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SCORM Explained

If you work for a corporation, or have been researching the e-learning software tool marketplace, you have probably come across the term “SCORM”. Wondering what it all means? Bear with me as I will try to explain without becoming too long-winded.

What is SCORM?
In a nutshell, SCORM is a package ‘format’ that e-learning content can be ‘wrapped’ into. Once wrapped into this format, theoretically, any online content management system that can ‘talk to’ a SCORM component will run the component in the way the author originally intended. In summary, SCORM is an attempt to create a standard communication system between online content systems, and authored content.

Do I Need SCORM?
Good question. If you want to be able to use authoring tools from any vendor, and a content management system from a different vendor, or, you want be be able to purchase pre-authored content to use along side or instead of your own content, then you will most likely need to use SCORM. If you have found a vendor that offers you all the features you need in a single e-learning system (both authoring and delivery), then SCORM becomes less important. In my view, the larger company you are, the more likely it is you need SCORM, and the smaller company you are, the less likely.

Is SCORM Expensive?
Yes, SCORM systems can be very expensive (especially the online LMS systems). This is perhaps one of the most disappointing things regarding SCORM. Because SCORM is complex, it requires expensive support and programming staffs to maintain. This cost is passed on to the end user (you). You will often find (although it is becoming less common) Online E-Learning Systems that do not offer SCORM as a standard feature, and they will tend to be significantly less expensive than ones that do (for example, our Weblearning LMS – a very feature-rich product, comes in several versions – some which accept SCORM modules, and some which do not – and the ones that do not accept SCORM are less expensive).

Is SCORM Easy?
For simple authoring and deployment, it can be fairly straightforward, but more advanced tasks get increasingly complex. Still, authoring tools are getting better and better, but I still personally feel that most online E-Learning systems are too complex (which is why our Weblearning LMS is purposely designed to value ease-of-use over feature-bloat).

Does SCORM Work?
For the most part, SCORM is a success. There are many content management systems that can use SCORM components, and many authoring tools that can be used to author SCORM content (Our SCORM Quiz Maker is one such product – it enables you to create SCORM Quizzes that work your your LMS). Like any other technology, there are some issues, but you are unlikely to experience any of them unless your e-learning needs are very elaborate.

What Does Atrixware Offer for SCORM?
Our Weblearning LMS has editions that accept SCORM (as I write this, the Weblearning Enterprise GOLD Edition is SCORM compatible). We also offer less-expensive Weblearning Editions without SCORM for those that don’t need it.

Also, we offer a quiz maker tool for SCORM is SCORM Quiz Maker - which enables you to create SCORM Quizzes (quizzes that will work on your LMS/online system). It’s unique feature compared to other similar products is that it produces mobile-friendly quizzes (for example, quizzes will work on the iPad and iPhone), because it does not output to flash, but instead outputs to HTML5.

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