|IMS GLC Public Forums and Resources|
Topic Title: Update on "SCORM requirement" for TAACCCT grants
Topic Summary: No resolution yet
Created On: 02/06/2011 11:03 AM
Status: Post and Reply
|Linear : Threading : Single : Branch|
02/06/2011 11:03 AM
I found myself having a lot of one-on-one conversations this week with people interested in knowing if there has been any movement on the issue of the non-sensical "SCORM requirement in the TAACCCT" grant program.
There has been no resolution of this issue, but here is a little more information:
1. There seems to be pretty much universal agreement that mandating SCORM in this solicitation was a bad idea. While clearly there are some supporters for SCORM, they are coming from outside the education community - corporate or military training. I used to work in that world and when I did I had a very poor understanding of the requirements for education. Training is a subset of education, but education is not a subset of training. So, SCORM might be able to satisfy a small portion of the education delivery requirements - but that's it. By the way, IMS stuff doesn't cover all of the education requirements either. ePub, for instance, is a much better alternative for e-Books than anything IMS has. We have to be compatible with many other such standards that will be used for education materials. That's why the solicitation would have been in error if it mandated IMS standards for all materials - it just wouldn't have been quite as egregious as asking for SCORM.
2. The people IMS primarily interfaces within the U.S. Department of Education, while clear that they cannot comment on an open solicitation, are very clear that the language in the solicitation came from the Department of Labor. So, the resolution is in the Department of Labor - it appears. The same Department of Ed folks also made it clear that they would typically be asking for "appropriate standards," rather than a specific named mandated standard. So, this certainly helps make us feel more comfortable that we are not going to be seeing mandates for SCORM in DoEd solicitations.
3. Since the resolution is with the Department of Labor, IMS has made several inquiries there, including through the official channels associated with the procurement. If/when we hear any response we will let folks know.
4. People who are much more familiar with how government procurement works tell me that if we can't get this requirement fixed right now there may be a better opportunity in the next phase.
5. We went through and took a look at the solicitation in detail. I think it's fair to say that characterizing this program as a great win for OER is probably an exaggeration, to say the least. The grants are primarily for funding 2-year academic programs that are shown to have evidence that they can produce graduates who can get good jobs. There is no requirement whatsoever to use technology-enabled materials, and, it is only in the case of development of such materials that the SCORM requirement comes into play. So, it still makes absolutely no sense to be asking for CC materials that are locked into the SCORM format, but, it's not clear how much of the grants will actually go toward such materials.
6. Everyone does think it is quite odd that SCORM should show up in this solicitation and is wondering where this came from. I think that there should be transparency with respect to this - the public should know how decisions like this are made and by whom. Given that IMS has made our concerns known for quite some time with the Department of Ed - and this solicitation was jointly announced, I think it's very reasonable to ask either why our voice was not heard or, if it was but a different decision was made, why?
I'll provide further updates as I get them. Politics is not our thing here in IMS, but, we are not going to let this go away without an explanation or, hopefully, an approach that makes sense for all involved.
Edited: 02/06/2011 at 11:16 AM by rabel
FuseTalk Standard Edition v3.2 - © 1999-2013 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.