Here at Learning Light, we have reviewed an awful lot of Learning Management Systems (LMS) since 2005. With that in mind, you would think we’d have seen most of the features imaginable – and yes indeed we have seen some very interesting features of varying uses.
Nevertheless, every now and again, we see a new feature in an LMS that makes us say: “Wow…that is useful”.
The feature in question is from an innovative Learning Technologies vendor called Day One who have an impressive pedigree in building dynamic system simulation learning. During a conversation, they casually mentioned to us that the Day One LMS can search SCORM modules down to individual key words or phrases to return a list of pages where the relevant words or phrases are, and learners can quickly drill down to the materials.
Think of Amazon’s ‘look inside’ feature when you are checking a book out but for SCORM e-learning courses.
The fact that learners can themselves use the search feature to find a piece of knowledge by drilling into the module and retrieve the requisite piece of information they were looking for very quickly and easily makes us go “wow”. To date we have not reviewed an LMS that can support this level of micro-searching in actual Sharable Content Objects (SCOs).
So why does this feature get a wow?
Well for several reasons really, and probably a few more that we haven’t thought of yet.
Reason 1: SCORM search is so learner-centric and so attuned to on-demand learning
The modern learner increasingly wants to know something now (the Google generation) and now we have a SCORM learning repository that will give the learner that answer to that procedure or policy, to that specific technical diagram or specification through to that piece of legislation.
Sure some LMS offer course search, however not enough of them execute on course searches and aren’t particularly effectively in our evaluations. All too often LMS are pulling random results and just present a list of courses and other resources. Bluntly, they are victims of poor, inconsistent meta-tagging of e-learning materials and weak search functionality.
Yes, a learner may strike lucky with this list, but it certainly won’t offer the in-depth search focus that the Day One SCORM Searching LMS (look inside feature) provides…to actually look inside the course (the SCO) and find the piece of knowledge or learning required. It really makes e-learning a Performance Support Tool (PTS) available on-demand driven by the learners needs.
Reason 2: Leaving linear behind
Again learners do not have to commence and complete a course page-by-page to find what they need to know, they can drill straight in. The frustration with linear e-learning is a huge issue with many busy learners as e-learning “page turners” are increasingly derided and are increasingly felt to be counter-productive in many organisations.
Reason 3: From course to resource
Makes your existing course library a knowledge resource that can be actively searched. Day One are making the SCORM content do what is in effect granular meta-tagging of the SCORM learning resources and helping create an organisational knowledge base. Think how long it would take to meta-tag a library of e-learning courses.
Reason 4: Microlearning through ‘Microfication’
Microlearning is a powerful trend with what Larry Rosen refers to as the ‘i-generation’ (or more accurately the ‘distracted generation’), who not only insist on having answers on-demand, are not going to hang around reviewing lots of boring, irrelevant stuff.
Day One’s SCORM search allows for the retrieval of miniature learning and knowledge chunks quickly and easily. Specific components of a course can be highlighted quickly and easily at the ‘page level’, not just the SCO.
Instead of commissioning a new library of micro e-learning, or chopping up your existing materials (not easy), search-led microfication could work; either learner-led (pull), or by organisational push and personalisation.
Reason 5: Speed of search
The Day One solution is fast – no question – a simple search box with key words or phrases returns a list of resources in real-time as the learner types.
A quick look over the list of relevant materials meeting the criteria, a click on the ‘look inside the learning’ button and the interaction is complete with the question answered or the problem solved.
With some analysis of the search patterns, learner interests, gaps and more can be easily defined.
We are sure that there are many more ways this SCORM search feature can be used by learners and learning professionals. We have tested that the SCORM search feature of the Day One LMS works and it does so intuitively and speedily.
The technology and expertise applied to this develop SCORM Searcher ensures it works with several of the leading e-learning authoring packages on the market.
So if you are looking for an LMS that really does do something innovative and incredibly useful with your SCORM learning library by turning it into a highly searchable corporate learning resource, then the Day One LMS is the way forward.
Visit the Day One website at www.dayonetech.com to learn more.
Lead eLearning Consultant
Our lead elearning consultant David Patterson is an expert in training technologies such as learning management systems, and in elearning best practices.
He has helped many public and private sector organisations across the UK, Europe and worldwide to create and deliver engaging, effective elearning.
David is joint author of several research papers including the highly acclaimed Learning Light reports on the UK elearning market.