Spell e-learning S-C-O-R-M

Steve LeSueur

The education and training industry has come a long way since the McGuffy Reader -- or, for that matter, chalkboards, Mead notebooks and overhead projectors.

Today, the cutting edge of education is online and electronic, and the government is leading the way. For a variety of reasons, government demand for training and education is growing. One estimate sees spending in this area doubling from $1 billion to $2 billion annually by 2007.

The growth in the market is fueling the acceptance of SCORM, an emerging

e-learning standard that should make e-learning content sharable, reusable and less expensive. The promise of SCORM, which stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model, is so strong, at least one IT executive believes that

e-learning companies will go out of business if they don't adopt it as a standard.

Demand for e-learning also is changing the way government buys education and training solutions. Failed e-learning projects have spurred chief information officers to get more involved. Agencies also are using teams of employees to try out products before making a decision to buy. Government customers also want companies to present proofs of concept or conduct pilot projects.

Staff Writer Gail Repsher Emery explores e-learning and the trends affecting that marketplace in our cover story.

Study it well. Pop quiz tomorrow.

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