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Your LMS uses a SCORM player with its own Table of Contents to display links to individual modules in the course. As far as the LMS is concerned, the hierarchical structure of your course is described in the imsmanifest.xml file that it finds at the root level of your course SCORM package.
The Captivate Multi-SCO Packaging tool has no ability to specify a hierarchy deeper than one level. And even if it did, there's no guarantee your LMS would be able to display that hierarchy in the TOC of the SCORM Player.
So it seems that a lot of my questions are non-Captivate related, based upon your answer anyway.
It looks like there are a lot of course design books on Amazon but none seem to deal with the technical aspects.
Where does one go to learn this stuff?
If you're talking about technical aspects of designing courses with Captivate, you've come to the right place. There are lots of very experienced experts inhabiting this forum.
Well, yes and no I guess. And I agree, this seems to be the place for Captivate and I have greatly appreciated everyone's help here.
As for training, etc., I'm thinking more of how to deal with all of the SCORM aspects like the hierarchy issue.
After a half day web hunting I've finally found what my issue is called: SCORM Organizations
And I found it here:
Of course that's $350, after the costs of the eLearning Suite 2.5 I already have.
So, does Adobe have a more automated way of doing this like Trident or am I deep into Dreamweaver and the manifest?
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Take a deep breath and don't open your mouth until you surface.
As far as I've seen, current Captivate and Multi-SCO Packager technology can't help you with creating SCORM Organisations.
Before you dive in too deep, test a very simple hierarchical organisation on your LMS to make sure it can handle anything more than one level.
Thanks again Rod, all around.
Good question too. The SCORM guy at my LMS is on vacation this week but their other tech support and I came up with a work around by adding folders and SCOs to the syllabus, all within the LMS. Seems like a bass ackwards way of doing it but it does work. Given that situation I assume that other LMS systems work the same way and that course content providers must be prepared to install their courses in this way for their buyers.
The thing that you have to remember about using an LMS is that vendors tout features few people want or need, but chase bulk sales. Most LMS users are only really interested in the overall pass/fail or completion/incomplete status for each participant. Few people want more granular control than this, though managers still love to see fancy reports, whether or not they can decipher them.
I'm not saying that it's not useful to be able to slice and dice stats on each individual module or interaction within a course and then do it per user, etc, etc. I'm just saying that few LMS vendors truly cater to this requirement. One of the reasons being that stashing away all that extra data blows out the size of the LMS database to all getout, and that in turn makes it run slower, which in turn makes their LMS look bad. All for something that almost nobody ever wants or needs? So they tend to build for the minimal needs first and foremost.
So it is with SCORM too. The standard provides for enormous flexibility in structures and sequencing. But almost nobody ever users all this power, because it just adds layers of complexity to something that is already complex enough, and there are virtually no e-learning authoring tools on the market that provide for it out of the box. You usually need the services of programmers to pull it off, which also means you'll need their services again every time you do maintenance on the course. And even if you DO get lucky and find a tool that allows you to leverage everything that SCORM can do, you have a snowball's chance in [you know where] of being able to get it all to work consistently across all LMSs and all browsers.
So simplicity reigns supreme still in e-learning land and shows no real signs of dying out yet.
Good moving forward advice.