Creative Education
2012. Vol.3, No.1, 101-108
Published Online February 2012 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2012 SciR e s . 101
T-SCORM: An Extension of the SCORM Standard to
Support the Project of Educational Contents for t-Learning
Francisco Miguel da Silva1, Francisco Milton Mendes Neto1,
Aquiles Medeiros Filgueira Burlamaqui2, Diogo Hen rique Duarte Bezerra 2
1Federal University of Semi Arid (UFERSA), Mossoró, Brazil
2Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Natal, Brazil
Email: {miguel.silva, miltonmendes}@, {aquiles, diogo}
Received October 29th, 2011; revised November 27th, 2011; accepted December 10th, 2011
The Interactive Digital Television (iDTV) has facilitated and expanded the communication and interac-
tion in activities of knowledge acquisitions, entertainment and recreation in Distance Learning field. This
new way of teaching and learning has been called t-Learning. In this context, the Learning Objects (LOs)
have an important role to assist in the electronic courses’ development. Due the fast progress of
e-Learning, some efforts to standardization have appeared in order to enable the reusability of educational
contents and interoperability among systems, and one of these standards is the Sharable Content Object
Reference Model (SCORM). Therefore, the main goal of this work is to present an extension of SCORM
aiming to adapt it in order to improve the search and navigation of LOs with educational content for
t-Learning. That will be done through an authoring tool named T-SCORM ADAPTER, which will be able
to apply this extension in a fast and efficient way.
Keywords: iDTV; t-Learning; Learning Objects; SCORM; Extension
Nowadays, the appreciation of knowledge influences the way
in which people acquire skills by making a particular person
search for alternative and flexible ways of learning. According
to (Girardi, 2002), this appreciation of knowledge makes that
each individual always is looking for new ways to improve and
increase their learning level constantly.
Having the televi sion as Brazil’s most popular media, it appears
as a solution for disseminating quality and interactive content.
This happens because of the digitization1 process, which en-
ables audio and video applications to be executed (Monteiro et
al., 2008). The Interactive Digital Television (iDTV) is becom-
ing a reality in the world, due mainly to the advances in tele-
communications. The Brazilian government with the develop-
ment of (SBTVD)2, short for Sistema Brasileiro de Televisão
Digital (English: Brazilian Digital Television System) has also
contributed to this aspect (SBTVD, 2007).
Based on this reality , there is the proble m in how to adj ust ed u -
cational contents, so as to better support the search and naviga-
tion mechanism to make them available in the iDTV platform
in order to present an effective and personalized learning. An-
other problem that arises in this context is how to make the
Learning Objects (LOs)3 become more suitable through their
specification in SCORM4, aiming at the proper presentation for
To fill this gap, this paper proposes a n extension to the SC OR M
standard in order to better support in an effective manner the
search, navigation and visualization of LOs with educational
contents for t-Learning5.
This paper is structured as follows. First, we describe the
main features of iDTV, Distance Education and t-Learning.
Next we present the definitions of LOs as well as the standards
for their development and description. Then we expose the
details of our proposal and the authoring tool T-SCORM AD-
APTER. After that, we present and discuss similar approaches.
Finally, we draw some conclusions and motivation for future
Interactive Digital and Distance Educational
It is possible to find in the literature many concepts about
Distance Education. In this work, we will use the definition
established by the (SEED), short for Secretaria de Educação a
Distância (English: Secretariat of Distance Education) of the
Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC), in the decree (5.622,
2005). In its article 1st, this decree defines the Distance Educa-
tion as being:
“[...] educational modality in which the didactic-pedagogical
mediation in the teaching-learning process occurs with the use
of resources along with information and communication tech-
1Conversion of an analogue signal or code into a digital si g nal or code.
2The SBTVD was established by Presidential decree (5.820, 2006), it is
composed of a Manager Group, a Development Committee and an Advi-
sory Commit tee. Th is decr ee also es tab lis hes gu id elin es f or th e tr an siti on o
analogue transmission for the digital transmission system of sound and
image broadcasting servic es and the television retransmission service.
3Los examples include multimedia and instructional content, and instruct-
tional software (Luc i a, Azevedo , & Anna , 20 07 ).
4SCORM is a collection of standards and specifications for web-
e-learning. It defines communications between the client side content, and a
host system called the run-time environment, which is commonly supported
by a learning management system (ADL, 2010).
5t-Learning is a shorthand meaning for TV-based interactive learning.
nologies, with students and teachers by developing educational
activities in places or different times”.
