S1000D is an international specification for the procurement and production of technical publications. It is an XML specification for preparing, managing, and using equipment maintenance and operations information. The technical information is authored as XML files called Data Modules (DMs) and stored in a Common Source Database (CSDB). Recently, the specification has been expanded to include two new types of data modules, a SCORM Content Package Module (SCPM) and a Learning Data Module (LDM). The purpose of the SCPM and LDM is to provide a method for including SCORM learning content in a CSDB alongside the technical manuals.
In 2009, LSI worked directly with the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative and the ADL Job Performance Technology Center (JPTC) to design a strategy for using a CSDB for storing and retrieving SCORM learning content. The ADL team created a prototype CSDB interfacing tool called the Bridge API. LSI modified one of its courseware development tools, SCO Workbench, to interface directly with ADL’s CSDB instance over an internet connection using the Bridge API. With SCO Workbench, courseware developers were given a simple Graphical User Interface (GUI) to create and modify all of the different types of LDMs. Those LDMs along with SCPMs could then be checked in and out of ADL’s CSDB.
Recently, LSI has modified its latest courseware development tool, Venus 2 Enterprise (V2E), to allow easier access to technical DMs during the courseware development process. XML DMs can be imported into a SCORM package and linked directly to a SCO in development. The tool parses the DMs and allows for the courseware developer to pull text directly from the technical publication. Once linked, the developer now has a simple way to be notified of a technical change which may have an affect on the courseware content. This kind of surveillance makes courseware development much easier, particularly when courseware development is being performed concurrently with the authoring of the technical publications.