SCORM Compliance

Publish to SCORM, by Lectora

It’s been brought to my attention that in my work and future work in my current job, there will no doubt be people asking what SCORM is, or what it stands for. Although I have used it on a couple of occasions now and been given a brief crash course in its development, it’s always interesting to dig a little deeper.

SCORM stands for ‘Sharable Content Object Reference Model’, and are standards and specifications for web-based e-learning. From the ever-correct Wikipedia:

It defines communications between client side content and a host system (called "the run-time environment"), which is commonly supported by a learning management system. SCORM also defines how content may be packaged into a transferable ZIP file called "Package Interchange Format."

As I understand it back when e-learning was still becoming a ‘thing’, every company had their own method of doing it. Eventually they realised, however, there needed to be standardisation across all the different styles of e-learning, and one that also meets web standards, given that many of these e-learning applications were also beginning to be pushed to the web.

SCORM is a bit like a mashing-together of all the methods used to create e-learning software from those times, although obviously continually improved throughout the years too. The current latest version is from 2004 (4th Edition), so hopefully a new version will be due soon given it’s been almost a decade since.

I’m still learning what quirks are needed in order to achieve SCORM compliance, but many LMSs these days are actively checking and letting developers know what kind of quirks are unique to such standards. I’ve been told that the newest version of SCORM being developed includes some interesting functionality that could provide information to developers on how their software can be improved, yet at the same time creates a potential problem of inflating database sizes. I guess we’ll have to see what there is to come.

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