What is SCORM? An approach to the online format that improves e-learning


If you are new to e-learning, you have probably heard of SCORM files. But what is SCORM? In this article, we will explain what SCORM files are, why it is necessary to use them to create e-learning courses and their benefits. Continue reading to learn more!

What is SCORM?

The acronym SCORM stands for shareable content object reference model. SCORM is a standard format, born in 1999, as a reference framework for the e-learning industry. A format with which any content, regardless of the software with which it is created, is compatible with all learning management platforms or LMS. What makes this format essential for e-learning is that it can be shared with great ease.

The importance of SCORM in e-learning

Understanding SCORM requires getting some perspective. Before these files existed, companies used their own programming languages to create educational content. As a result, sharing or exchanging such content between different platforms was impossible, as each system worked in its own way.

In the early years of e-learning training, this dynamic was a major problem and had to be solved by creating a standard format. Therefore, SCORM is neither a program nor a tool: it is a set of specifications already adopted by the e-learning industry for content production.

Thus, a content production company can create e-learning courses for several entities, always using the same base compatible with many LMS platforms such as Moodle, Chamilo, or isEazy LMS. With SCORM, everyone wins content creators, companies, and, above all, learners.

What is a SCORM package?

A SCORM package is the set of elements that make up the contents of an e-learning course, and that can be opened or reproduced in a training platform or LMS.

SCORM packages are compressed files, usually in .zip or .pif format or extension. Within these packages, you can find all the resources that make up a training course: videos, images, evaluations, communication channels, surveys, and tutorials. In short, all the elements that make up an e-learning course.

There are currently two versions of the SCORM format: SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004. The former is compatible with most LMSs currently available but has some limitations in learner activity records and was the first to appear on the market. SCORM 2004 is the one that allows a complete record of the learner’s grade and progress and is the preferred one for creating e-learning courses.

What is SCORM

Benefits of SCORM for e-learning

In addition to allowing content to be compatible with different e-learning platforms, the SCORM format records several parameters that significantly improve online learning:

  • Shows training progress

This is very useful for trainers to individually monitor the training results to detect if any student should be especially motivated. It is also useful to know if there is any point in the courses where the students are not progressing, allowing them to improve the content.

  • Provides a reading point

If learners leave a course, they can return directly to the point where they left off when they re-enter the course. This is very important in e-learning as it gives the learner total freedom to access the content whenever they want, without the need to search for the exact point where they left off or start from the beginning.

  • Records the time spent

Thanks to SCORM, the training manager can see how much time the learners have spent on the content. This parameter is especially useful to evaluate whether the course duration is correct or too long and boring. It is also useful to check if some learners have taken too much (or too little) time to complete the lessons.

  • Record the student’s score

We already know that in e-learning, checking if your audience has internalized knowledge is one of the most important points. Therefore assessment is key. An e-learning course in SCORM format takes this feature one step further and records the student’s score after being evaluated.

How to build SCORM content?

Nowadays, different types of tools allow the creation of SCORM packages very easily. These tools automatically create the code for interaction with the LMS and generate a single file with all the training materials. In such a way, it is only necessary to upload the course to the learning platform you use. These tools are divided into three main classes:

Cloud-based software

This tool does not require prior installation, any operating system, or specific configuration. It can be used directly from the web or app by logging in with a username and password. The main benefit of this type of solution is its wide variety of ready-to-use resources, intuitive interface, low learning curve, and perfect for collaborative projects.

PowerPoint-based software

Although most of the tools allow you to convert PowerPoint format into an e-learning course, some have specialized only in this function. In other words, they function simply as an add-on to this program.

The disadvantage of this tool is that the options for interactivity, resources, and didactic content are somewhat limited. On the other hand, these are good for teams not specialized in course creation because they maintain the classic and simple PowerPoint design.

Specialized authoring tools

 These types of solutions offer great flexibility and freedom when creating courses. They are powerful tools that even allow the development of complex scenarios, including simulations and virtual reality.

However, the learning curve of these tools is too high, and it can take a long time to create e-learning courses. Experts usually prefer them.

How to create SCORM courses in minutes? Learn about isEazy Author

Now that you know what SCORM is and its benefits, it is time for you to get to know isEazy Author. If you are an instructional designer or in charge of employee training in your company, you need a powerful tool to create courses in an agile, fast and intuitive way and export them in SCORM format to upload them to your LMS.

isEazy Author is a cloud-based tool with a wide variety of ready-to-use templates and resources, allowing you to create courses with professional results in just minutes. What are you waiting for to try it? Try isEazy Author for free and start creating your e-learning courses with professional results, even if you don´t have technical knowledge!

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