SCORM and St. Philip Hutchison

12-18 months ago, I discovered, a delightful little site with oodles of articles and downloads that captured my interest while I tried to debug and troubleshoot problems with either Articulate Storyline, Oracle‘s Taleo Learn, or both (we still haven’t figured that out–both are garbage and we can’t figure out which piece of garbage causes any given stink). My goal at the time was to learn the basic structure and content of a scorm object. I wanted to be able to put together a basic skeleton or template.

You  see, publishing a single-slide course containing only a single question in Stinkyline results in thousands of files. The HTML5 version will still contain an SWF, by the way, but the HTML is HTML5-compliant (that’s a BIG selling point to the goobers who buy it from Articulate … it’s also a major selling point of Learn for the goobers who buy that from Oracle).

I wanted to know what a SCORM object did and did not require so I could, perhaps, troubleshoot the courses we had or learn to create them without development “tools” like Storyline or Captivate. Eventually, I gave up.

Recently, however, I started to build a sample project for a potential employer and found another even more desirable potential employer that requested an optional sample project and, as it turns out, if I combined them (appropriate and compatible) the resulting combination project would be pretty freaking cool and fun. So I went to the Googlebox and asked again about SCORM skeletons or templates or whatever.

I don’t know how I missed it my last go-around, but both pipwerks (AKA Philip Hutchison) and a book called Eye of the SCORM had stuff I hadn’t found. The most important piece of all this (five paragraphs in, I know, I’m sorry) is Hutchison’s 7+ part series on Cleaning Up Adobe Captivate’s CORM Publishing Template. It’s perfect bubble-bath reading and I raved about it (the series, not my bath) at work the next day to the LMS Administrator.

Hutchison’s writing style, insight, professionalism, teacherness, and … I can’t say enough awesome things about him and/or his blog. Just go check it out.

I’d like to do something similar with Storyline’s mess. One of the solutions we’re trying at my stupid day job is rebuilding one of our problem Stinkyline courses in Craptivate so the series may be useful at work in the short term and not just for play.

Hutchison is also “writing an ebook explaining how to build an HTML-based SCORM course” which is exactly the sort of thing I’m working on and has oodles of other rockin’, hackin’ SCORM resources on his site.

The most important part of this post is that I’m excited about this sample project for the second potential employer mentioned above. The first is no longer potential or desired. Losers is what they turned out to be but I’m grateful for having endured the interview process with them because that project is what inspires me so about the project for the place I haven’t even applied to yet.

Other cool SCORM hacking resources from Rustici:


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