Export to SCORM suddenly removed from Office Mix?

We were all so happy that Microsoft recently added support for SCORM to Office Mix. Well, there might be some bad news: I installed Office Mix on a new pc today, and the button to export to SCORM is no longer there. And it seems that I am not the only one that is having this issue

So until further notice, it might be wise not to update the Office Mix plugin.

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Converting PowerPoint to SCORM is now free…

Update: It seems that this feature has been removed from the latest build !

Microsoft seems to be shaking the world of e-learning authoring tools. After announcing Office Mix, a free plugin for PowerPoint 2013 that adds screen recording, voice-over and cam recording to PowerPoint, it now seems to have added SCORM export functionalities to the Mix add-in.

mix ribbon

This means that you can create your PowerPoint, record your voice and cam, annotate the presentation, and then publish it to your favorite LMS using the SCORM export function. It must be dark times for the competitors, as Microsoft suddenly has an e-learning authoring tool installed on almost every pc…

Below you find an example of the output, by the Master himself.

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What if Captivate 6 or 7 sends zero-scores to your LMS?

Recently, we ran into an issue with a piece of Captivate 6 content in our LMS. Although the content did not contain any quizzes, the content sent a score of 0 to the LMS, messing up the reporting.

We had a look at the reporting settings in Captivate, these were the settings used:

captivate quiz

If you use these settings, the content communicates the following to your LMS:

[2013-06-16 09:15:49] LMSSetValue(“cmi.core.score.raw”, “0”)
[2013-06-16 09:15:49] LMSSetValue(“cmi.core.score.max”, “0”)
[2013-06-16 09:15:49] LMSSetValue(“cmi.core.score.min”, “0”)

Strangely enough, the solution is very simple: under Data to Report, you change the option Quiz Score to Percentage. This stops sending cmi.core.score values to the LMS. You would expect that this setting has no importance because you specified that you do not want to track the Quiz, but it does make a difference.

quiz data

I have noticed exactly the same behaviour in Captivate 7.

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Adobe Captivate and the ADL SCORM Test Suite 1.2.7

Today, I have been struggeling with a SCORM 1.2 conformance test of an Adobe Captivate package. Let me share my experience to avoid that others have the same painful experience.

The mission

The purpose is to test an Adobe Captivate 4 SCORM package (SCORM 1.2) with the ADL Test Suite 1.2.7, and prove it is fully SCORM compliant.

The issues

When you load the scorm package in the ADL Test Suite and you run the Content Package Conformance Test, there are two issues:

  1. the metadata test passes successfully, but when you need to launch the SCO, the Captivate content does not load. IE shows a script error:
    Error: ‘document.getElementById(…)’ is null or not an object
  2. if you get the first issue fixed, the SCO launches but test fails with at least one of the following messages:
     ERROR:   LMS Not initialized
     ERROR:   SCO invoked API calls out of order
     ERROR:   LMS not initialized
     ERROR:   Invalid LMSFinish() call
     ERROR:   SCO invoked API calls out of order

The solutions

It took me quite some surfing to find the following solutions:

  • The ADL 1.2.7 test suite software is already quite old, and a lot of forum posts suggested that you needed to use the correct Java RTE, older browsers… I tried all that, but it never helped me. I now have the test suite running on a Windows 7 64 bit (!) , with the latest Java RTE (Version 6 update 15, build 1.6.0_15-b03), and IE 8. So don’t spend your time on this.
  • And now for fix number one: to make sure that your SCO gets launched in the test suite, you need to edit the html file that is generated by Captivate when publishing your content (the .html that has the same name as your project .swf). Open the file with a text editor (Notepad), on the second line you will find <!– saved from url=(0013)about:internet –>. Delete that line.
    Restart your test, and your SCO will now launch. But you will get errors in your test now.
  • Fix number two: change the security settings of the Flash player on your machine.
    • Get some Flash content playing in your browser. Any Flash animation will do. Go e.g. to www.adobe.com.
    • Right-click on the animation, you will get the Flash context menu. Select Settings.
    • You will get a little menu like this:
      flash settings
    • Click the Advanced button. This will bring you to an Adobe Web site.
    • In the table of contents on the left, click Global Security Settings Panel. This will show you a panel like this:
      trusted locations
    • Add the location where your ADL TestSuite software is installed to the trusted locations. The location of the TEST SUITE software, not the location of your zip file or your content files. Those get copied automatically to a TestSuite subfolder when you run the test.
    • Close all your browser windows and re-run the test.

Explanation and credits

There is probably a very good explanation why you need to do all this, but I am not able to give it to you. I’m just summarizing some steps I found in various forum posts. So kudos go to these forum members:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/212606

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/440917

Bottom line?

A lot of forum posters are yelling that Captivate content does not pass the SCORM test. Before I ran my package through the Test Suite, I tried importing it in three different LMS’s, and it worked in all three! So failing the ADL Test has more to do with the way the Test Suite runs local content than with Captivate content not being SCORM compliant.

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Adobe Captivate and SharePoint Learning Kit

The SharePoint Learning Kit is a lightweight LMS module that can make your SharePoint site a mini-LMS. Especially together with Windows SharePoint Services, it is a very cost-effective way to distribute e-learning content in your organisation with a minimum of “tracking”.

Of course, you do not get the very detailed reporting a true Learning Management System offers, but you can track progress (not attempted, in progress, completed), track score of a test, assign learning content to users or usergroups, and grade tests manually. Your content needs to be SCORM-conformant, as the SLK uses the SCORM API for communication between content and LMS.

The SharePoint Learning Kit is a feature that needs to be deployed on your farm, assigned to a web application, and gives you a feature that you can activate on a site level. It includes an “assignment” web part that instructors and learners use to assign, follow and grade content.

I had some trouble getting Adobe Captivate content to communicate with the SLK, I did not get the scores from a test. Finally, I found this article. In the .HTM file that is generated by Captivate, you can tune and tweak some scorm parameters. Changing var g_intAPIOrder = 0; from 0 to 1 does the trick for the SLK.

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