One type of web-based learning content you can use in your course is called an SCO, or Shareable Content Object. These SCOs are gathered together into a compressed, zipped file called a content package. The zipped file can be unpackaged and played through a content player. Typically, individual components or entire packages are provided to you by schools, publishers, commercial companies, or other sources.
Blackboard Learn currently has two content players:
- SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) Engine
- Open Standards Content Player
|Content Player||Content Types Supported|
|SCORM Engine||SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004 (up to 4th Edition) IMS, NLN, AICC (Level 1) and Basic Tin Can API|
|Open Standards Content Player||SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004 (up to 3rd Edition), IMS, NLN|
Your institution controls whether the SCORM Engine, the Open Standards Content Player, or both are enabled. If enabled by your institution, the SCORM Engine B2 becomes the default content player for all newly uploaded content packages, as well as any existing content package that are re-uploaded, even if the Open Standards Content Player B2 is also enabled. To check which players in content areas, go to the Control Panel, expand the Customization section and select Tool Availability.
The Open Standards Content Player is based on a Java applet and as it is a legacy player, it was not updated when the frames changes were implemented in Learn April 2015 release. This means the player will not work correctly in April 2015 release and above. The player no longer works with modern browsers due to it being applet based and will be removed in a future release of Blackboard Learn. It is important that administrators and instructors complete migration, re-uploading, and testing of existing content to use the SCORM Engine instead.
The SCORM Engine supports content that conforms to the SCORM 1.2 standard, the SCORM 2004 standard, as well as AICC and the playing of Tin Can API packages. Blackboard Learn currently doesn't include a Tin Can Learning Record Store (LRS) however basic data passed will be viewable in the Learn Grade Center.
You do not need to determine ahead of time what the content type is, as the add content option uses the same process for all supported types. For instance, in the case of uploading IMS content packages, the Add Content work-flow will display a message saying Some issues were found with this course which may affect playability and a sub message that the package is not in SCORM format and it will assume it is IMS Content package.
The SCORM Engine Building Block supports content that conforms to the IMS Content and Packaging 1.1.2 standard with the web content attribute. These types of packages don't track user attempt details so don't create a grade column. Otherwise, you'll see no major differences.
The SCORM Engine Building Block supports NLN content, which conforms to SCORM and IMS standards. The United Kingdom NLN Materials Team is responsible for commissioning and developing e-learning materials for the NLN, and offers advice on best practice in integrating the NLN materials into teaching and learning schemes.
- Access a content area or folder.
- Point to Build Content and select Content Package (SCORM).
- On the Add Content Package page, attach a file that conforms to the required standards. Select Browse My Computer to upload a file from your computer. You can also upload a file from the course's storage repository: Course Files or the Content Collection.
After the file has been uploaded and checked, a second Add Content Package page displays where you can set the content package details.
- On the second Add Content Package page, in the SCORM Information section, type a Title.
- Optionally, type a Description.
- Select the SCORM Availability options. The choices enable you to determine whether the content player is available to students, control the number of attempts, and set course content availability.
- Select Yes to Make SCORM Available.
- For Number of Attempts, you can select Allow single attempts, Allow unlimited attempts, or type a number for Number of attempts allowed.
- Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Display restrictions do not affect content package availability, only when it appears
- Select Yes to Track Number of Views.
- Select the Grading options.
- For Grade SCORM, you can choose No Grading or type a number for Grade: Points Possible, based on the SCORM Score, SCORM Completion, or SCORM Satisfaction.
- Select Yes to Grade SCOS, and then select the individual items to grade.
When a SCORM package has been set for grading, you can view attempt details related to the users' interactions with the content. The details may include the total time the user has viewed the content, the completion status, responses to any questions contained in the package, and whether the responses were correct. The attempt data helps you determine a score for the Grade Center item. Not all packages track all data. If the package does not provide information to Blackboard Learn, the data will show as N/A. If you have questions about missing data, contact the creator of the package to determine which data was designed to be tracked.
To view individual attempts:
- On the Control Panel, access the Full Grade Center and locate the column for the course content item.
- Select the user attempt.
- On the Edit Grade page, select View. The Attempt Details page displays.
To run a report to view the details on all attempts:
- On the Control Panel, expand the Evaluation section and select SCORM Reports.
- On the SCORM Reports page, access an item's menu and select Run.
Most of the time, you do not need to access or change the SCORM player Advanced Options because the default settings are set for maximum compatibility and performance. The content package should already have the intended navigation, flow, and behavior, and the default settings are most likely to display it correctly and consistently. The Navigational Controls and Launch Behavior are likely to be the most useful for instructors with a basic level of understanding of how SCORM content works, while Debugger Options and History Options can help in troubleshooting. If you feel that you do need to change them, you should first contact your institution for assistance and guidance.
To access the SCORM player Advanced Options, you must edit an existing SCORM content package.
- Access a content area or folder where the SCORM content package has already been uploaded.
- Open the SCORM content package's menu and select Edit.
