No tracking, no e-learning!
7 January, 2013
Tracking is a crucial aspect of any trainer’s work. In distance learning, tracking is an integral part of the teaching approach, because it allows for online mentoring. Let’s review the concept of tracking and the educational role it plays in distance learning.
Tracking: what is it, and what purpose does it serve?
As described in our e-learning glossary,”Tracking is done via the LMS platform, to gather teaching information about learners’ progress through their e-learning course: time spent on distance training, number of log-ins, scores earned on online assessments, etc.”. This valuable intelligence, which is directly tied to a learner’s advancement through an e-learning module (or SCO, “Sharable Content Object”), will enable trainers to respond with rigorous, personalised online mentoring (following up with each learner, studying the recorded results, sending reminders, offering support, etc.).
So tracking is crucial - but not using just any distance learning tool!
Indeed, it is impossible to begin tracking with a simply average e-learning tool. In order to track a SCO on an LMS platform, the two must be compatible: this is called interoperability. Standards within the distance learning market, particularly the widely-used SCORM standard, guarantee interoperability between a SCO and an LMS. Following the SCORM standard ensures that the advanced feature of learner tracking will be available for distance learning content and LMS platforms. In short, where tracking is concerned, it’s best to use SCORM-compliant tools! The AICC standard also makes tracking possible, but it is less commonly used: a good e-learning solution will be compatible with both standards.
Tracking applied to the case of mobile learning
Although mobile learning is a developing trend in distance training, driven by growing demand from companies, few publishers of e-learning solutions offer suitable authoring tools compatible with the SCORM standard that can be used to produce m-learning modules. As such, you must carefully research the software solutions you intend to use. The inevitable distance between learner and trainer in m-learning, for example, absolutely must be compensated for with conscientious online follow-up. Failing this, distance learning will become less productive.