Based on this definition, we can present the iDTV as a means
of support for distance learning, and with the SBTVD expan-
sion and the interactivity provided by the Ginga middleware,
good opportunities show up to the development of educational
applications being an innovator in iDTV and characterizing the
modality of teaching-learning named as t-Learning.
The e-Learning and t-Learning have different scopes taking
into account that e-Learning is highly suitable for a formal
education environment. That is, it is supported by methodolo-
gies quite defined to carry out an outline and summary of topics
to be covered in an education or training course. t-Learning, in
turn, is more appropriate for an informal approach, which al-
lows the learning through the entertainment (Pazos-Arias et al.,
As it is shown in Figure 1, the interactivity features repre-
sent a great advantage over the traditional television programs,
in view of the fact that it makes the learning experience more
enjoyable. The interactivity allows among other things, the user
should influence the presentation of contents and assesses his
knowledge by on-line tests.
Learning Objects
A relevant concept in relation to the content of teach-
ing-learning in the field of Distance Education is the Learning
Object (LO). According to the Learning Technology Standard
Committee (LTSC) of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers (IEEE), a Learning Object is defined as any entity,
digital or non-digital, that may be used for learning, education
or training (LTSC, 2002).
According to (Americo, 2010), the LOs are considered in-
formation blocks and present the following features: 1) reus-
ability—Reusable several times in different learning environ-
ments; 2) adaptability—Adaptable to any teaching environment;
3) granularity—pieces of content, in order to facilitate its reus-
ability; 4) accessibility—easily accessible on the Internet to be
used in many locations; 5) durability—possibility to be used
continuously, regardless technology change; 6) interoperabil-
ity—ability to operate through a hardware variety, operating
systems and browsers, i.e. effective exchange between different
The efforts for development of standards aiming to the de-
scription of LOs may be exemplified by the work of important
organizations such as IEEE and the Global Learning Consor-
tium, which have proposed the Learning Object Metadata
(LOM) standard (LOM, 2002). The metadata standard LOM
Figure 1.
t-Learning: between pure entertainment and formal education. Source:
(Pazos-Arias et al. , 2008).
allows the LOs be classified, reused and found by searching
tools in an appropriate manner. The main elements of LOM are
described below:
General: Gather information in general, which describe the
LO as a whole;
Life Cycle: Gather features concerning to the history and
Status Quo of the LO;
Meta-Metadata: Collect information about the metadata
Technical: Gather the features and the technical require-
ments of LO;
Educational: Collect the pedagogical and educational char-
acteristics of LO;
Rights: Describe Copyright And Other Restrictions;
Relation: Define the relation characteristics among the
Annotation: Comments regarding to educational use and
information of LO;
Classification: Describe the LO in relation to a classifica-
tion of a specific system.
The Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM),
which has been developed by Advanced Distributed Learning
(ADL), is also widely used and describes how the content could
be modeled and how the learning management environments
should handle such content to make its reuse viable (ADL,
The standard SCORM content can be distributed to the stu-
dents by any Learning Management System (LMS), which has
to be compatible with SCORM and use the same version of
standard (ADL, 2010). Essentially the context description
model of SCORM defines a set of metatags and statements to
be used in the description files or in the content, aiming for the
transfer information to the LMS about the content and the in-
teraction of students with the content.
The Figure 2 shows the SCORM organization as a collection
of standards and specifications of other organizations contained
or referenced in the model.
To enable the content aggregation in a format that is easily
interpretable and transferable among systems on the Internet,
the ADL has adopted the definition of a special file named
(imsmanifest.xml), encoded in xml, which describes the differ-
ent components and resources. It has markers for all the fea-
tures of the SCORM provided in the configuration files, as well
as the locations of the referenced files by these components.
The Figure 3 shows a pseudocode example of imsmani-
As it is shown in Figure 3, the imsmanife st.xml star ts by de-
fining the language and version of the file. Then it presents the
main element <manifest> in which are described the domains
that support the entire coding.
The imsmanifest.xml structure is composed by the following
<metadata>: Used in any component of the data model and
the content package6;
<organizations>: Mandatory in case of Content Aggregation
<item>: Corresponds to an activity of content model;
<resources>: Contains a set of references to the different re-
6Concerning to SCORM Content Package, see Figure 2.
7Concerning to Content Aggregation Model (CAM), defines the method o
packing, labeling, research a nd content exchange.
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s.
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s . 103
<files>: Used to reference the location of archive which be-
longs to the resource; First we start with a scenario in which there is already an
LMS working in selecting and distribution of LOs for courses
on the iDTV platform regarding to t-Learning context. Then the
objective of this work is to improve the selecting process made
by the LM S, adding specific t-Learning information in the
metadata of these LOs.
