As teachers and instructional designers, we always endeavor to make things easy and engaging for the learner. We take pride in making our programs learner-centric but what about the standards we so religiously adhere to?
Have we ever considered if these standards are really jeopardizing our efforts? How far are these standards – AICC, IMS and SCORM – learner-centric? Do these standards have anything to do with learning? Are these standards really impeding learning? Are we too enamored with these standards that we lost sight of the most important entity – the learner?
Are we slowly getting afflicted with “Learning Myopia”? Instead of looking out of the window, are we looking at the mirror, so to speak? What about the lesser talked about standards like ASTD’s E-Learning Courseware Certification Standards and the standards used by Michigan Virtual University in producing specifications for, and evaluating, e-learning?
I found ASTD’s E-Learning Courseware Certification Standards not only learner-centric but also very comprehensive.
The standards are grouped into four principal categories to reflect the various elements of courseware design.
- Interface Standards address the relationship between the learner and the courseware itself. There are five interface standards.
- Compatibility Standards address the relationship between the courseware, the Operating system and related applications. There are four compatibility standards.
- Production Quality Standards examine the quality of the courseware’s text, graphics, grammar, and visual presentation. There are two production quality standards.
- Instructional Design Standards examine the relationship between the course purpose, objectives, instructional content, instructional methods, and the learner.
CommLab has been one of the earliest companies in the e-learning space to adopt these standards. There were times when these standards were the deciding factor in wining a project.
I would strongly recommend those of you who are not aware of these standards to visit www.astd.org and get more information. The detailed standards are offered for a nominal payment, which I assure you, is well worth it.
We at CommLab India would also be happy to provide more information about them.