SCORM specifications for an emerging world: The linguistic diversity at work
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With a world wide spreading of e-learning models, techniques and solutions, new challenges of the digital divide are imposing to the emerging countries the need to subscribe to this inevitable global educational process. Many projects, collaborations and initiatives are striving to find out the appropriate solutions to reduce and bridge the e-gaps in education through standards definition and implementation.
E-learning pioneers like the aviation and the military industries were first to set up specifications to harmonize and structure interoperable collaborative systems to exchange content resources and educational procedures through Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Many specifications and de jure standards appeared to harmonize the e-learning world context: the Global Learning Consortium developed the Instructional Management Systems (IMS) and the US Department of Defense (DoD) was behind the wide spreading of the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM). Basically serving Anglo-Saxon communities, these initiatives have progressively gained concern of cultural and academic international structures aware that the cultural and linguistic diversities are to be reinforced through education.
The Agency of French Speaking Universities (AUF) is one of the international bodies subscribed to this international e-learning standardization movement as a relay connector for its partner languages and cultures. One of the major initiatives that the AUF has undertaken in this respect is the assistance to produce standardized educational resources for trainers and learners within the scope of its French speaking partnership areas based on local linguistic and cultural specifications.
This paper illustrates the procedures, outcomes and perspectives of such initiatives related to the AUF experience with SCORM specifications as a leading model in the realm of international e-learning standards.