<manifest>: In the Content Aggregation, the whole manifest
is referenced, or just a few parts of its components.
Extension Proposal of SCORM Standard Currently, there is no repository for educational content spe-
cific for a t-Learning environment in the international or na-
tional context. According to (Bez, 2009), the most part of the
LMSs has worked with web content. Then, it is not being pos-
sible to convert this content for Digital TV yet. This occurs
mainly due to the fact of the navigability between these tech-
nologies be different.
The extension of the SCORM standard proposed in this
paper has as main goal to improve the support to the search and
the navigation making available the LOs for the iDTV platform.
The great advantage of this method is that, it will enable a
system to search for information contained in the metadata of
the LOs with educational content created specifically for
t-Learning within the imsmanifest.xml.
Source: [http://www.scorm].
Figure 2.
SCORM 2004 specification boo k s .
Figure 3.
Structure and pseudocode of imsmanifest.xml .
The proposed extension contemplates an adaptation of meta-
data information in the current SCORM standard based on
LOM standard. New elements have been proposed in order to
give more emphasis to the information of these metadata re-
lated to iDTV.
The intention of improving the quality of these metadata, and
it is just for, according to the preferences and cognitive charac-
teristics contained in the students’ profiles, the LMS can man-
age in a quickly and efficient manner, to seek and make these
LOs available for students in the iDTV platform.
New Metadata Model
Metadata, in a brief answer, is defined as data about data,
which describe them (semantic and syntactically), and in which
is possible to structure and manage the information in different
environments (Alves et al., 2006).
It is being proposed in this work, new elements of metadata,
where they become child nodes in the main structure of the
metadata mode l of LOM, which SCORM is based on.
With the new elements inserted in the LOM structure, we
have twelve categories that make it possible to specify in a
more accurate way the LOs metadata with educational content
for iDTV. With these new elements added, it will be possible to
describe specific information of LOs for iDTV, such as:
interactivity level, copyright description, precise description on
educational content in digital format, etc.
In Figure 4, it is shown an overview of the new structure
proposed to the LOM. In blue, we have the original metadata
elements in the LOM structure. In green, we have the new
categories of elements proposed by the extension. Finally, in
orange, we have the LOM’s adaptation with the new metadata
In spite of the actual LOM metadata structure within the
SCORM already includes metadata information for categories
such as educational and rights, these categories, as well as the
other ones, classify and specify the LOs metadata in a very
generic way and these categories do not have fields to treat in a
better quality this exclusive information for iDTV.
With the inclusion of these new elements adapted in the
structure, we now have twelve categories that allow us to spec-
ify in a more accurate way the metadata of the OAs with educa-
tional content for TVDi.
With the inclusion of these new elements, it will be possible
to describe specific information of LOs for iDTV, such as the
interactivity level in which it could describe the system charac-
teristics, since in iDTV this resource may not be available. We
also have the description of digital content rights, where, in the
case of special particularities, it will be possible to specify in
detail the information on educational content in digital format,
among other information.
This adjustment in the categories allows to describe clearer
information on the media content with educational and training,
in addition to helping any search mechanism to become faster
and effective in gathering information directly in the metadata
making with these LOS be suitable in a correct way for the
specific public.
Figure 5 shows the architecture and how is applied the
T-SCORM extension.
As shown in Figure 5, the Vocabulary Creator8 is in charge
of adding the new elements of T-SCORM extension. The new
elements shall contain the information relating to the new
metadata parameters and inserted in the LOM structure based
Figure 4.
New structure of LOM for iDTV.
8Subject in charge of create the new metadata elements of T-SCORM extension.
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s.
The LO must be created and edited according to th e specifica-
tions of SCORM standard. It has been used in this work the
freeware tool Reload Editor9 for LO creation and editing.
Once edited, the Content Creator10 for iDTV will compose
the LOs in accordance with SCORM. However, the Content
Creator will add the new extension using the T-SCORM
ADAPTER tool proposed in this paper. This tool will read the
imsmanifest.xml file created in the first place.
This will ensure that the T-SCORM extension may be added
with the new metadata elements within the LOM structure,
improving the classification and the specification of LOs with
educational content for iDTV.
After complete such information, the T-SCORM will save
the file with the changes related to the new metadata elements,
but keeping the original structure (markers and header)11 of
imsmanifest.xml, which is demanding for recognition by the
LMS as a SCORM content package.
