SCORM SCO Presentation Engine (S2PE)

Here is an interesting article by Kraig Mentor on using SCORM with Director, SCORM SCO Presentation Engine. I like how this technique can greatly reduce the HTML page clutter that can build-up in manifests that use simple OBJECT tags. I like how much of the content can be externalized. It seems like a very similar technique could be used with Flash. I do have some hesitations about what this means for bookmarking, obscuring the programming for experts, and securing the content (DRM or otherwise).

I recall a cross-product/platform strategy like this from Wicat that was referred to as "Nemesis". The idea was that a database (or in the S2PE case, XML) contains the guts of a the elearning presentation. Then an "engine" reads that data and renders the elearning.

In the Wicat case, this provided flexibility to deliver training in a customer’s preferred format– they could write an engine in Authorware, IconAuthor, ToolBook, or virtually anything that coul "play" the presentation database.

The challenge with a presentation engine approach is that you lose many of the benefits of the host system or language– Director Lingo or ActionScript idioms and optimizations are often lost in the database representation, and an individual developer’s proficiency becomes less valuable. Conversely, that de-valuing of AS or Lingo expertise, can make it much easier to do automation, mass production, or farm things out to non-experts. Ironically, it can also make things much harder for a host system expert who comes in to a project later; their hands are tied to the data structures in what seems like unexpected ways.