We are an Articulate Storyline Developer and over the last few weeks we have been discussing a number of eLearning projects with various clients.
This has led to discussion about why we use Articulate Storyline in many of our projects so I thought I’d share a small part of those discussions.
Storyline is a great platform with which to create feature rich courses that can leverage the best in eLearning, but this post is more about the advantages of separating course content from learning management system (LMS).
If we create a course in Storyline it can be a separate entity in itself. It can be picked up and used in a different LMS. If needed it can be used as a stand alone course.
The comparison is the situation where many eLearning developers build the course as an integral part of their LMS.
In some cases our clients will already have an LMS and they just want a particular drop in course. Storyline is great for this.
As a client if you get your course built in an eLearning provider’s system you are locked in and do not have the option of picking up your courses and taking them somewhere else.
However, there can be downsides to this model.
The big drawback is many LMS’s can only handle a course that gives a SCORM output. This governs the communication between the course and the LMS. With SCORM the course can only pass a pass/fail or complete/incomplete. If you want to pass across details like which questions were answered correctly SCORM will not allow this.
There is a new standard that is slowly replacing SCORM called TINCAN (xAPI) which will allow a full amount of information to be passed to a Learning Record Store (LRS). This LRS can be part of the LMS or as a separate entity. But for some clients this is not the solution for today even though it holds good promise for the future.
So the drawback of the separate Storyline course / LMS model is that if your LMS can only handle SCORM you only get a limited amount of course completion information returned to your LMS, but in many circumstances this is not a problem and then advantages of separating course content from LMS are significant.