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Blackboard Help

SCORM Engine and Open Standards Content Player

Both the SCORM Engine and Open Standards Content Player are available in Blackboard Learn. Intended to serve as a replacement and upgrade for the Open Standards Content Player, the SCORM Engine provides significant improvements in content support, speed, and robustness, as well as player behavior controls, added features, and troubleshooting capabilities.

When enabled, the SCORM Engine becomes the default content player for newly uploaded content packages, and presents a great many advanced options with which instructors may not be familiar. To learn more about these options, see Creating Content in a Course Area.

Note:  The Open Standards Content Player will be removed in a future release of Blackboard Learn. For this reason, it is important for administrators to enable the SCORM Engine and instructors to plan and implement a timely content migration.

About the SCORM Engine Building Block

The SCORM Engine Building Block ships with Blackboard Learn and must be made available by the administrator.

SCORM Support
SCORM Engine Version Content Types Supported
2010.1.407 SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004 (up to 4th Edition)

The SCORM Engine Building Block, like many Building Blocks, will not work with Blackboard Learn - Basic Edition.

About the Open Standards Content Player Building Block

The Open Standards Content Player Building Block ships with Blackboard Learn and must be made available by the administrator.

Open Standards Content Player Support
Content Player Version Content Types Supported
2004.3.6 SCORM 1.2, IMS, NLN, SCORM 2004 (up to 3rd Edition)

The Content Player Building Block, like many Building Blocks, will not work with Blackboard Learn - Basic Edition.

Using the Content Player in a Course

The SCORM Engine Building Block manages and plays Shareable Content Object (SCO) packages. These packages are often created by private companies, such as textbook publishers, or by instructional designers. The Open Standards Content Player Building Block supports SCORM, IMS, or NLN standards and formats, where instructors see the different standards as additional content types for adding content.

Instructors import SCOs into their course in the same way they add other content. Instructors can choose to add a Grade Center item, as well as select from other standard content item options. When a user interacts with content that has been set to be graded, the attempt is shown in the Grade Center. Additional attempt data such as total viewing time and completion status are also recorded to assist the instructor in grading.

From the users’ perspective, the different types of content items are seamlessly presented with other course content, and can even be added to a Learning Module.

Supported Standards

The SCORM Engine Building Block supports SCORM content, while the legacy Open Standards Content Player Building Block supports SCORM, IMS, and NLN.

SCORM Content

The SCORM Engine Building Block supports content that conforms to the SCORM 1.2 standard and the SCORM 2004 4th Edition standard. The Open Standards Content Player Building Block supports SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004 3rd Edition. The instructor does not need to determine ahead of time whether the content is designed as 1.2 or 2004 compliant, since the player will automatically handle each type as needed. To learn more, go to http://www.adlnet.gov.

IMS Content

The Open Standards Content Player Building Block supports content that conforms to the IMS Content and Packaging 1.1.2 standard with the webcontent attribute.

To learn more, go to http://www.imsglobal.org/content/packaging/#version1.1.2.

NLN Content

The Open Standards Content Player Building Block supports NLN content, which conforms to SCORM and IMS standards. The United Kingdom NLN Materials Team is responsible for commissioning and developing e-learning materials for the NLN, and offers advice on best practices in integrating the NLN materials into teaching and learning schemes.

To learn more, go to http://www.nln.ac.uk.

Making the Content Types Available

For the SCORM Engine Building Block, it does not matter whether the content is SCORM 1.2 or which SCORM 2004 Edition (up to the 4th Edition). The Building Block automatically compensates.

For the Open Standards Content Player and depending on the needs of an institution, one, some, or all the content types can be made available for instructors to use in their courses. Regardless which content type is selected, the Building Block will do the work of determining the type of package and playing the content properly.

Deciding which content type to expose in the dropdown of the Action Bar relates largely to what term the instructors and course builders use for standards-based content. For example, If users at an institution are more generally aware of SCORM content than NLN content, that corresponding content type can be turned on and the others turned off.

