SCORM: The Distance Learning Standard

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As the importance of Distance Learning (DL) in the world of education has grown, different forms of multimedia and interactive elements have followed to make the trainee’s experience more engaging and complete.

Among these, the SCORM standard represents one of the most interesting.

SCORM: WHAT IT MEANS AND WHAT IT IS USED FOR

The definition of SCORM is “Shareable Content Object Reference Model” and it is a reference model widely used in e-learning.

In a nutshell, the creation of learning modules conforming to the SCORM standard allows the import and export of multimedia learning material from one LMS platform to another. This content object can then be shared, allowing interoperability between different LMS platforms.

At a technical level, a SCORM package consists of a zip file which, in addition to containing the reference teaching material, has a file describing its structure, content and roll-up logic.

One of the strengths of the SCORM format is therefore its peculiar structure that allows the training content to be catalogued, traceable and reusable in different DL platforms

SCORM is more than just a standard. It is a model that sets the guidelines for the world of distance learning. The SCORM standard is applicable to e-learning contents distributed on the web and on FAD platforms and its use brings enormous advantages to those who work in the world of e-learning, corporate training, professional training and education in the broadest sense.

Many people wonder how SCORM came into being? How many versions have been released to date? Let’s see it together.

THE HISTORY OF SCORM: HOW IT WAS BORN

SCORM is an e-learning standard invented in the years 2000-2001 by the company Advance Distributed Learning (ADL) and is based on the Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee (AICC) standard invented in 1993, a technical standard developed by a non-profit international association of technology professionals.

ADL’s goal was to create a standard that would facilitate the indexing and dissemination of pedagogical content used in distance learning.

The SCORM standard had to go beyond the AICC standard, especially in terms of scalability (read this article for a more in-depth and technical read on the difference between the two standards).

Three successive versions of the SCORM standard were produced:

For more details on the various versions of SCORM, including SCORM 2004, visit the eLearning Standards Roadmap.

Today, ADL is no longer working on the development of SCORM 2004, but on a new standard: API xAPI / Tin Can.

In fact, SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004 are the most commonly used versions (depending on the needs and the target FAD platform). SCORM is therefore the technical standard for e-learning devices and any trainer or developer must understand its main functions.

WHAT IS POSSIBLE WITH SCORM

Following SCORM principles allows the combination of complex files into a package that can be read by FAD platforms, storing the information contained in these documents. The information transmitted by SCORM, through the connection to the FAD platforms, is numerous and may contain tracking data:

Here are some of the actions that can be carried out with a course in SCORM format:

FEATURES AND BENEFITS

The reason why SCORM is so important is because successful e-learning delivery relies on the ability of your platform to read, execute and report data and information about the course content. Without quality content, a learning management system can only achieve so much. But without a reliable platform to deliver courses and monitor learner progress, the content will not be able to achieve many of the goals that course providers set when designing online learning programmes. SCORM, therefore, acts as an interface between these two essential elements. It helps your e-learning platform and the course content to understand each other and work together. So the interoperability of SCORM means that all content and technology created according to the standard can work together in an integrated way.

But the question many are asking is: are SCORM and its versions compatible with all distance learning platforms?

Not really. SCORM makes sure that certain actions take place and are tracked. Everything else varies from FAD platform to FAD platform, including ease of use, interface and features. This is why it is advisable to rely on experts in the field of SCORM conversions who are able to adapt the content you want to convert to the different FAD platforms that allow their use. VITECO, for example, has been converting online courses into SCORM format since 2004, and its delivery platforms support all SCORM versions and are designed to meet the most modern and up-to-date requirements.

If you are thinking of adopting the SCORM format in your FAD courses, contact us and we will find a customised solution that suits your needs!

Here’s a list of some of the advantages of a SCORM course:

SCORM: WHICH SOFTWARE IS MOST USED

For those who want to try their hand at converting to SCORM format, here is a list of some of the most popular software used by experts in the field. There are numerous software packages that conform to SCORM 1.2 or 2004, the following are the most important.

ADOBE CAPTIVATE

“Create engaging learning scenarios with 260-degree multimedia resources”, including virtual reality, with the latest version of Adobe Captivate. This software supports the SCORM 1.1, SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004 specifications.

It is ideal for creating responsive e-learning courses and mobile applications. The full licence is quite expensive.

ARTICULATE STORYLINE

This is particularly powerful software that is suitable for both experts and beginners. Easy to use and feature-rich, Articulate Storyline allows you to create responsive, interactive and efficient courses. It also allows you to add subtitles, quizzes, games or exams, create tables and much more.

ISPRING SUITE

It is one of the best software for creating online courses and offers a wide range of educational activities. Interaction is at the heart of the iSpring system: quizzes, webinars, certifications at the end of modules, dialogue simulations, presentation games and other serious games. Everything is designed to engage learners in a fun environment.

ELUCIDAT

As a cloud platform that allows the creation of a responsive e-learning programme, Elucidat manages and respects perfectly the different SCORM models. Its main advantages are ease of use, an extensive content gallery and quality technical support.

ISEAZY

isEazy is a SaaS authoring tool that enables the rapid creation and sharing of online courses that work on any device. isEazy has the advantage of offering both a freemium version and a free trial version. Based on SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004, this platform allows you to create your own training courses quite easily.

KOANTIC

Another online platform for creating e-learning content is Koatic, with its built-in templates and ready-to-use computer graphics. Easy to use, quick to learn and lightweight, it is an interesting tool if you want to have a tool comparable to Adobe Captivate or iSpring.

FUTURE SCORM SCENARIOS

As the world of distance learning is constantly evolving, SCORM is also opening up new frontiers and opportunities to be seized.

SCORM is widely adopted by some large organisations. It is the de facto industry standard. The US Department of Defence in DoDI 1322.26 specified that all its content must be delivered via SCORM or the Experience API (xAPI). Other industries and organisations are following suit and the standard appears in the vast majority of Request For Proposals (a standard procedure aimed at gathering documentation and information on different suppliers) for the purchase of both training content and learning management systems.

In particular, the next goal of SCORM content will be for the learner to be able to track their progress (and for the teacher to monitor the progress and results of the trainees) not only in environments with a stable internet connection, but also in places (trains, buses, etc.) with a weak connection.

For more information and to find out how to convert to SCORM, visit our website in the dedicated area.

If you are looking for a reliable supplier or a authoritative partner for projects, VITECO could be the solution for you.

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