SCORM Compliance & E-Learning Applications

Imagine you are an instructional designer tasked with creating an online learning program. You hear the word SCORM and wonder, “What does it have to do with my job?”

Unless you possess some deep technical knowledge of the software behind online content creation and learning management systems (LMSs), you would probably feel confused about the acronym. What does it mean? How important is it?

The demand for high-quality e-learning material has been on the rise.

SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) regulations ensure that this demand is met by making e-learning courses more accessible. It is an information standard that was first developed in 2001. To create a series of standards allowing training content to become “portable” so it could be delivered and measured by different LMS platforms was the main goal behind SCORM compliance.

SCORM basically controls how online learning subject matter and Learning Management Systems (LMS) communicate with each other. SCORM is purely a technical standard. It standardizes the following things:

  • LMS and coursework communication
  • Content and coursework connectivity
  • User progress measurement and tracking
  • Quiz and test scoring

To make SCORM’s mission of cross-compatibility possible, any media involved in a course is packaged into a special file, called the “imsmanifest.xml.” This file essentially tells the LMS how to handle the content within, gives instructions on what the courses are called, how they will open, and so on in the LMS.

A great example of SCORM in use: whenever you buy a new film on DVD, you need not check its compatibility with different players. The reason for perfect compatibility is that the DVDs are produced using a set of standards. Without these standards, a studio releasing a new movie on DVD would have a big problem and that was how e-learning used to be before SCORM was introduced. The SCORM standard makes sure that all e-learning content and LMS systems can work with each other, just like the DVD standard makes sure that all DVDs will play in all DVD players. If an LMS is SCORM conformant, it can play any content that is SCORM conformant, and any SCORM conformant content can play in any SCORM conformant LMS.

Simplify your training delivery today with SCORM compliance as:

  • It future proofs your e-learning modules and protects you from a vendor-specific lock-in.
  • It’s perfect for compliance training where you need to make sure that all students have read every page on the course.
  • If you need to assess someone’s knowledge you can add an assessment and use your LMS reporting features to generate lists of student results.