Some common questions for folks hearing of the Digital Learning Asset Framework for the first time are:
- “How do I put this into practice?
- “What’s with the text files?”
- “Doesn’t the metadata lend itself towards a database of some sort?
It’s true that there is no “plugin” for your LMS or favorite content creation tool to make it compliant with the Digital Learning Asset Framework. There may be someday, but in order to get there we have to solve for the chicken-and-egg problem. Which comes first? The system or the framework?
Well, systems can take many forms. So when it comes to implementing one of the most powerful aspects of the Framework, you need not wait for a database-type system to gain the benefits. You can start right now, today, with text files.
Really?!? Simple .TXT files?
Yes, really. The beauty of text files is that you have them already. You need no one’s permission to make them or use them. You can change them without any fancy tools, and you can iterate them without any regression testing or complex schemas. This allows us to circumvent the chickens and eggs and go straight to making stuff we can all use. In addition, you and your team can get immediate benefit from using the logic of the Framework to externalize your business logic.
As more of us chose to use the Framework, vendors who make content creation tools, learning management systems, content management systems, hosting platforms, digital asset management systems, etc. will start to see the market for integrating the Framework into their offerings. This is how xAPI came to be a thing, and SCORM before that, and AICC before that. When there is a market, the tools will follow.
So let’s begin. Let’s start in the simplest, easiest, and cheapest way possible. Let’s derive some benefits today.
Then someday, when other tools are available, you’ll be ready to evaluate them and migrate to them without a big implementation project. You’ll have something to compare it to, and you’ll have plenty of content to test with.
If you’re ready to get started today, go download the single-page reference sheet and watch a few videos. And if you’re not ready, please reach out using the comments below and say what’s stopping you.