Posted by: kurtsh | February 20, 2010

INFO: Microsoft “Semblio” vs Microsoft “Learning Content Development System” – SCORM-compliant Development Software


What is Microsoft Semblio?
Semblio is a new set of tools designed to provide the education community the ability to easily author, assemble and publish rich interactive content.

The Semblio toolset is comprised of three building blocks:

  1. Semblio SDK: Are a set of API’s and developer tools which allow content professionals to develop and design digital content
  2. Semblio Assembly Tool: Is an interactive canvas which allows teachers, students, and subject matter experts to create and assemble rich digital content
  3. Semblio Player: Is designed to both display content and allow users to interactively engage with the rich digital content

image What are some of the product highlights of the Semblio Assembly Tool?

  • Enables you to create, within a single application, multi-media based classroom lessons  or out-of-class assignments incorporating audio, video, animation, illustration, pictures and text
  • Features familiar navigation, icons, tools, templates, and menus, making it quick and easy to learn and use
  • Provides access to an online educational content exchange where you can find, share, and download ready-made available educational materials from your peers or content professionals
  • Features simple but powerful design tools for creating your own multi-media content and customizing existing materials
  • Includes features and tools for creating buttons, links, and setting actions that allow you to control the navigation of a lesson or assignment 
  • Includes built-in functionality for creating and automating the grading of quizzes within lessons
  • Provides tools for testing student comprehension and re-directing students to additional content based on their responses
  • Includes technologies that integrate and work with existing learning management systems and educator and student file sharing systems

What is the Microsoft Learning Content Development System?
Learning Content Development System provides the Microsoft Learning Communities with an easy-to-use, form-based tool that allows them to create e-learning in the Official Microsoft Learning user experience. Another goal of the LCDS is to showcase Silverlight technology. All interactive elements and interactive media in LCDS v2.2 are Silverlight-based.

What are some of the product highlights of LCDS v2.2?

  • Creates courses in the Official Microsoft e-learning user experience
  • Follows a proven instructional design model used to develop more than 2000 hours of e-learning courses on
  • Includes an automatic preview and automated build process that is seamless to the user
  • Provides 20 templates for creating a variety of e-learning content in the following categories: Interact, Watch, Play, Read, Try.
  • Allows users to easily create Silverlight-based interactive games and other components by filling out simple forms
  • Provides support for Silverlight animations, demos, videos, and simulations and Silverlight-based media players.
  • Outputs content in SCORM 1.2 
  • Provides SCORM tracking for assessments, including multiple choice single correct, True/False, and essay question
  • Allows the Microsoft Learning Communities to easy customize Official Microsoft e-learning courses by simply loading the course into the LCDS

How does the LCDS tool differ from the Semblio Assembly Tool? 
The fundamental differences between LCDS and the Semblio Assembly Tool center on four main areas; audience, extensibility, delivery platform, and support.  


  • The LCDS tool is for the Microsoft  Learning communities. Output generated from the LCDS is constrained to the Official Microsoft e-learning user experience and supports the MSL instructional design model and Microsoft Learning standards and styles.   
  • The Semblio Assembly Tool is for a non-technical educators and subject matter experts to create and assemble rich-interactive learning objects. Output generated from Semblio will not restrict users to one specific instructional design model and is flexible enough to work both in the classroom as well as out of the classroom.   


  • The LCDS tool is for creating e-learning courses according to the Microsoft Learning Official e-learning user experience and instructional design model.  The LCDS provides a templatized version for structuring e-learning courses according to the Microsoft Learning style, user experience, and instructional design model.  
  • The Semblio Assembly Tool provides an open and flexible way to create interactive learning materials which the user controls. Users have several ways they can customize the interactive canvas in Semblio Assembly to suit the needs of their project and work habits.


  • The LCDS tool is primarily focused on enabling web based e-learning courses and leverages Silverlight technologies.  Courses created with the LCDS can be deployed in an LMS, on a web server, on a user’s hard drive, and on CD.  For deployment on a web server, CD, or hard drive there are additional configuration steps that must be followed.
  • Semblio is designed for rich media content and provides the best experience by leveraging Windows desktop capabilities via WPF; however Semblio will also target a lighter web- based experience via Silverlight.


  • The LCDS is a community supported tool. The LCDS is not supported by Microsoft Product Support and one uses the LCDS at their own risk as it is not an official Microsoft Product. 
  • Semblio will be a fully supported Microsoft product and will be targeted to all Microsoft customers.

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