The SCORM Engine Building Block manages and plays Shareable Content Object (SCO) packages. These packages are often created by private companies, such as textbook publishers, or by instructional designers.
Instructors import SCOs into their course in the same way they add other content. Instructors can choose to add a Grade Center item, as well as select from other standard content item options. When a user interacts with content that has been set to be graded, the attempt is shown in the Grade Center. Additional attempt data such as total viewing time and completion status are also recorded to assist the instructor in grading.
From the users' perspective, the different types of content items are seamlessly presented with other course content, and can even be added to a Learning Module.
The SCORM Engine Building Block is bundled with Blackboard Learn and must be made available by the administrator. The SCORM Engine Building Block supports SCORM content.
The SCORM Engine Building Block won't work with Blackboard Learn - Basic Edition. The Open Standards Content Player, a Java-based SCORM player, was deprecated in April 2015. The Building Block is still bundled with Blackboard Learn to ensure that older content can still be played, but it's not recommended.
The SCORM Engine Building Block supports content that conforms to the SCORM 1.2 standard and the SCORM 2004 4th Edition standard. The instructor doesn't need to determine the content's compatibility because the player handles each type as needed automatically.
For the SCORM Engine Building Block, it doesn't matter whether the content is SCORM 1.2 or which SCORM 2004 Edition (up to the 4th Edition). The Building Block automatically compensates.
Deciding which content type to offer relates largely to what term the instructors and course builders use for standards-based content. For example, If users at an institution are more generally aware of SCORM content than NLN content, that corresponding content type can be turned on and the others turned off.
- On the Administrator Panel, under Integrations, select Building Blocks.
- Select Installed Tools.
- Locate the SCORM Engine Building Block in the list. In its menu, select Set Available. When the Building Block is first made available, the system displays the list of permissions required by the building block. This is a security feature to protect Blackboard Learn from dangerous content.
- Select Approve to make the building block available and allow it the listed permissions.
You can manage the SCORM Engine tools by going to Tools on the Administrator Panel under Tools and Utilities.
The SCORM Engine Content Player offers many features and capabilities, including advanced options settings which can be accessed whenever an instructor edits an existing SCORM package that uses the SCORM Engine Building Block. Normally, the advanced options are hidden on the Edit Content Package (SCORM) page unless the instructor sets Edit SCORM Player Behavior to Yes. Once enabled, however, the SCORM Engine Advanced Options are presented in two or three columns. The left column lets a user select the category of advanced options controls, while the right columns list the choices and settings associated with the category selected.
The categories of settings include:
- Navigational Controls
- Launch Behavior
- Rudimentary Sequencing
- Rudimentary Rollup
- Compatibility Settings
- Communication Settings
- Debugger Options
- History Options
- Other Behavioral Options
Instructors new to the SCORM Engine Building Block may come to Blackboard administrators for information and guidance on using the advanced options. In most cases, instructors creating and managing course content don't need to change the player's advanced options default settings. They are intended primarily for technically experienced and knowledgeable course content developers, and are not necessary for most content packages.
Two of the settings categories, Navigational Controls and Launch Behavior, may be useful to instructors with a basic level of experience with SCORM, since these settings can control the behavior, available features, and functionality of the SCORM Content Player itself.
Another instance where the settings can be useful is when Content Packages that previously had been using the older SCORM players are re-uploaded to use the SCORM Engine and there are errors or the content won't run. Here, enabling the Debugger Options to record logging information can aid in diagnosing and troubleshooting the problem, and provide clues as to what needs to be done. History Options can also provide useful information.