4 Replies Latest reply: Apr 14, 2009 4:38 AM by www.cpguru.com RSS

    Problems with Scorm and Captivate

    MichaelM00

      There appears to be a major problem with Scorm compliance and Captivate 4.

       

      From my understanding, Scorm 1.2 requires that the Manifest include the filenames of all resource files in order to import them. It appears that when Captivate externalizes its resources (Skins, etc) it does not include them in the Manifest. This is because Captivate does not dynamically create the manifest, but rather uses template manifest to fill in variables. The file that is missing from the template is untitled_skin.swf. Below is the template and the output from my test. From the template, it does not appear that Captivate will support anything other than a single SWF and be compliant with Scorm 1.2 (1.2 Scorm Specs http://www.imsglobal.org/content/packaging/cpv1p1p2/imscp_bestv1p1p2.html)

       

      Template:

       

      <resources>
        <resource identifier="@RD_MQZ_MANIFEST_ID_RES" type="webcontent" href="@RD_MQZ_MANIFEST_HTM_NAME_HREF" adlcp:scormtype="sco">
               <file href="@RD_MQZ_MANIFEST_SWF_NAME"/>
            <file href="@RD_MQZ_MANIFEST_HTM_NAME"/>
                  <file href="SCORM_support/scorm_support.htm"/>
                  <file href="SCORM_support/scorm_support.js"/>
                  <file href="SCORM_support/scorm_support.swf"/>
        </resource>

       

      Actual XML:

       

      <resources>

      - <resource identifier="SCO_ID1_RES" type="webcontent"href="untitled.htm"adlcp:scormtype="sco">
      <file href="untitled.swf" />
      <file href="untitled.htm" />
      <file href="SCORM_support/scorm_support.htm" />
      <file href="SCORM_support/scorm_support.js" />
      <file href="SCORM_support/scorm_support.swf" />
      Please advise..
      Thank You!
        • 1. Re: Problems with Scorm and Captivate
          Erik Lord ACP

          Assuming this is true, and I've no reason to disbelieve you, why is this a problem?

          Is it just 'technically' a problem or is it a functional problem?

           

          I think the idea of listing all assets in the manifest is so other lessons could ideally make use of those assets, or something like that.

          The manifest does NOT need to list all assets in order for the LMS to serve the lesson correctly...or at least, not in the LMS products I've worked with.

           

          Finally, I think to launch a Captivate SWF that has an applied skin, you actually have to launch the skin file, which then loads the non-skin SWF. If you look at the "untitled.htm" code, am I correct in betting it loads the untitled_skin.swf?

          I suggest that as recently I looked at a CP 3 published lesson and double-clicking the 'untitled.swf' did not show the skin, whereas clicking the untitled_skin.swf showed both (IIRC).

           

          Anyway, I am curious if this is a problem you've seen with functionality?

          Cheers,

          Erik

          • 2. Re: Problems with Scorm and Captivate
            MichaelM00 Community Member

            While it may not be a problem on some LMS's, I do know that SCROM specifically specifies that all files must be included in the Manifest. It fully depends on the LMS, if a LMS verifies the files in the package (unzips to staging area and verifies the files), after that process, the files not listed would not be copied to production (Unzip to staging area, verify, move files in manifest over to storage area). Also if courses are repackaged, there is a possibility that the non-listed files would be ignored. The problem im experiencing is dealing with content that goes to multiple custom LMS implementations. If the package is not scorm compliant, I have no idea what problems could occur from a clients perspective. I cant certify the courses as "Scorm compliant" if they dont comply.Does anyone know if there is anything in Adobe's E-learning suite that would fix this?

            • 3. Re: Problems with Scorm and Captivate
              Russ_E Community Member

              Michael,

               

              SCORM packages do have a number of "must-haves", but the listing of every last resource asset is more a best practice (although a good idea).
              The content doc that you reference actually states that it is a best-practice document at the top. 
              My stand has always been that in the long run you are much better off if you follow all the rules (especially as the standards evolve and build on each other) so I would love to see captivate list all the resources in the future.

               

              Importantly though, for any SCORM certified LMS there are two instances where resources MUST be listed.
              First, if it is the href launch file for that particular resource (i.e. <resource identifier="SCO_ID1_RES" type="webcontent" href="untitled.htm"adlcp:scormtype="sco"> in your example) then obviously it must be listed in order for LMS to serve up the next part of the course.
              The other time it must be listed is if that particular resource is actually a "dependency sub-element" of whatever sco or other resource it applies to.

               

              As long as you have those bases covered, and all the other rules of course (schemas definitions, etc...) it should still pass the appropriate ADL conformance test suite.
              I use both captivate 3 and 4 with a whole host of different LMS systems and have found the generated files to be quite sufficient for basic packaging needs.
              Although, I have made a few customizations based on comments I have read from Andrew Cherney and Mike Rustici (I try to read everything either one of them answers for someone on the forum).

               

              If you are saying that a particular LMS is doing some kind of "import validation" before it accepts and allows you to publish your content, then that is actually quite common (though usually transparent unless you hit a snag in the validation).
              Typically, the validation will consist of a shortened version of the same basic items that the ADL test suite checks for (schemas and declarations, launch files, etc..).

               

              That said, if because of an LMS that you need to account for, you absolutely NEED to have all the files listed in the manifest, a great tool for ensuring that is actually free.
              It is called RELOAD, and if you ever take one of the courses run by the ADL Academic Co-Lab (which I highly recommend) that is the tool they use for teaching about packaging and sequencing.
              Very useful tool for creating new packages or editing existing packages as well as adding metadata, sequencing rules and so on.

               

              RELOAD lets you drag and drop whole directories of resources and set their dependency requirements so you could use it to quickly add all your resources to the manifest.
              This is their website:
              http://www.reload.ac.uk/

               

              I can generally get by with just the files that captivate generates for scorm 1.2 , but for any heavy lifting (i.e. dynamic sequencing in scorm 2004), I always bring RELOAD into the picture.

               

              I hope this was helpful.  I tend to ramble on about standards sometimes...
              Russ

              • 4. Re: Problems with Scorm and Captivate
                www.cpguru.com Community Member

                Agree with Russ here. We also use Reload to build our manifest since we get more control over the final SCORM output than we do with Captivate.

                 

                As far as issues with the LMS and Captivate created SCORM packages we haven't seen any problems. However, our LMS allows us to import undeclared resources so even though the files aren't referenced in the IMS manifest they are still uploaded to the server. I have heard of people using the SABA LMS have had some issues with these undeclared files from Captivate SCORM packages.

                 

                /Michael

                 


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