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Standards in elearning have been a focus of much discussion over the last several years. Standards is an area of elearning where educators and technology professionals are trying to learn "how to play nice with each other". Educators need the ability to design and produce content that is usable in a variety of formats. Technologists need to create and design standards that are adoptable at the user level.

The future of elearning is closely linked to the development of standards. The Internet, for example, experienced great success only after proprietary coding was replaced by HTML. Similarly, the ability for organizations to transfer learning objects to one another will be dependant on standards.

The greatest limitation to standards adoption is complexity. Standards are "practiced" at the user level - instructional designer, facilitator. Currently, many of the requirement to meet standards is too complex for end users. The process of standards compliance/conformance needs to be simplified before industry-wide adoption is possible.


Design Standards

MVU Standards
"More than a year ago, MVU began developing rigorous standards to guide the design and evaluation of online course quality. Based on decades of research and the work of the best minds in the field of Instructional Design, we have recently completed a comprehensive set of standards that can now be used to design and evaluate online courses."

ASTD - Elearning Courseware Certification
"The ASTD Certification Institute introduces the first and only program that will evaluate and provide certification for e-learning courseware. The E-Learning Courseware Certification program will evaluate the instructional design and usability factors of asynchronous Web-based and multimedia courseware."

ICDL Canada
Not directly related to elearning standards. The focus is on standards for using computers.

Technical Standards

Making Sense of Learning Specifications and Standards
"The phrase "learning standards" is one of the most powerful and most misunderstood aspects of the e-Learning revolution. As organizations make significant investments in digital learning content, there is a strong desire to have greater assurances portability and reusability. As organizations focus on providing learners with the "just right" content and activities, there is a strong desire to have the ability to more easily store, search, index, deploy, assemble and revise content. All of these hopes are part of the story of "learning standards"."
A great place to start learning about standards. Good global introduction of standards and how they relate.

Eduworks Standards Site
Broad overview site on standards

Advanced Distributed Learning
"The Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative is a collaborative effort between government, industry and academia to establish a new distributed learning environment that permits the interoperability of learning tools and course content on a global scale. ADL's vision is to provide access to the highest quality education and training, tailored to individual needs, delivered cost-effectively anywhere, anytime."

"The Aviation Industry CBT (Computer-Based Training) Committee (AICC) is an international association of technology-based training professionals. The AICC develops guidelines for aviation industry in the development, delivery, and evaluation of CBT and related training technologies."

"The project focuses on the development of tools and methodologies for producing, managing and reusing computer-based pedagogical elements and telematics supported training curricula."

Incredible resource site for standards. If it is on the Internet, it's here.

"To date no comprehensive notational system exists that allows one to codify units of study (e.g. courses, course components and study programmes), in an integral fashion. EML is the first system to achieve precisely this. EML describes not just the content of a unit of study (texts, tasks, tests, assignments) but also the roles, relations, interactions and activities of students and teachers. The major EML implementation is in XML (eXtensible Mark-up Language), an internationally accepted meta-language for the structured description of documents and data."

"The rapidly emerging e-learning industry will be unable to reach its full potential unless appropriate technical standards are developed and adopted to promote interoperability and the use of full or partial learning object packages. Multiple international initiatives are underway to address this fundamental problem."

"The Learning Technology Standards Committee (LTSC) is chartered by the IEEE Computer Society Standards Activity Board to develop accredited technical standards, recommended practices and guides for learning technology."

"The growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web is transforming teaching and learning at all levels of education, in the workplace, and at home. IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. (IMS) is developing and promoting open specifications for facilitating online distributed learning activities such as locating and using educational content, tracking learner progress, reporting learner performance, and exchanging student records between administrative systems."

IMS Package Editor
"The IMS Package Editor Version 1.1 - (Nov 2001 release), implements the IMS Global Learning Consortium' s Content Packaging and Meta-Data Specifications. It is a deliverable of the JICS IMS Content Packaging and Management project . The Content Packaging specification describes the aggregation and organisation of learning objects within a lesson package. The editor allows learning objects to be added to, organised and stored in lesson packages (in the compressed .zip format) which are interoperable with, and can be reused in, other learning environments and authoring tools supporting the specification - e.g. Blackboard, WebCT, Macromedia Dreamweaver and Microsoft LRN Toolkit."

IMS Assesst Designer
"IMS Assesst Designer is assessment creation tool that is designed specifically for user friendliness. Authors can create, modify, delete and rearrange questions in assessment with ease."

Learning Standards Resources
Good resource page from Learnativity.

Microsoft eLearn
"Here you will find the latest information about online content and resources available today from Microsoft and our eLearning vendors. By providing the enabling technology, content, and services in eLearning—our goal is to enable anytime, anywhere access to information for knowledge workers."

Protocol for Metadata Harvesting
"The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (referred to as the OAI-PMH in the remainder of this document) provides an application-independent interoperability framework based on metadata harvesting."

"Colloquia PackageIt! is a tool that allows you to create and manage IMS compliant Content Packages."

SCORM Tutorial
Good overview of SCORM.

"The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential."


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