Originally posted February 21, 2018.
Short for “computer-managed instruction”, cmi5 is a specification for e-learning and tracking. It bridges the gap between Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Learning Record Stores (LRS).
Cmi5 vs SCORM
SCORM and xAPI are probably the best-known format options for tracing and tracking learners’ results. Developed in 1999, SCORM provided the first protocol for tracking learning activity across platforms. SCORM-compliant content became trackable across any LMS that supported it. Cmi5 takes that a step further: it can track sources outside the LMS, too, like apps, social learning, and more. Learners don’t even have to be online for cmi5 to track their learning. They can take courses offline, and cmi5 will send data to the LMS once there is an internet connection.
Cmi5 vs xAPI
Like SCORM, xAPI is a learning protocol that allows you to track learning-related activity. Unlike its predecessor, it can track learning in pretty much any context. xAPI’s ability to follow informal learning and capture activities outside the LMS made it particularly popular with L&D teams. It provided them with a detailed picture of a learner’s experience. But although xAPI allows you to collect an enormous amount of data, it isn’t structured enough to decide what type of content should go inside an LMS. This is precisely where cmi5 now takes the stage. Cmi5 is a set of rules that adds more structure to xAPI and for LMS.
The benefits of cmi5
Cmi5 combines the capabilities of SCORM and xAPI to offer a more complete specification. Acting as the bridge between LRS and LMS, cmi5 has several major advantages.
Cmi5 was designed on the back of xAPI with the latest generation of e-learning in mind. This makes it more lightweight, efficient and scalable. Using superior technology, cmi5 can be used across different platforms, browsers, and devices.
In so many ways, cmi5 picks up where SCORM and xAPI left off with a simpler model for data tracking. Thanks to cmi5’s inter-operability, content creators no longer have to worry about compatibility between different learning units and LMS. True to its name, cmi5 creates a truly seamless, computer-managed experience.
Global access to content
SCORM specifies that all content must be hosted along with the LMS on the same domain. This makes it less than ideal for sharing content across different geographic locations. Cmi5 provides a more global solution. It allows you to import course structures onto the LMS while the material may be hosted elsewhere. Once you have a content delivery network in place, learners have easy access to content wherever they are.
Despite making SCORM look like a thing of the past, xAPI has its limitations. Especially when it comes to determining which content to contain in an LMS. But by combining the structure of SCORM with the tracking capabilities of xAPI, cmi5 provides the best of both worlds. It adds a powerful dimension to your LMS.