SCORM: What it is? How does it work?

Jan 3, 2013
SCORM: What it is? How does it work?

In the workplace, e-learning is a huge buzzword today. As a means of leveraging staff development costs and providing necessary training, many companies are turning to eLearning. But how do you get started? Is it just a matter of purchasing the courses you need?

In that case, how do you know that what you purchase will provide you with the results or data you need? For example, what does "SCORM compliant" mean? It is widely used today! However, it's often considered an international standard for e-learning.

The confusing name and technical nature of SCORM make it difficult for some e-learning professionals to understand. It's okay if you don't know what it is; many people don't know either. Let's have a detailed understanding of this concept!

What is SCORM?

SCORM stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model, which is a technical specification for e-learning software products. It standardizes the way e-learning courses are created and launched.

A learning management system recognizes e-learning courses published in SCORM format. In fact, it's a list of technical requirements that tells us how to make a course that will work on any platform. You will find a detailed description of the e-course structure and the guidelines for its interaction with LMSs.

There are two parts to SCORM, namely:

  1. Sharable Content Object:
  2. A SCORM package element that can be reused across multiple tools and platforms. They are the real "assets" used in the course.

  3. Reference Model:
  4. This part states that SCORM is a standard, whose specifications can be understood and applied consistently by everyone involved in e-learning. These are the "rules" that everyone has to follow.

SCORM provides a common approach to how e-learning content is developed and used.

Role of SCORM in training and management

As eLearning and compliance reporting become more popular, most companies provide the required training and report on which staff members have completed it. LMS (Learning Management Systems) are beneficial for tracking and recording training results so as to avoid late nights of manually compiling data. The LMS must, however, be able to communicate with the eLearning content (training course). It's the point where SCORM comes into play.

This standard defines how high-quality education and training materials should be developed, packaged, and delivered to students whenever and wherever they are required.

How does SCORM work?

The main purpose of SCORM is to package content and facilitate run-time data exchange between the SCOs and the LMS learning portal. In order to support e-learning through a learning management system, SCORM has three components that work together:

  1. Content packaging
  2. SCORM's packaging contains all the information an LMS needs for importing and automatically launching content online. All data regarding how the course looks in terms of its actual layout and file structure is stored in the file.

  3. Run-time communication
  4. It defines the way the SCO interacts with the LMS as it is in use. With this interaction, you can deliver the content and track learner interactions and results proactively! However, it locates the content in the LMS. Once done, it uses "get" and "set" calls and related vocabulary to communicate with the LMS and control the way the content is delivered.

  5. Sequencing
  6. Sequencing defines the order in which a learning management system shows learners' content. It allows learners to save results mid-course and continue at a later point in time.

    Also, courses that are SCORM-compliant leverage course development investments by ensuring that they are RAID-compliant:

    • Reusable: works with a variety of development tools and is easily modifiable.
    • Accessible: Learners and content developers can search for and access it as needed.
    • Interoperable: Compatible with a variety of hardware and operating systems.
    • Durable: Does not require significant system software updates.

Pros of using the SCORM format

SCORM reduces the chaos of delivering e-learning content. Here are some of the top benefits it provides:

  • Compatible with any learning management system (LMS),
  • You don't have to go through the whole course at once. Take your education in whatever direction you want.
  • Reduce the overall cost of training delivery because SCORM does not need to be customized for each system.
  • Assess the student's progress effectively.
  • Create a clear course structure and set rules for moving between its sections.
  • Build a great ecosystem of interoperability and reliability.
  • The training material consists of standalone units or modules that can be used in any other course.

What can you track with SCORM?

SCORM allows you to track and send the data back to the LMS. It includes:

  • Lesson location
  • Suspend data
  • Lesson status
  • Session time and total time
  • Score raw
  • Mastery score
  • Interactions

SCORM generally has four statuses being reported on, including:

  • Incomplete
  • Complete
  • Pass
  • Fail

Two other pieces of data tracked by the LMS from information sent by the SCORM course are:

  1. Suspend data: SCORM bookmarks the learner's position in a course. You can pick up where you left off if you are interrupted.
  2. Mastery score: It implies a passing score for an exam in the course! You must score above or equal to this score in order to pass the training module.

Simplify your training delivery with SCORM!

SCORM is the latest technology that is dominating the e-learning market. These formats offer a wide range of capabilities that allow learners to study offline and/or on mobile devices, support PDF documents and interactive simulations, collect detailed statistics about learners' progress, and do a lot more!

Therefore, you should prepare yourself for the basics before starting the planning phase of an eLearning project. If you want to select an LMS that meets the needs of your business, you should do some preliminary research first.

If you have SCORM courses in order, upload them into Gyrus LMS! It offers powerful learning management software that has the features and a knowledgeable team to achieve training success.

Our LMS is compatible with SCORM packages, so if you want to learn more, book your slot and get your free trial now! You'll hear from one of our sales representatives shortly.