How to Make the SCORM Engine Building Block Available on Blackboard Learn

When updating Blackboard Learn, the latest version of the SCORM Engine Building Block will automatically install. The SCORM Engine offers significant improvements in functionality and reliability and is intended to serve as a replacement for the Open Standards Content Player.

In Blackboard Learn, the SCORM Engine Building Block is automatically updated to the latest version. The administrator must set the Building Block to Available.

  1. On the Administrator Panel, under Building Blocks, click Building Blocks.
  2. Click Installed Tools.
  3. In the row for the SCORM Engine Building Block, click Available in the Availability list. When the Building Block is first made available the list of permissions required by the Building Block is displayed. This is a security feature to protect Blackboard Learn from dangerous content.
  4. Click Approve to make the Building Block available and allow it the listed permissions.

The SCORM Engine tools can be managed by clicking Tools on the Administrator Panel under Tools and Utilities.

If both the SCORM Engine and Open Standards Content Player Building Blocks are enabled, all new and re-uploaded Content Packages will use the SCORM Engine player regardless. The reason for this is to encourage a timely migration to the more capable and feature-rich SCORM Engine player, while maintaining full functionality of older content packages until they can be re-uploaded and checked for correct functioning. Existing IMS or NLN content will need to be converted to full SCORM compliance.

SCORM Engine Advanced Options

The SCORM Engine Content Player offers a great many features and capabilities, including advanced options settings which can be accessed whenever an instructor edits an existing SCORM package that uses the SCORM Engine Building Block. Normally, the advanced options are hidden on the Edit Content Package (SCORM) page unless the instructor sets Edit SCORM Player Behavior to Yes. Once enabled, however, the SCORM Engine Advanced Options are presented in two or three columns. The left column allows one to select the category of advanced options controls, while the right columns list the choices and settings associated with the category selected.

The categories of settings include:

  • Navigational Controls
  • Launch Behavior
  • Rudimentary Sequencing
  • Rudimentary Rollup
  • Compatibility Settings
  • Communication Settings
  • Debugger Options
  • History Options
  • Other Behavioral Options

Instructors new to using the SCORM Engine Building Block may come to Blackboard administrators for information and guidance on using the advanced options. The general rule is most of the time, instructors creating and managing course content should not need to change the player's advanced options default settings. They are intended primarily for technically experienced and knowledgeable course content developers, and are not necessary for most content packages.

Two of the settings categories, Navigational Controls and Launch Behavior, may be of some use to instructors with a basic level of experience with SCORM, since these settings can control the behavior, available features, and functionality of the SCORM Content Player itself.

Another instance where the settings can be useful is when Content Packages that previously had been using the Open Standards Content Player are re-uploaded to use the SCORM Engine and there are errors or the content just will not run. Here, enabling the Debugger Options to record logging information can aid in diagnosing and troubleshooting the problem, and provide clues as to what needs to be done. History Options can also provide useful information.

For more information and details about the SCORM Engine Advanced Options,  see Creating Content in a Course Area.

How to Make the Content Player Building Block Available in Blackboard Learn

When updating Blackboard Learn, the latest version of the Content Player Building Block will automatically install. The current version of the Content Player allows the playing and modification of all content previously added. Grade Center items will still be manageable from the Grade Center. No new Grade Center items can be added for the previously added content.

In Blackboard Learn, the Open Standards Content Player Building Block is automatically updated to the latest version. The administrator must set the Building Block to Available.

  1. On the Administrator Panel, under Building Blocks, click Building Blocks.
  2. Click Installed Tools.
  3. In the row for the Open Standards Content Player Building Block, click Available in the Availability list. When the Building Block is first made available the list of permissions required by the Building Block is displayed. This is a security feature to protect Blackboard Learn from dangerous content.
  4. Click Approve to make the Building Block available and allow it the listed permissions.

The Content Packages for the content type tools can be managed by clicking Tools on the Administrator Panel under Tools and Utilities.

Note:  If both the Open Standards Content Player and the SCORM Engine are enabled, the SCORM Engine automatically will take precedence. All new and re-uploaded Content Packages will use the SCORM Engine instead. If, after having been in use, the Open Standards Content Player is disabled, any Content Packages still using it will cease to function.