- To access the otherwise hidden SCORM player Advanced Options, set Edit SCORM Player Behavior to Yes. The SCORM engine Advanced Options will display in two or three columns. The left column allows you to select the category of advanced options controls, while the right columns list the choices and settings associated with the category selected. The categories are:
- Navigational Controls
- Launch Behavior
- Rudimentary Sequencing
- Rudimentary Rollup
- Compatibility Settings
- Communication Settings
- Debugger Options
- History Options
- Other Behavioral Options
Select Submit. If you don't want to commit any changes you have made, select Cancel.
The Navigational Controls allow you to include buttons, bars, and other navigational aids the student will see and be able to use when accessing the course content using the SCORM player.
|Show Navigation Bar||Determine whether the SCORM player will display a navigation bar to the student. The navigation bar must be enabled for any of the following settings to take effect:
|Show Title Bar||Determine whether the SCORM player displays a title bar to the student. The Show Navigation Bar option must be enabled for this setting to take effect.|
|Prevent Right Click||Prevents a student from right-clicking in the SCORM player windows. If the right mouse button is clicked, nothing happens. This can be useful in high-stakes assessments or where you do not want the student to be able to see the internal structure or content in the player. This setting only affects the SCORM player windows, including the course structure and the navigation bar (if present), and does not affect any other content, browser windows, or computer desktop functions.|
|Show Course Structure||Determines if the SCORM player should display the course structure. If selected, the course structure displays to the left of the content, in an outline format. This can be useful for courses containing multiple content objects. This option must be enabled for any of the following settings to take effect:
The Launch Behavior options control the initial appearance of the content when first launched by the student.
|SCO Launch Type||These settings determine how each SCO will be launched. Possible values are:
|Player Launch Type||These settings determine how the SCORM player will be launched. Possible values are:
|New Window Options||These settings determine the dimensions of either the content player when launched in a new window. These settings have no effect unless a new window option has been selected as SCO Launch Type or Player Launch Type.
|Prevent Window Resize||Determines whether to prevent the content player windows from being resized by the student.|
The Rudimentary Sequencing options enable you to control what should happen next, under both normal and error conditions, when a student either completes or leaves a SCORM Content Package before completion. Based on these settings, the SCORM player determines what should happen next.
Several factors are key in determining what action to take:
- Whether the SCO is the first (and possibly only) one, a middle SCO, or the last one
- The status of the SCO, both individually and as part of the complete Content Package course
- The exit status of the SCO that has been completed or aborted
These settings are applicable only to SCORM 1.2 Content Packages, and provide a means of emulating the advanced sequencing built into the SCORM 2004 standards. In SCORM 2004 (all editions), Simple Sequencing allows the content to determine how SCO sequencing is to be handled.
|Intermediate SCO||These are the settings that apply to Shareable Content Objects (SCOs) that are at the beginning or in the middle of a course sequence consisting of multiple SCOs, that is, every SCO except for the last one. Whether Course Satisfied or Course Not Satisfied applies, you can control what happens next for each of the possible conditions:
The available choices for each exit and course satisfaction condition are:
|Final SCO||These are the settings that apply to the last SCO in a course. If a course consists of a single SCO, it is treated as if it is the final SCO. Whether Course Satisfied or Course Not Satisfied applies, you can control what happens next for each of the possible conditions:
The available choices for each exit and course satisfaction condition are:
The Rudimentary Rollup options allow you to determine how you want to evaluate the SCO scores and status for a given student. The term rollup refers to the process of collecting individual SCO scores and completion status, and using that data to calculate and assign a cumulative final grade and overall completion status for the SCORM Content Package course. There are several different ways to select criteria, average test scores, and calculate both a grade and completion status.
These settings are applicable only to SCORM 1.2 content, and provide a way to emulate the score and status rollup behavior built into the SCORM 2004 standard. They are not applicable to SCORM 2004 content since SCORM 2004 Simple Sequencing allows the content to determine how rollups are to be handled.
|Score Rollup Mode||Determines the way in which the SCORM player will collect individual SCO scores, analyze them and report an overall calculated score. Possible values are:
Number of Scoring Objects: Indicates how many SCOs should be reporting a score. This value is only relevant if Score Rollup Mode is set to Fixed Average.
|Status Rollup Mode||Determines how overall completion status is determined. Possible values are:
Threshold Score for Completion: 0.0-1.0: Determines the threshold for course completion, and is applicable only if the Status Rollup Mode has been set to Complete When Threshold Score is Met or Complete When All Units are Complete and Threshold Score is Met. The value is a decimal number between 0.0 and 1.0. (For an equivalent percentage value, multiply by 100; for example, if set to 0.8, this means the required threshold score is 80%.)
|Apply Rollup Status to Success Status||Selecting this option causes the Status Rollup Mode to be applied to the success status, instead of just the completion status.|
|First SCO is Pretest||Enabling this option indicates that if the first SCO in a lesson sequence achieves a status of passed, the rest of the SCOs in the SCORM Content Package will be marked complete. This makes it possible for you to design a set of courses that allow students to bypass topics for which they are able to demonstrate mastery.|
Although usually there is no need to change these settings from the defaults, the Compatibility Settings can help in troubleshooting course content packages which encounter errors, fail to launch, or have other problems. As with all the advanced settings, but especially here, if you do feel there is a need to adjust the Compatibility Settings, you should first contact your institution for assistance and guidance.
