Play with the course properties to find the right mix for a successful launch


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What are course properties?

So when you create a SCORM package, there are a lot of options presented to you to let you tell the LMS just how to treat the package. And given the different ways authoring tools create SCORM manifests, these might need to be tweaked a bit to get the course to actually launch. Tweaking others might give you a better user experience or allow you to keep the correct types of data after the course is closed.

Rather than going back to the tool you used to create the course to make changes then retest, we give you the option right in SCORM Cloud to reset and test using different properties. Once you figure out which ones give you the best results, you can go back to change the course settings and prepare for launch.

SCORM packages are like snowflakes…

Sometimes it seems that no two SCORM packages are alike; they vary in their content and their interpretation of the standard itself. This is why so many LMSs fail in their efforts to achieve high levels of compatibility. One of the ways in which SCORM Engine and SCORM Cloud (at the core of SCORM Test Track) is able to achieve these high levels of compatibility is by being flexible. While most LMSs choose a single manner in which to launch content, SCORM Test Track offers dozens of combinations.

SCORM Package Properties allow one course to be launched in a frameset with the course menu to the left while another course is better suited to being launched in a new window with the SCORM API available in that window.

On import, the SCORM Engine will make use of intelligent defaults to take a guess at the right setting for the course at hand. You’re welcome, however, to override these in a way that will help your content perform at its best. If this is too much information, simply click Launch Course and move on…

The various properties are described in detail in this document. Screen shots and generalities are included here.

Navigation Controls

Navigational Controls allow the frame in which the content is delivered to be rendered in the fashion best suited to the piece of content. The left pane, for example, contains the course structure. If the course at hand contains but a single SCO, displaying that structure is a bad idea.


Launch Behavior

Windows, windows everywhere. Certain pieces of SCORM content behave best in their own window. Others only work if they’re in the same window as the LMS. Properly formed SCORM content works fine either way. These controls allow the SCORM Engine to conform to the requirements of the content (even if it isn’t required to do so).


Rudimentary Sequencing

If you’re working SCORM 1.2, though, these properties allow you to control the behavior of the content as you navigate between SCOs. Because SCORM 2004 has its own set of sequencing rules, specified directly in the imsmanifest, our basic sequencing rules don’t apply to SCORM 2004 packages.


Rudimentary Rollup

Like the Rudimentary Sequencing rules, these properties simply don’t apply to SCORM 2004 (and so they are not displayed). In older versions of the standard, though, these options allow you to control how scores and completion are rolled up amongst the multiple SCOs included in some courses.


Compatibility Settings

Compatibility Settings allow the SCORM Engine to compensate for the failures of others, yet again leading to the high levels of compatibility that set it apart. When we encounter common SCORM mistakes that we can’t handle internally, we make allowances for those via compatibility settings. One major vendor misinterpreted the first version of SCORM 2004 to the point that their content dumped all of the user’s data every time they exited. Obviously this isn’t what the users wanted. So we overcame this via a compatibility setting that told the LMS to ignore the content’s mistake, problem solved. These settings are the answers to frustrating content mistakes.


Communication Settings

The two settings found here simply control how often you’d like to see SCORM Test Track communicating progress to the server. In some SCORM Engine implementations, these controls are used to limit the impact on the servers. Here, they simply demonstrate the level of flexibility in the SCORM Engine.


Debugger Options

Debugger Options allow the administrator to control just how much information is persisted about each course. By default, SCORM Test Track will share all of the details on sequencing and run-time (the useful pieces) and none of the detail on control (the confusing piece).


Note: All of the screen shots posted here relate to SCORM Engine version 2008.1 as seen in SCORM Test Track on January 15, 2009.