Last Wednesday along with 190 others I joined the “SCORM 2.0 and Beyond” webinar hosted by LETSI. This was the first in a series of community events LETSI are hoping to organise to promote its activities.
Charles Allan started the session with an overview of developments with SCORM and the relationship between LETSI and the ADL. Orginally it was envisaged that ADL would hand over governance/stewardship of SCORM to “the community” i.e. LETSI. However, there have been some developments and the current state of play is that ADL are continuing to steward SCORM and may (or may not) release new versions. LETSI is working on developing SCORM 2.0 which is not as close to the existing SCORM specification as originally thought. So in effect they are starting with a blank sheet and are looking at wider context of data interoperability than the original SCORM model which was primarily content driven. SCORM 2.0 developments will be focused on the different types of data which need to be shared including: learning activities; resources, people, competency frameworks there was also a nod to webservices and mashups.
Charles explained that LETSI is not a standards development body or a trade association. It sees itself rooted within the implementation community. LETSI will work with existing bodies to help shorten adoption lifecycles through filling a gap in the current standards community. Specifically by helping to build communities and developing agile software development processes which should speed up consistency of implementation approaches. LETSI will not build a spec if there is an existing one which is fit for purpose and they are currently reviewing a number of standards as part of the SCORM 2.0 scoping work. LETSI hopes to enable a move towards a more agile, iterative standards development process.
Four technical working groups have been formed (more info on the LETSI website) and they hope to produce a technical roadmap later this year. Over the coming months there will be a series of webinars on candiate technologies, continued development of potential software architecture solutions as well as continuing liasion with formal standards bodies. Future developments will include investigation of orchestration of content/activities and compentency frameworks amongst others and they are actively looking for working group participation. The working groups are open to anyone to join, however to have voting rights you need to pay a (nominal, I think $100 was mentioned) membership fee.
It will be interesting to see how developments progress this year and if an organisation like LETSI can actually effectively work with existing standards agencies and speed up the specification development and release process. I hope they don’t get bogged down in the same bureaucratic processes which have made the formal standards process so drawn out.