When re-uploading course content that previously had been using the Open Standards content player, if there are problems or errors, these are the settings that may need changing, especially for older and possibly non-standard content. To aid in determining exactly where the problem lies, it is recommended to enable the detailed Debugger Options, and review the resulting message logs.
|Finish Causes Immediate Commit||This setting is provided to deal with single SCO courses where there is difficulty in capturing exit status. You may want to try enabling this option if a single SCO course is failing to record completions accurately.|
|Wrap SCO Window with API||When an SCO is launched in a new window, some non-standard or poorly coded content may not be able to find and communicate properly with the SCORM Engine. Enabling this setting puts a kind of wrapper-an API, or application program interface-around the player, and this API automatically knows how to talk to the SCORM Engine.|
|Always Flow to First SCO||If enabled, the SCORM player always loads the first course in a SCO, regardless whether the sequencing rules dictate this behavior.|
|Mastery Score Overrides Lesson Status||When enabled, if the mastery score indicates the SCO is complete or not complete, this overrides whatever the actual lesson status may be.|
|Allow Complete Lesson Status To Change||Applicable to SCORM 1.2, this setting determines whether a lesson marked as complete can be changed at a later date to something other than complete.|
|Rollup Empty Set to Unknown||For SCORM 2004 courses, this setting determines the rollup status when there are no activities providing information to set the status. If selected, both course completion and satisfaction status are set to unknown.|
|Disable Root Activity||Prevents a student from creating a new attempt by forcing the course navigation tree and any other links which could restart the course or an SCO within it to be disabled and not to respond to clicks.|
|Rollup at SCO Unload||Forces score rollup when the SCO unloads, to handle those SCOs which fail to explicitly call for a rollup to be performed.|
|Override Objective and Completion Set by Content to True||The default for SCORM 2004 and the default for the SCORM 1.2 player can sometimes lead to an SCO being marked as completed and satisfied if the SCO fails to report the correct runtime status data. This setting overrides the default behavior for courses that do not set the appropriate default sequencing rules.|
|Make Student Preferences Global to Course||Causes any student preferences set in a given SCO to apply to all SCOs in a given SCORM Content Package course.|
|Launch Completed Registrations as No-Credit||Determines whether completed course registrations are launched subsequently as normal or as no-credit.|
|Completion Status of Failed Success Status||Set an override value for the completion status of an SCO that a student has failed:
|Lookahead Sequencer Mode||Lookahead processing enables the SCORM Engine to dynamically update the course navigation structure that is visible and available depending on the state of the current SCO. By default, this setting should be enabled. For very large courses, this may cause noticeable slowing in web browsers and if deemed unacceptable, you can set this to disabled. Available settings are:
|Reset Runtime Data Timing||Determines when the SCORM player will reset the CMI (computer managed instruction) data timing. The choices are:
|Return to LMS Action||Because the SCORM 2004 4th Edition requires learning content to provide an interface allowing students to choose an exit type when leaving a course, the SCORM player can display a prompt when the student clicks Exit Course. Since it is possible to turn this prompt on and off, this option allows you to select the action to take automatically when the prompt is off. The setting determines whether the course suspends and saves the current state or ends the course entirely upon exit. The available choices are:
The Communication Settings determine how the Content Player interacts with the server. These settings may need to be adjusted if there are reported timeouts or communication failures between the students' computers and the server, but should only be changed by an administrator or experienced SCORM developer.
|Maximum Failed Attempts||Sets the maximum number of attempts to attempt a runtime data update to the server before declaring failure. If this number is exceeded, an error message is displayed.|
|Commit Frequency||Determines how often, in milliseconds, the runtime data is updated to the server. Some events, such as completing a course, force an update.|
The Debugger Options determine whether and how much logging information will be recorded within the various SCORM subsystems.
When encountering problems or errors with course content playback or presentation, enabling the Debugger Options so you, your administrator, or an expert SCORM support person can review the message logs is often an essential step in troubleshooting and resolving the issue. Using the History Options to record routine (non-error) status details can also provide useful information.
|Debugger Options||Determines the level of logging to be performed within each of the associated SCORM subsystems: Control (overall system functions), Runtime (the launching and operation of SCOs), or Sequencing (what happens outside of and between SCOs)
|Include Timestamps||Determines whether timestamps will be recorded with the events in the debugger log files.|
The History Options control whether and how much routine (non-error) status information about the SCORM Content Package course content is logged.
|Capture History||Determines whether the Content Package should send back information about each attempt.|
|Capture Detailed History||Determines whether the Content Package should send back detailed information about each attempt.|
|Time Limit||The total time, in minutes, the student is permitted to spend in the Content Package. If the time specified expires, the student will be automatically exited, with scores and status calculated from the current state of completion. If this value is set to zero (0), there is no time limit.|