Problems in Mandating Open Standards

On 25 January 2011 Lorna Campbell wrote a post entitled “A TAACCCTful mandate? OER, SCORM and the $2bn grant” (see http://blogs.cetis.ac.uk/lmc/2011/01/25/a-taaccctful-mandate-oer-scorm-and-the-2bn-grant/) which described how a US Department of Labour announcement that it was planning to allocate $2 billion in grant funds mandated use of SCORM.

A few weeks later we heard that “DoL Drops SCORM Requirement for $2B OER Grants” (see http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/1778 and http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/after-complaints-dept-of-labor-amends-rules-for-e-learning-grant-program/29679)

The second post included the comment:

Learning objects in general and SCORM in particular are of little or no use in higher education. It takes faculty members more time to research and find useful items than to create them. The whole concept is pretty much ignored by faculty members…and I agree with them

There can be dangers in mandating standards – even if there is a $2B carrot!

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