- If there's an integration issue, like the score or completion is not getting set appropriately, we want to be able to make changes to the course to try to fix it.
- We don't have direct access to a version of the LMS to test on.
- The client's staff won't give us direct access to the LMS to run tests.
- The client's staff is too busy to run a series of tests and they have no patience for problems.
- The client has not set up a version of the LMS just for this purpose.
SCORM Test Suite
One of the best things about SCORM (ADL's Sharable Content Reference Model) is that it is pretty easy to test and diagnose problems. In fact, it comes with a do-it-yourself test suite. The test suite was created to try to help get implementations to work together better. The problem is that there is no guarantee that two SCORM implementations that pass the self-test suite will integrate okay. The test suite can be downloaded here.
My first piece of advice for anyone developing a course is to make sure it runs with the ADL's test suite because that gives you cover in case there are issues. If it doesn't work out, then you can say - "Well it works with the SCORM test suite. We'll have to figure out what this LMS does different than the SCORM test suite."
SCORM Technical Test Version
At the start of each project where integration with an LMS is required, we create an early technical test version of the course. This is created using whatever authoring tool we will be using and it will contain no content. Rather, it simply allows us to quickly set particular variable values, e.g., test scores. Most often we put this in a SCORM wrapper to be able to diagnose what issues there are. This can show you what works and doesn't work long before you author the course.
The late Claude Ostyn created one test wrapper and also a diagnostic SCO. There is another called SCORM Test Tracker. We use our own so I can't vouch for these tools.
Note: there have been cases where we needed to go to HTTP stream tracking software to figure out what was wrong. This is less common these days, but it's good to know that there are tools at this level.
LMS Specific Testing
I would love to tell you that there was an easy way to take this technical test version and/or your course itself and load it under the LMS to test it before you hand it to your client. My experience has been that it's rare to have this happen.
Does anyone else have a different experience?
Do any LMS vendors provide test beds for people to test their course?
For the person who wants to test on Docent 6.5, what should they do other than what I suggest above?