An architecture for augmenting the SCORM run-time environment with a personalised link service
As the result of recent advances in the business of e-learning there has been a growing interest in e-learning standards, particularly SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model). SCORM is a reference model that integrates a collection of e-learning resource standards and specifications. In a SCORM compliant courseware, content and the pedagogic approach to be taken are predefined by the course author. As a consequence, users are unable to learn according to their preferences, and implicitly they will all encounter the same learning experience. Recent attempts to personalise learning in SCORM often resulted in either modifying SCORM or substituting its course sequencing mechanism with Adaptive Hypermedia techniques. Nonetheless, SCORM is a widely-used solution to interoperability problems with e-learning resources and can realise not only content sharing and reusability but also a consistent sequencing of course content across different systems and tools. For these reasons, this thesis focuses on supplementing SCORM sequencing rather than redefining it. The novelty of this work is that it builds an adaptive environment around the existing SCORM, without extending or modifying SCORM itself. The work integrates Adaptive Hypermedia principles into the SCORM Run-Time Environment as an independent service to support the environment with learning materials that are preferable to both teachers (primary materials of their choice) and students (supplementary materials that are pre-selected to suit some aspects of their user models to assist their understanding of the primary materials). This SCORM-complementing approach can also enable the SCORM Run-Time Environment to include on-demand external resources into the environment in order to address SCORM’s limitation of static pool of learning resources. The novel contribution of this work is the design of an authoring architecture which enables the automatic generation of a concept map and consequently links to alternative learning resources, and a run-time service oriented architecture which delivers these alternative resources, alongside the SCORM defined resources, according to a dynamic user model.