What is distance tracking, the most important e-learning feature

Thanks to SCORM compliance, learning objects are able to communicate with any LMS platform, exchanging information that allows distance tracking of students’ actions within the e-learning process. In this article we will try to explain what kind of information you can collect and why this feature is so important for digital training. 



To start from the very beginning, let’s clarify what we mean by “distance tracking”. When talking about e-learning, one of the main fears that teachers have is the idea of “losing control” of their students, since digital training does not require their physical presence anymore (except in case of blended learning). Distance tracking, though, allows trainers to keep in touch with learners during the entire process, following remotely their every interaction with assigned training materials. 



What kind of data can be collected? Starting with SCORM 1.2/2001, LMSs allow to track level of completion of the single learning object, duration of each session, number of entries or trials, progress within the course and some environmental information, such as audio volume, chosen language, use (or not) of subtitles. When a test is included, the system records if students have passed it, their score, the number of trials and all the given answers

This data exchange requires the user to be online but, in case of advanced systems (like our ESPY), tracking information can be collected and stored within the player even in offline mode, and then shared with the LMS when Internet connection is restored.  



Once all this information is collected into the LMS, teachers can easily access it and use it for different purposes. 


The first and very important one is improving the training process: LMSs, in fact, can create automatic reports to give an overall insight about the class’ progress. This can be very useful to adjust the predefined learning path in order to make it more effective, for example organizing one-to-one calls or webinars to clarify particularly difficult topics or designing supplementary learning objects to help students reaching the final goals.  


Another benefit of distance tracking is related to certification issue. During traditional face-to-face lessons, teachers have no control over students’ level of attention: they have no way to know if (and when) they get distracted or are not following the explanation. On the contrary, with e-learning distance tracking the trainer has access to first hand information about these elements, in addition to tests’ results and progress in time. All this can be used to create an “history” of the specific user learning process, very useful to certify the completion of predefined objectives


Reading this article you have understood how important distance tracking is and how it gives validation and power to an e-learning process. This feature allows distance training to spread even in high demand markets, especially through applications running on mobile devices. Do you want to learn more about mobile learning? Have a look at the next article!



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