What Is SCORM?

If you’re interested in e-learning, you’ve probably heard of or seen the acronym SCORM.

To my eyes, it looks like it should be the name of a Star Trek enemy—kind of like the Borg Collective. But nope, it’s a set of rules, standards, and specifications for making e-learning modules and learning management systems (LMSs) work together.

Read on if you’re curious for more information.

Convergence Training is a training solutions provider. We make a series of learning management systems (LMSs), many libraries of off-the-shelf e-learning courses, custom training solutions, apps for mobile learning and performance support, and more. Contact us for more information.

You may also want to download some of the free guides below:

What Does SCORM Do?

SCORM ensures that e-learning courses can be imported into, assigned, played, completed, and tracked from a learning management system (LMS). That’s assuming that both the e-learning course and the LMS are SCORM-compliant.

Can You Explain the SCORM/LMS Relationship in One Sentence?

SCORM makes e-learning courses and learning management systems play nice together.

Can You Give Me An Analogy of How SCORM Works?

When you buy a music CD—assuming you still buy those—you can put it into any CD player and it will play. It doesn’t matter who made the CD, and it doesn’t matter who made the CD player. That’s what SCORM does too—it lets you play a SCORM-compliant e-learning course in a SCORM-compliant LMS.

What Would Life Without SCORM Be Like?

How about this—think of videos games you buy for video game players such as Wii, X-Box, and Play Station. If you buy a game for the Wii, you can’t play it on your X-Box. Life without SCORM would be kind of like that.

Are There Several Versions of SCORM?

Yes. SCORM 1.2 was the first commonly used version, and most learning management systems use and support it today. There’s also a more recent version called SCORM 2004.

SCORM—So What Does That Stand For?

Sharable Content Object Reference Model. Catchy, huh?

If I Create My Own e-Learning Courses, Do I Have to Know How to Code Them in SCORM?

Nope. Standard e-learning authoring tools like Adobe Captivate and Articulate Studio & Storyline do it for you. Just push the Publish button.

Who Created It?

The Advanced Distributive Learning (ADL) Initiative, on behalf of the United States Secretary of Defense.

Where Can I Learn More?

Try here and here.

What is AICC?

It’s an earlier alternative to SCORM. You can read more about it here.

What’s the Tin Can API/xAPI?

It’s something that’s often referred to as the “next generation SCORM,” and it’s also sometimes called the Experience API. Read more about it here. Also, this is a very good guide, though it’s gated (you’ll have to give name/email, etc.).

Feel free to download the LMS Evaluation Checklist below if this is something you’re looking into these days.

download-free-lms-checklist

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto

Jeffrey Dalto is an Instructional Designer and the Senior Learning & Development Specialist at Convergence Training. Jeff has worked in education/training for more than twenty years and in safety training for more than ten. You can follow Jeff at LinkedIn as well.

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