The learning curve blog

Helpful advice for online course creators, businesses, and entrepreneurs

Who Needs SCORM? Content Providers with Extensive Reach

by | Aug 14, 2019 | eLearning Tools

If you’ve been around the eLearning industry for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard the word SCORM before. Maybe you heard someone say it and thought that it was just another technology-related acronym. Perhaps you’re a developer or content creator and are actually intimately acquainted with all things SCORM. Regardless, it’s a familiar term. There’s a reason for that.

SCORM is a mainstay of the industry, to put it shortly. Standing for Sharable Content Object Reference Model, SCORM has existed for 20 years and is still one of the most popular content models to this day. In the world of technology, SCORM’s lifespan is something to marvel about. Very few technologies last that long these days. Certainly, the SCORM standards have undergone revisions, and there have been several new editions during the past two decades, but the general concept and purpose of SCORM has stayed the same: to create interoperable, affordable, and reusable online training content.

You might ask yourself: “Well, what does SCORM do?” It’s actually quite simple. SCORM specifies how course content must be packaged and how it communicates with the system it runs on. It comes packaged in a transferable ZIP file, and it exchanges data with the LMS to specify how to launch and run the course content and analyze data pertaining to how learners interact with that content. To actually get SCORM to do all of that does require substantial technical know-how, but—all technical jargon aside—understanding what SCORM does is relatively easy.

SCORM’s most touted attribute in recent years has been its interoperability, its capacity to work across different systems, usually Learning Management Systems (LMSs). So long as a platform conforms to the version of SCORM you’re using, it can run your SCORM content. This attribute leads us to the purpose of this blog, which is to illustrate a situation in which SCORM is the most advantageous model for content creators and providers.

When Should Content Providers Use SCORM?

Some content providers produce so many courses and sell them across so many different platforms that they’re not always aware of where exactly their content is deployed. These content providers might even publish their courses so widely that external organizations begin to resell them. In this case, the original content providers would be even less aware of where people are using their courses. 

Because SCORM is interoperable, the content providers in this situation should author their courses using SCORM. Their content extends to such a wide audience that it would be unwise to use a less far-reaching and widely adopted content model. Any reputable LMS is SCORM conformant, so SCORM is the content model that’s most likely to extend to the broad and expanding group of people purchasing courses from these content providers. 

In theory, this choice would generate revenue, increase brand awareness, and reduce the costs required to create content that’s less interoperable because so many people will have access to the SCORM content. Choosing SCORM would allow the content creators to deploy and deliver their courses fluidly and efficiently because SCORM can operate across so many different systems. 

Choose the Right Learning Platform

Maybe you have SCORM content ready to deliver to learners, or maybe you want to create course content using SCORM.  Choosing a learning platform that supports the creation and management of SCORM is critical. DigitalChalk conforms to SCORM 1.2, which is the most popular and widely used version of SCORM. With our state-of-the-art learning platform you can create, deliver, and manage your SCORM content from a secure centralized location.

Still have questions about whether creating course content with SCORM is right for your training business?  Read these other two blogs to learn about other ways SCORM proves advantageous for content providers: 

Who Needs SCORM? Businesses with an Internal LMS
Who Needs SCORM? Organizations with Multiple Departments

And as always, we’re happy to answer any questions you might have.

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