If You Are (Still??) Thinking About Using SCORM…

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(And we really hope you don’t.)

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The Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) is a widely used package based on a collection of standards and specifications for web-based electronic educational technology. In a way, it’s the first language of elearning.

SCORM’s set of standards to produce digital content which can used in any SCORM compliant LMS. It is the latin of the industry in an age of elearning renaissance. Should you consider SCORM compliance as one of the main requirements for your elearning environment? The answer would depend on how conservative your play is.

Most elearning professionals have at least a working knowledge of SCORM and understand its importance. Today, the obsolescence of SCORM lies heavy. One of the biggest reason to use SCORM is because of the contractual obligations or because of the requirements of internal and external stakeholders. Notice the absence of student-centered or user experience concerns.

SCORM and Moodle: A Dismal Relationship That May Last Forever

There are many pros and cons that can influence whether to build SCORM based courses. Here is the list of major pros and cons of SCORM before making your decision to consider.

Pros of SCORM

Plug and Play functionality

SCORM content can be created in one system and used in many systems without any change. This allows you to sell any training modules or classes to anyone who is using a SCORM compliant system. Content once created can be sold and delivered to the user more quickly, more robustly, and at a lower price. This is by far the main reason why SCORM is still relevant.

Create Interactive content.

Many SCORM compliant authoring tools helps you make elearning content more interactive. They allows you to add engaging features like embed mini quizzes within the course etc. It will help the learners to complete the course content and keep it after completing the course. Other tools, most notably H5P, have far outpaced SCORM’s capabilities in interaction and ease of use for designers, in a completely free and HTML compatible package.

Time to complete the course

SCORM packages allows you to control the length of time a learner has spent before the course is marked as complete. This features allows you to create courses to meet time bound courses where the participant has to be engaged in the course for a particular duration.

Combine the course and assessment content in a single package

SCORM packages allows you to include the course content and assessments into a single package making the life easier for students who don’t want to navigate away once they completes the course.

Cons of SCORM

Now, let’s ponder about the Cons of SCORM package before taking any decision:

Not mobile friendly

SCORM packages lacks for responsiveness which makes it not suitable for mobile learning. Furthermore, systems that are compatible with SCORM may impose a lot of restrictions on its mobile app, if it can render it at all.

Creating a SCORM package is expensive

Although the SCORM authoring tools give you the advantage for creating interactive content, they impact heavily on your pockets.The two most popular authoring tools that publish content in the SCORM format are Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline. The license costs for these authoring tools can be very expensive.

Creating a SCORM package is cumbersome

Creating basic SCORM course can be a simple task, but creating slick content with a lot of interactions is cumbersome. You may have to invest additionally for training the staff to create SCORM packages, which means more investment and time delays.

Lack of Intelligent reporting

Reporting is one of the main driving force behind elearning. Without intelligent reporting, you can’t calculate the ROI of your learning activities. Similarly, you can’t help the learners who are at the risk of dropping out or failing. At an age where the Experience API is offering instant, granular analytics that can draw from virtually any source, the continuing use of SCORM is almost an indictment about the primeval state of data science literacy in the education industry.

It’s your turn now

Before making a decision to invest in SCORM, there are many other factors which needs to be considered. What is your opinion? Whether to go for SCORM based courses or choose xAPI as the next elearning standard? Do share with us in the comments section below.

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