets created. As we wrap up integrating the SCORM Cloud with various open-source LMS packages, the question of reporting has come up. Not whether to report, but just what and how to format the reports. We already know we can slice the bread; we just have to figure out how thick to make the slices and whether to toss in some butter and jam.

Wanna help us shape up LMS reporting? How would you want the SCORM Cloud (and likely the SCORM Engine by default) to deliver reports and what do you think you want to know? We have some devilishly clever ideas but welcome yours.

*After Tim wrote about bread on a software company blog, I had to figure out a way to include it as well. Bread. With butter and jam. Seriously. These posts make me hungry.


  • We receive requests from clients just about daily on reporting from SCORM detail data. Here are some of the more popular requests.

    1) Summary level time in course with ability to drill down to detail by user including detail by page of course. Report parameter would be course and then date range (include all users with activity on course during date range)

    2) Assessment validity – Provide analysis of correct/incorrect by question. Display number of users getting the question correct, number of users getting the question incorrect, and percentage correct. Report parameter would be course and then date range (include all users who took the assessment within the date range entered).

    3) User detail report – display all interation information for a single user for a single course registration. If the user has taken the course (separate registrations) more than once, group the report by registration. Report parameter would be user and course.