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What is SCORM?

What Is SCORM? And how does it relate to eLearning?

No eLearning lesson would be complete without learning about the importance of SCORM (short for Shareable Content Object Reference Model).

SCORM is an international standard set for all eLearning products, platforms and solutions to ensure optimal operability across the eLearning industry. It is the gold star of eLearning platforms and course development.

When e-courses are published in SCORM format, they are recognizable in almost any Learning Management System (LMS), which makes SCORM compliancy very important in the eLearning industry. SCORM directs programmers on how to write code so that what gets built will work cohesively with other eLearning software. Basically, it is a standardized way of creating e-courses so that each type of eLearning product will work worldwide across platforms and industries.

To break it down further, SCORM can be split into two components: Sharable Content Object (SCO) and Reference Model (RM).

1. Shareable Content Object: This portion refers to creating units or ‘objects’ of online training material that can be shared across different eLearning systems or LMSs. SCORM defines how to create a SCO that can be used, shared and reused in different systems and contexts.

2. Reference Model: This refers to the fact that SCORM is not a formally mandated or enforced formatting process but simply a reference guide for courses to be built around, which can make the concept a bit complicated.

Investing money and time into creating e-courses and eLearning content is a serious commitment. So, naturally, you will want that content to work with any LMS system your company or organization employs (present or future). Should your company decide to change LMS providers over time, the content you have created will be transferrable over to your new system if you are SCORM compliant. If not, you could lose valuable content that took your weeks, months or years to complete.

So, understanding and researching SCORM compliancy is highly recommended before choosing an eLearning platform or LMS.

What does it mean to be SCORM compliant?

To be SCORM compliant means an LMS system abides by the rules and requirements dictated by SCORM regulations. Conversely, SCORM compliant e-courses can be uploaded and used within any SCORM compliant LMS.

When choosing an LMS solution, it is important to ensure it is SCORM compliant so that the content you develop can be used, transferred and reused on many different LMS platforms. While the average person will not know how to create SCORM content, your eLearning platform or LMS provider should be able to prove they are SCORM compliant and create content for you that will abide by SCORM conduct.

To be SCORM certified means your content products have been tested through ADL Certification Testing Centers. The ADL stands for the Advanced Certification Learning Initiative.

What does SCORM mean for eLearning?

For eLearning, SCORM compliance is practically a necessity and should be heavily considered before developing any eLearning programs or courses. Think of SCORM as the regulatory framework for the creation of all eLearning content.

Due to the fact that SCORM is the norm for all eLearning content created for today’s LMSs, it would be highly recommended to create SCORM enabled content. This will ensure company content is versatile and able to operate on any number of different systems. SCORM compliance also has additional benefits that make eLearning more impactful. These benefits include:

  • Compatibility – SCORM courses are recognized by almost any LMS.
  • Progress Saving – Courses can be broken into steps and progress is saved. This is important for when the system might fail or if the e-course being offered is temporarily closed.
  • Feedback – Access to assess student progress, points scored and notification when courses are completed.
  • Clear Course Structure – Courses can be structured and rules can be set for moving between sections.
  • Modularity – In SCORM courses, training material can consist of modules or standalone units, which can then be broken or, transferred or shared to new or different systems.

SCORM and eLearning go hand-in-hand. Knowing the basics of SCORM and discussing this important component with your eLearning provider is a smart way to ensure your investment is safe and secure.

What are the benefits of using SCORM?

It’s clear to see that SCORM is an important component of the eLearning industry but what are its actual benefits? Here are a few:

  • It is pro-consumer. Similar to how a YouTube video can be played on multiple different devices and internet browsers without intervention, e-courses can be played on any compliant LMS, making them a valuable product. If you are unhappy with one LMS provider, you can upload your precious content onto another and not lose any value or quality.
  • SCORM compliancy has allowed the eLearning network to flourish, creating an ecosystem of interoperability and reliability. Nearly all high-quality LMSs and authoring tools are SCORM compliant.
  • SCORM has reduced costs. Since training and content does not need to be made bespoke for every LMS system, eLearning users are unhampered by the financial burden of creating new content for each new system.
  • SCORM has introduced better quality content overall as the best course creation tools are compatible with SCORM compliant LMSs.
Related Topics

What is eLearning?

Electronic learning or eLearning is the act of gaining or building on new or existing knowledge through electronic or digital means. Learning online, particularly for the working professional, has become a vital component of everyday life. Learn more about eLearning and what it can do for you.

Learn More >

What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

A Learning Management System, or LMS, is a software application for creating, structuring delivering and managing educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs digitally. An LMS is the vehicle that delivers eLearning. Read more about LMSs and why you should invest in one.

Learn More >

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