Getting to know SCORM

For the less technically savvy among us, knowing and understanding SCORM can be a little intimidating. Getting to grips with SCORM doesn’t have to be complicated — read through our brief guide to SCORM. We also outline how you can add a SCORM package to Moodle.

What is SCORM?

Let’s start with the basics. SCORM stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model. ADL, Advanced Distributed Learning designed SCORM and comprises a set of technical standards for eLearning software. Don’t be confused, SCORM is purely a technical standard and doesn’t inform the instructional design process.

SCORM is the default standard for how online learning content and LMS’s communicate with each other.

What does it do?

In layman’s terms, SCORM plays nice with online learning content and learning management systems. The SCORM standard ensures that content authoring software such as Captivate and Articulate and LMS’s such as Moodle and Totara can communicate with each other.

When you’ve developed your online content with your preferred authoring tool, save it in SCORM format and follow these simple steps to upload it to Moodle:

  1. Login and navigate to your Moodle course
  2. Turn editing on
  3. Add an activity
  4. Select SCORM
  5. Add
  6. Upload the SCORM .zip file
  7. Save

Why do I need it?

From a business cost perspective, adopting SCORM and creating courses that are SCORM compliant enables development efficiencies and cost-effectiveness. With SCORM you can:

  • Reuse content
  • Share content
  • Use best practice
  • Train instructional designers faster
  • Maximise your investment in technology
  • Improve user experience
  • Use performance data to engage and motivate learners.

When do I use it?

Using SCORM doesn’t restrict or dictate your instructional design approach; SCORM’s set of guidelines allow the course you create to be accessible, shared, reusable, and work with any SCORM compliant learning management system. With this in mind, you would use SCORM when:

  • tracking online compliance testing
  • reuse content
  • run content across a number of platforms
  • enable different learners to access different parts of the course

The future

The future is Tin Can API (also known as Experience API). While SCORM continues to be used by many in the eLearning community, Tin Can is heralding the future. Tin Can takes SCORM to the next level by offering a bigger picture of the eLearning experience. Tin Can collects experiences and records activities and data that is quantifiable, shareable, and trackable. Tin Can goes beyond many of SCORM’s restrictions and enhances the mobile learning experience.

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