This is next in a series of related posts on Fun Tech Stuff going under the hood with XML and its uses in learning technologies: Learning Management Systems, SCORM, Tin Can, Metadata, and XML, as well as examples of XML in SCORM and XML in eBooks.
As you recall from our previous post, SCORM is a set of technical standards that define how Web-based online learning content and LMSs communicate with each other. SCORM is composed of three sub-specifications, one of which is the content packaging section, which contains an XML file called imsmanifest.xml. The XML manifest file describes how the parts of the course are organized, and lists the associated resources.
Note the following in the example below:
1. The file starts with a line that identifies it as an xml file.
2. The next line defines it as a manifest file (i.e., a file that lists contents).
3. Next comes the metadata tag, describing the list as part of the SCORM standard, version 1.2.
4-5. What follows is the heart of the manifest, defining the learning module items and their titles, and the related resources (e.g., files).
Thanks to the imsmanifest file and rest of the information defined in SCORM’s XML files and APIs, any LMS that supports the SCORM standard can successfully store, display, and track any Web-based online learning content written to the same standard. The metadata in the XML files discloses the meaning and context of the information in the elearning modules, and the LMS processes it as appropriate.
In our next post, we’ll look at one more example of how XML is used to create the metadata that describes the meaning and context of information, this time in an ebook.