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What Is SCORM? – An Ultimate Guide

Learning Management Systems (LMS) have become an integral part of the way we learn and teach. They have become so popular because they are able to provide much more than just a new way to teach students. Teachers can use them to create stronger relationships with their students, and the results are evident when the student graduates.

Maybe you have heard about the Sharable Content Object Reference Model concept before, or you are simply not sure what it is. Maybe you have a website and want to improve its content and design, or maybe you are an IT expert who wants to make your client’s sites work correctly. In any case, if you have the chance to read this article, the chances that sharing this awesome resource would be a great idea are very high. 

An Introduction to SCORM

What Is SCORM? - An Ultimate Guide

The Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) is a standard for managing the interoperability of computer-based learning content throughout the lifecycle. Sharable Content Object Reference Model is a design pattern that can be leveraged to create content object templates from which users can share and reuse. What is a Sharable Content Object Reference Model? How can it be useful to you, and how can you get it? If you have similar questions, the blog will help you to get an insight into this model. This article covers how Sharable Content Object Reference Model works, its usage, and its benefits.

I’ll be honest — this is somewhat of a long read, so bear with me. 

The idea behind Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) is to share an object model that looks like a game and not like a list of instructions, which is why it’s called a reference model. SCORM was developed by Learning Strategies, Inc., an American company that focuses on web-based training software and learning content management solutions. At the time I’m writing this article, there are several open-source websites available on GitHub, including one created by IBM and another created by SAP, which both support SCORM 1.0 as well as SCORM 2.

The Sharable Content Object Reference Model is a useful document to understand if you’re writing content for your site or creating blogs. This article is going to teach you all about the Sharable Content Object Reference Model, including how it was created and what it does. Sharable Content Object Reference Model is a complete data model for managing content on the web. It enables you to work with content in a unified manner and share it among different people and applications. Sharable Content Object Reference Model is a complete data model for managing content on the web. It enables you to work with content in a unified manner and share it among different people and applications.

The Working Of SCORM

What Is SCORM? - An Ultimate Guide

The formats of SCORM are principally based on two things: Packaging of the content and exchange of data. Content packaging refers to the delivery of the content. The package of SCORM contains an “imsmanifest” file that monitors the import and launching of the content. Data exchange, more technically known as Run-Time communication dictates the communication between LMS (Learning Management System) and content. The sequencing of the course is performed by a step that is called Sequencing. After every action, it allows the learner to direct toward the next step of the module. This way the learning module remains interactive.  

Earlier, the requirement of a programmer would be a must for developing a SCORM file. But, in recent times, it has been easier to create eLearning content using the SCORM format. A variety of SCORM templates are made available by different authoring tools. Using those templates, you can easily create content for your training programs and build a course. Standalone software (Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, and Lectora Desktop), Cloud software (Articulate Rise, DominKnow, and EasyGenerator), and Powerpoint add-ons(iSpring Suite, Articulate 360 Studio, and Adobe Captivate) are three most popular authoring tools for building SCORM-compliant courses. 

For exporting your course, you must know the version of SCORM that is compliant with the LMS you use. Additionally, the version of SCORM should also support the activities that are added to enhance learning. For instance, interoperability (course transferring between different learning platforms) is not supported by the first version of SCORM (SCORM 1.1.) The newer version of SCORM allows it. Hence, it is essential to check the compatibility of your requirements and the versions of SCORM. 

SCORM Compliance

At the onset of e-learning, the platforms for the same were built. The problem with them was that the content would only be compatible with an LMS (Learning Management System) of their own. The introduction of SCORM helped in eliminating this trouble. SCORM allows functionality between multiple authoring software and LMS, which was previously limited. Now, SCORM compliance is important if you are finding LMS or your course creation. 

The Disadvantages of Using SCORM

One of the very important cons of using SCORM is that it is an old standard. The most recent version of SCORM dates back to 2004. As a result, the advancements in novel e-Learning ways can be considered one of its downsides. The emergence of new technologies is causing the loss of dominance of SCORM. Another disadvantage of SCORM is that the authoring tools can really be expensive and they can be difficult to understand. Many times, the content (particularly videos) is buggy in iOS systems. 

Building a SCORM File In 3 Simple Steps

What Is SCORM? - An Ultimate Guide

Understanding SCORM is not that tough, but if you are new to this you may find it a bit difficult. To help you in understanding it in a simpler manner, here’s how you can build a SCORM file in three simple steps. The creation of content is convenient in Powerpoint and associated add-ins. YOu can integrate quizzes, learning activities, and video training to make your content more interactive. If you are new to this, you should start with iSpring Free which is free to download. Because it has limited features, you can upgrade it to iSpring Suite. But the trouble with iSpring Suite is that it is expensive ($770 per author/year). If you are individually building a course, it might add to your financial burdens. 

Once you have built the content for your module, the next step is to publish it to SCORM using the necessary version. SCORM Hero, another recommended tool, helps in the compilation of slides, documents, and videos into a SCORM file without requiring any additional software. Even the premium version falls under the affordable range when compared with other tools ($19/month.) After you have converted your normal file into a SCORM file, the final step is to upload it to an LMS. 

The Importance of Using SCORM: The Benefits

What Is SCORM? - An Ultimate Guide

Have you ever wondered what the benefit of SCORM is? Or how a SCORM implementation can help you in your next course. Is this all just an empty word? And why do I keep hearing that SCORM is so hot right now? If you’re new to the world of SCORM, here are few clear benefits you can expect to experience as a result.

One of the features, which I will consider the best, is adaptability. LMS compliant with SCORM provides flexibility that allows fulfilling organizational needs by creating various types of content. A lot of tools are available to obtain the best results. By making use of the correct tools training programs can be built based on the learners you wish to target. Another benefit of software that is compliant with SCORM is that it renders reusability. If an organization requires massive production or consumption of content, this feature is a savior. This feature helps in saving time and proves to be cost-effective.  

If you use LMS compliant with SCORM, the integration of multiple authoring tools makes the content engaging and interactive. In addition, the courses can be introduced with multiple features. Mini-quizzes, dynamic texts, expanding components, etc are some of the examples that make the content of courses more interesting. To improve training effectiveness, data can be easily tracked with SCORM. Some of the examples for this are results (from quizzes and tests), answers provided by the trainees, progress of the learners, or final scores. Not to forget about the cost-efficiency offered by the SCORM-compliant LMS. It approximately can reduce up to 80 % of overall costs. Additionally, SCORM makes editing and updates in your learning content. By using the authoring tools as per your requirements, you can edit your content with the requirements of replacing all the packages. 

Wrapping It Up

Organizing educational resources in an effective way is essential for your business to stay relevant. Giving them a well-organized structure by using the Scorable Content Object Reference model allows you to create more useful and effective eLearning content. So, what are these benefits?

The SCORM standard is a platform for digital content that aims to improve authoring tools, navigation, and interaction within digital libraries. It was first introduced in 2003 by Creative COW to provide a publishing standard for digital learning materials. The SCORM standard has since developed into an industry-wide standard for digital publishing, simulation, and games development.

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