What are e-learning standards?

E-learning standards are a system of common rules for content, authoring software and Learning Management Systems (LMS) that specify how courses can be created and delivered over multiple platforms so that they all operate seamlessly together. E-learning standards provide a logical framework for the learner.

In this blog, let us explore the various standards used in e-learning.

E-learning standards can be organized into general categories :

• Metadata 

Learning content has to be labeled in a proper format so that it will support the indexing, storage, discovery, and retrieval of learning objects across multiple tools.

• Content packing 

Content packing defines the specifications and standards which allow courses to be transferred from one LMS to another. This is crucial as the content can be created by various tools and stored in a variety of LMS. It includes both learning objects and information and how they can be put together to form larger learning units.

• Learner profile 

Learner profile will include the information about the learner such as personal data, accessibility, learning paths, learning style, certification, the status of participation in current learning.

• Learner registration 

It will inform learning delivery and administrative components to know what offerings should be available to the learner and provide information about learning participants to the delivery environment.

• Content communication 

When the content is launched it has to be communicated to the learner’s data and it has to interact with the previous activity information of the content as well.

Types of e-learning standards :

There are three types of e-learning standards. They are :

1. Implementation Standards

These types support the functionality of interoperability within all e-learning domains. Metadata, Architecture, Infrastructure, Interface standards are all examples of implementation standards.

2. Conceptual Standards

These types of standards support the functionality of quality development by providing reference models.

3. Level standards

These types focus on identifying and addressing the quality levels of e-learning systems. So, they are usually used for certifications purposes.

Standards for e-learning styles 

Learning styles can be defined as characteristics, strengths, and preferences that represent the learner’s method when information is received through a learning process.

The different learning styles are :

• Kolb learning style indicator 

This is based on experiential learning theory which considers learning experience as the important factor in learning. It will brief the grasping and transformation experiences of the learners.

• Fleming VAK model

This model tells us that learners can be divided into different learning styles such as Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic.

Visual learning can be defined as the use of seen or by observing things such as pictures, diagrams, charts, displays.

Auditory learning can be defined as the transformation of knowledge by listening to others or to files.

Kinesthetic learning can be defined as the learning style which involves physical experience such as touch and feel, doing hands-on experiences.

Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

This learning style is resolved by using different aspects such as sensing, judging & perceiving, thinking, and feeling, extroversion and introversion.

• Felder Silverman index of learning styles

This learning style model is used in technology learning and is also designed for traditional learning as well. It will define the learning style of the learner in detail and distinguish as :

• Active / Reflective
• Sensing / Intuitive
• Verbal / Visual
• Sequential / Global

E Learning Personalization standards

Personalized learning can be defined as the tailoring of the learning environment to meet the needs and preference of individual learners.

The different Personalized e-learning elements are :

• Personalized e-learning elements 

Here the variety of elements are personalized to customize the learning process which includes:
The speed of learning, content, approach, activities which will impact the learner’s preference, skills, and knowledge.

Here it enables the learners to choose what they want to learn, when they want and even the preferred learning methods as well.

• Personalized e-learning goals 

The main goal is to achieve the support for every learner at each individual level and monitor his behavior throughout the learning process.

• Personalized e-learning methods

Personalized e-learning should be widely focused on enhancing learning and thinking interaction at learner behavioral and physiological levels. Knowledge driven model is a part of the stylish multimedia delivery of learning process. It can be achieved through 2 levels of Personalization.

Level 1 allows personalization of learning contents and structure of the course as per personalization strategy

Level 2 defines the Personalization strategy

E-Learning adaptation standards

Adaptation can be defined as the responsive learning environment that engages motivates and inspires learners and helps in achieving higher learner satisfaction Some of the popular standards are: IMSI, ADL, SCORM, and AICC

E-Learning Management Systems (LMS) Standards

LMS is a software which will host the modules, records, tracks, and monitors all the activities of the learner. It can even provide high-performance management of learning process helping the learners to access their training and plan their next steps for learning.

