AICC Press Release #44

 The AICC Announces New Data Exchange Standard


Federal Way, WA:  The Aviation Industry CBT/eLearning Committee announces the start of development on the first major elearning data exchange specification.  This specification will greatly expand on the widely used data exchange specifications from both the AICC and the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative’s SCORM specification, and adds the ability to integrate group learning activities, simulations and custom learner interfaces with learning management systems.  The specification will supersede the existing AICC computer managed instruction specification and is scheduled for release in the first quarter.


The current data exchange specification is used in the development of both elearning content and learning management systems (LMS).  It defines the way the two systems communicate so elearning can be launched from and the results sent to the LMS.  When it was introduced, the specification was the first effort at standardizing that data communication, allowing trainers to more easily integrate elearning courseware without custom development.  The new specification is being developed in response to changes in the elearning landscape with advances in technology and adoption of different methods of content delivery.  The new specification will replace the existing AICC specification. 


According to AICC Computer Managed Instruction Subcommittee Chairman William A. McDonald, “Over the years, we had many requests to update our data exchange specification but held off knowing that any change would have profound results for all previously certified titles and applications, many of which had been designed for compliance with either the AICC standard or SCORM.  The AICC and the ADL have tried to harmonize the two standards but when that effort stalled, we decided to move forward.  That requires a completely new approach and that means a completely new data specification.”  According to Ed Cohen, Chairman of the Training Infrastructure Committee of the AICC, “This is huge.  This will not only supersede our own CMI (computer managed instruction) specification, but will define the way courseware and management systems communicate from here forward.”  While the new specification will replace existing specifications that have been used for years, there will be consideration for re-tooling or adapting legacy courseware.  Mr. Cohen commented “we know there’s a ton of courseware out there and it would be cost-prohibitive to force authors to re-develop their titles just because of this specification.  However, the LMS providers will be moving forward with adoption pretty rapidly once it’s released, so we need to develop a way to allow legacy titles to still share data while newer courseware can benefit from the expanded capabilities of the new standard.”


The AICC has been helping the aviation industry (as well as many others) get the most out of training technologies.  As AICC Chairman Capt. Herbert Schwarz commented, “The AICC has always created solutions for the industry that solve real problems in a very usable manner.  Since we are a volunteer consortium of manufacturers, courseware authors, vendors and users, our standards reflect the best that all sides offer so that all can benefit.  This new specification, although just a part of the overall elearning infrastructure, will be critical for the future and will help insure interoperability between courseware and LMSs.”  Work on the specification has already begun and is being managed as a joint project for several AICC subcommittees.