In an era where companies, human relations and training are in constant transformation, digital tools are now a top priority. Within the context of eLearning, the growth in the number of software and digital materials available on the Web have become an important preoccupation. Let’s explore the benefits and limitations of the SCORM standard which has been adopted by remote training programs designers.

The SCORM standard has been a huge success across the online training industry since 1999. Today, several hundred tools have been adopted from LMS platforms to authoring tools. The SCORM standard is a specification of the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative from the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense.

SCORM stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model. It purpose is to standardize the sharing of educational content that makes up eLearning.

The SCORM standard has many advantages:

  • Accessibility: The ability to locate and access instructional components from one remote location and deliver them to many other locations.
  • Interoperability: The ability to take instructional components developed in one location with one set of tools or platform and use them in another location.
  • Adaptability: The ability to tailor instruction to individual and organizational needs.
  • Durability: The ability to withstand technology evolution and changes without costly redesign, reconfiguration or recoding.

It also does, however, have several limitations:

  • A web connection is necessary to access SCORM content which is a constraint to users on the move.
  • It has no compatibility with office or mobile applications
  • Interactivity isn’t possible regarding collaborative content for example
  • No possibility of follow-ups on collective activities, only individual ones.

Overall the benefits of the SCORM standard outweigh its limitations. Even though this standard does not answer all needs, it remains a tool to be used wisely.

In 2011, to combat some of its constraints, a new standard was developed: Experience API or xAPI or TinCan. We will explore this option in a blog to come.

Caroline Irrmann, web editor