Authoring Tool T-SCORM ADAPTER
To facilitate the process of reading and adding of the
T-SCORM extension, it has been developed the T-SCORM
ADAPTER tool, which is able to apply the extension proposed
within the imsmanifest.xml structure.
In Figure 6, it can be seen that the tool has a friendly inter-
face and easy to use, with the tabs separated in an adequate
manner to input the new information in order to compose the
new metadata of LOs for iDTV.
Figure 5.
Architecture of T-SCORM extension.
Figure 6.
T-SCORM adapter.
10Subject in charge of create the LOs applying the T-SCORM extension.
11See the pseudocode example in Figure 3.
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s . 105
The Figure 7 shows a user scenario of the T-SCORM
ADAPTER to modify the imsmanifest.xml applying just one
element of the extension.
As shown in Figure 7, in step 1, the user selects the menu
File-Import Mani-fest.xml. In step 2, locate the imsmani-
fest.xml file in the directory. In step 3, put the LO name, in
which the metadata will be changed and fill the fields with the
information scrolling the menu tabs. In step 4, to save the
changes carried out, select the menu File-Save. The informa-
tion is saved and inserted automatically in the imsmanifest.xml,
but keeping its original structure to be received by the LMS.
In Figure 8, it is shown the imsmanifest.xml before and after
the addition of metadata in the element <educationalmidia>
edited by T-SCORM ADAPTER.
Related Work
In (Rey-Lopez et al., 2009), it is proposed an adaptation in
the Shareable Content Object (SCO)12. In the proposed exten-
sion, new elements have been introduced in the data model,
allowing the objects can request to the LMS information about
the user’s characteristics and thus, show the content in accor-
dance with such information. At the activity level, new se-
quencing rules have been created, and making the presented
structure to the users depends on their cognitive status and
Figure 7.
User scenario of T-SCORM ADAPTER.
Figure 8.
Editing example of imsmanifest.xml.
12Functional component of SCORM.
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s.
The information about these adaptation parameters are ob-
tained starting from a user profile, using inference rules. As a
result, courses created are obtained with the purpose of be per-
sonalized before make them available to the user. In Figure 9,
it is shown the target scenario of this adaptation.
The focus of our work is different, considering the fact that
we are proposing an extension of the SCORM standard directly
in the metadata of LOM standard, improving the support to
educational content through a detailed specification in how the
LOs could be better delivered on the iDTV platform.
(Simões, Luis, & Horta, 2004) introduce a proposal for an
extension of the SCORM standard, which allows the modeling
of a course related to the entities that surround the LOs and the
aggregation content. It is suggested the creation of a new cate-
gory Environmental in the LOM standard in parallel with the
current categories.
In Figure 10, it is shown the recursive hierarchy proposed by
the authors. The fields for the data may be related to describe,
in an arbitrary manner, complex structures that represent mod-
eled entities.
In Figure 11, it is shown a recursive item in the application
and its pseudocode.
The extension presented in (Simões, Luis, & Horta, 2004)
has similarity with the extension proposed in this paper regard-
ing to proposing changes in the structure of the LOM standard.
However, our proposal is to create more elements in order to
better support the educational content contained in LOs for
Conclusion and Future Work
We have presented in this paper an extension proposal to the
SCORM standard (T-SCORM) in order to better support the
specification and classification of LOs with educational content
for t-Learning. An authoring tool has been proposed (T-SCO RM
ADAPTER), which is able to read the imsmanifest.xml file and
restructure only the metadata of LOs with educational content
created to the iDTV platform with no changes in the original
structure of the SCORM, which is mandatory to be accepted by
a LMS.
Figure 9.
Target scenario. S ou rce: (Rey-Lop ez e t a l. , 2009).
Figure 10.
Extension category. Source: (Simões, Luis, & Horta, 2004).
Copyright © 2012 SciRe s . 107
Figure 11.
Application with the recursive item and xml code. Source: (Sim õ e s, Luis, & Horta, 2004).
The new elements of the proposed extension have been in-
serted within the metadata structure of LOM. This way, it was
possible to make a detailed and specific classification of infor-
mation of these metadata. In the context learning, any LO
which has in its content educational videos, or training for that
matter, it can be described in all its didactic aspects. In addition,
there will be containers for technical specification related to
iDTV platform.
As future work, we intend to carry out a test in a classroom
with educational videos in iDTV applications. A case study will
be performed to show the benefits of the proposed approach.
In addition, it will also be analyzed how the communication
between the GINGA middleware and the LMS, which will
make the search and the availability of such content with the
T-SCORM extension already sapplied and being the LOs in
accordance with the SCORM standard.
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