IMS/SSP Comes So Close…

A few years ago I gave a conference presentation about adding collaboration functionality to SCORM. Not many people seemed particularly interested in human-to-human interaction in SCORM (or IMS, etc.), and so I presented a model where such functionality might be “hacked in” via a common roll-up area where arbitrary data (“comments”, “questions”, “answers”, “documents”, etc.) could be stored on a per SCO basis (almost exactly the way our OLS software works with MIT/OCW or Connexions content). Several of “the right people” heard that talk, and I’ve had high hopes since that someone with more time would ammend SCORM to allow social interaction.

So I was extremely happy to hear about the new IMS Shareable State Persistence work. But imagine my disaapointment when I read from the SCORM Application Profile:

Data bucket access is defined to be per learner, with no defined interoperable facility for multi-learner buckets. The LMS must ensure that SCOs requesting access to data buckets only gain access to the appropriate learner’s data bucket.

And then from the Best Practice Document:

This is runtime storage of data not data for reporting or long-term storage.

If this were long-term storage, at least we could hack it to support learner annotations or something that starts to feel social (dialogue with one’s self?). When will we get social interaction in IMS/SCORM? It’s not that hard; or at least it seems obvious to me. Anyone interested in collaborating to create a draft specification?