Every LMS has their own specification and properties and represents in different forms.

SCORM Standard

SCORM is a technical standard which was created and developed by ADL. This standard supports availability, adaptability, economic, durability, interoperability, and reusability as high-level requirements. It is the collection of Content aggregation, runtime environment and arranges and conduct documents.

Metadata and Interoperability standards

Metadata can be defined as structured information that describes, explains, locates and makes information easier to retrieve, use and manage. Interoperability means the standards support different systems or different components. Metadata standards play a vital role in interoperability standards. IEEE LTSC, IMS, ADL, AICC are some of the important organizations which will develop these standards. However AICC is working on the independent and unique industry, ADL, IEEE, LTSC are looking to create a formal standard.

T- SCORM standard

To increase the SCORM benefits T-SCORM is the extend of SCORM to improve in searching and navigation making Learning Objectives in iDTV (Digital Television) Platform.

IEEE (Learning Technology Standard Committee) LTSC Standard

This standard is one of the most IEEE publications and characterized by developing Learning Object Metadata. It is recommended guidlines for educational and training systems for software components, tools, technology solutions that enable development and maintenance.

 E-learning quality standards

Quality is the key to learning success in general.

The following factors are the most important quality issues :

– Learner Orientation
– Developing quality in the learning process
– Quality must be a key role in education policy
– Quality services should be considered
– Quality standards should be implemented

Some of the common E-learning quality standards are :

• ISO / IEC 19796-1

It is published in 2005 and aimed to develop and improve quality systems in the educational process, activities, and services. It is used as a reference to support adaptation specific requirements of the organization.

• ISO 9126

This quality standard proposed a guideline to evaluate the e-learning systems for teachers and educational organizations. The aim is to support the decision making regarding evaluating the quality of existing systems and also to develop by increasing the usability by additing consistency, simplicity, legibility and user satisfaction as a global characteristic of the model.

E-Learning Communities Standards

• IMS Global Learning Consortium Inc (IMS)

It is a consortium that develops promotes open specifications for facilitating online distributed learning activities called as E-learning.

• AICC Standard

It was primarily formed on the need of standardizing of computer training used in Airline industry, now it is used for reusability, interoperability in online learning and applications such as healthcare, financial services, higher education, and telecommunication.

• Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI)

This organization is adopting interoperability metadata standard, especially metadata vocabulary. This standard represents XML and RDF languages.

Why E-learning standards matter?

• Trackability of course completion

E-Leaning standards help you to control the learner access to courseware, it tracks down the learner’s progress in the course and also monitor how effective the course is on the learner. It also helps you to control the learner’s journey through the module and allows the learner to take up the modules in a sequential manner.

• Assign the modules depending upon learners interest

With the help of e-learning standards, we can assign the certain modules to specific learners based on the interest of the user.

• Universal experience

By implementing e-learning standards, you can deliver the content in the same way and it helps to create a universal learning experience where there will be a consistent look and feel for the wide range of learners.

• Consistent design

E-learning standards provide consistent design practice for the developers so that they will be having a specific format in which they will deliver the module and even the design and the course outline will be the same through the content thus helping the learners to navigate easily.

• Ease of translation

E-learning standards also make the translation work easier as once the content is translated it can be again reused in other courses as well. Thus saving time and cost for the organization.

• Cost optimization

As there will be a standard format it helps the organization to implement the module across multiple systems and provides the same view of the content across multiple devices thus saving the cost for the organization and helping the organization to play the modules effortlessly across multiple devices.

When doesn’t e-learning standards matter?

E-learning standards don’t matter if you are enrolling specific users for a single course which does not need to be tracked and when you are creating the module which can be launched from a website and not from LMS or similar portal. In this situation standards doesn’t matter.

I am sure by reading this blog you will get to know what are e-learning standards and how they matter to the e-learning industry. Feel free to share your views and comments in the comment section below.