What is SCORM?

This article aims to explain what exactly SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) is, and provide an overview of how it fits in the World Manager platform. 

SCORM is...

A Set of Technical Standards

'SCORM is a set of technical standards for e-learning software products. SCORM tells programmers how to write their code so that it can “play well” with other e-learning software.'

SCORM.com

What SCORM boils down to is just that – a set of technical standards. These standards make it possible for content to work on any number of learning management systems (LMS), and that includes the World Manager platform. 

More specifically, these standards allow the content to communicate with the LMS certain things, such as:

  • "The user has started the content",
  • "The user has finished the content",
  • "The user has reached this point in the content", and (equally as important) "What point in the content did the user last reach?",
  • "The user scored X points",
  • "The user has passed/failed the content"

Packaged

A SCORM-compliant unit of learning is wrapped up in a package, in a very specific way. When an LMS is given a SCORM package, it expects that it contains some certain files, because the SCORM standards say it should. The LMS may not accept the SCORM package if it does not conform. 

The kinds of files that are expected depends on the version of SCORM, and our platform uses version 1.2. This means that whenever a SCORM package is produced by an authoring tool, the authoring tool must be told which version to produce, so it can package the appropriate files.

Interactive

SCORM content is made up of the same bits and pieces as websites – a mix of HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Flash. This means that the learning material can be presented in very interesting and creative ways. There are also a wide array of robust SCORM authoring tools, created by well-renowned companies such as Adobe and Articulate, making the creation of interactive packages easier than ever.

How it fits in World Manager

In terms of a normal user's experience, SCORM packages are presented to a user when they begin an E-Learning module, if that module has had a SCORM package attached to it during its creation or modification.

Once that happens, the contents of the SCORM package takes control of the user experience, and presents to the user its content slides, interactive material, quiz questions, or whatever else may have been included. It is during this presentation that the package communicates with the LMS. 

The communication here is crucially important – it directly affects:

  • Whether the user will be able to return from the SCORM's contents to the platform, 
  • Whether or not the platform knows that the user has passed or failed the SCORM package's quiz or contents,
  • Whether or not the user will be able to leave the training, and continue the training at a later date or time.

For more information about these communications and their implications, see Technical SCORM Requirements for our Platform.

If the SCORM package has been set up correctly, control will be returned to the platform at the end. Depending on what the platform was told about the user's success or failure in the SCORM content, the user will either be taken to the E-Learning module, or be made to retake the training in the SCORM package.

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