In the second part of our conversation with elearning influencer Craig Weiss we discuss the challenges facing the authoring tool market. In this excerpt, Craig discusses the potential of mobile, Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM), CMI-5 and Experience API (xAPI) to transform the authoring tool space. You can listen to the complete conversation on the gomo blog.
Are SCORM authoring tools outdated? Is CMI-5 the answer?
CMI-5 is a work in progress and it’s really too early to jump on the bandwagon. Consumers have to have buy-in to use it and there are pros and cons to be understood in order to use it correctly. It’s also important for the authoring tool vendors to have buy-in and have the ability to use these standards effectively. xAPI is still a work in progress, there have been problems with some authoring tools publishing out to mobile which can be problematic
SCORM hasn’t outlived its usefulness but should be updated. There are too many people that utilize it and it’s still in great demand. Aviation Industry CBT [Computer-Based Training] Committee (AICC) should be pushed out now as it’s outweighed its usefulness, and it would be better to go with Package Exchange Notification Services (PENS).
Where do you think xAPI is heading?
xAPI is often mentioned alongside virtual reality (VR) but it’s not certain whether it will be the core standard for VR. We might find that it is initially but not long term. It is also likely that core standard may not be CMI-5 either, but something else. Current challenge with VR headsets is that they can induce nausea and content is not great so that’s obviously problematic. Augmented reality (AR) has been around for a long time and authoring vendors weren’t touching it.
What about the VR authoring tool, what possibility does that hold?
It has some amazing possibilities but can it be built into an offering? Is this going to be able to work in an authoring tool? Who’s going to buy the VR headsets?
Mobile learning – is it the future?
I think the question is, are we really experience mobile learning? Many purists say no. If a course or content looks amazing in a desktop, laptop screen as well as on mobile (because it’s responsive) then it’s not mobile learning content – it’s just being seen on another type of device. If something has been designed specifically for mobile, It should look good on a mobile device but not good anywhere else, that demonstrates mobile-centric design. Much smartphone and tablet content at the moment is boring.
What are your thoughts on game-based learning?
There have been many awful examples of game-based learning. I’m not talking about gamification, but game-based learning. Game based learning should be about actionable results based on learning activities throughout the game. They should be engagement, fun and interactive.
What is hindering online learning development?
Generic templates: This type of template is saturating the market, they are overused and underwhelming.
Powerpoint: Never meant to be an authoring tool solution.
Lack of help: Many people are new to building courses, they need help and guidance.
Linear pathways: An online learning course should be non-linear meaning you can bounce around where you want. A good learning program should have a table of contents that also enables you to bounce around.
What are vendors struggling with?
Apps: the options have expanded, so why haven’t AT vendors adapted? Why can’t vendors connect to web apps?
Analytics: Some SaaS vendors see this as the light, but this as a mistake. Most vendors should be focusing on building a better authoring tool instead.
Delivery challenges: The authoring space seems to be locked in a battle with itself and vendors are forgetting about the delivery.
Spreading themselves too thin: Online learning and digital learning. This should be the end game, need to remember that it’s all about the learners.
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