What is SCORM?

What is SCORM?

To understand SCORM, it helps to think of it in technological terms. Remember the days before Netflix and streaming when DVDs were a thing? Now imagine if DVDs weren’t standardised, and each one required a different DVD player. This would make it nearly impossible to watch DVDs! The reason why this is not the case is that there is a standard which all DVDs must meet.

While DVDs aren’t as common as they were once upon a time, the analogy is helpful because SCORM represents the same standards, but for e-learning software.

What is SCORM?

SCORM is shorthand for Shareable Content Objective Reference Model. It is the international technical standard for e-learning software and regulates the way in which online learning content and Learning Management Systems (LMS) are able to integrate with each other.

Essentially, SCORM tells developers how to write their code so that it can “get along” with other eLearning software.

How does SCORM Work?

Since SCORM is a technical standard. It is not about instructional design or best pedagogical practices.

SCORM is made up of three types of criteria, and each has a specific purpose:

Content packaging

This provides the specifications on how content should be created.


With this specification, the key is how the content is launched and how the communication occurs with the LMS.


This specification is all about how the navigation occurs from course to course.

Online Training and Learning with SCORM

To understand SCORM better, let’s turn to the key components that are required to deliver online training and learning. They are:

  • Learning Management System (LMS)
  • Tools
  • Courses

The LMS provides the canvas upon which training and learning can occur. From there, the training and learning materials will need to be populated via tools and courses.

SCORM enables all three elements to transfer information with ease, making content shareable. Before SCORM, courses and tools had to be created specifically for an LMS.

The DVD analogy is helpful, right? Instead of multiple DVD players, all you need is one. Instead of tailor made courses for individual LMS platforms, all you need is a tool or course that meets the SCORM standards.

How Do You Create SCORM-Compliant eLearning Content?

What is SCORM

SCORM content can be easily created using many standard software packages. This can be as simple as making a PowerPoint presentation.

For those that wish to create more custom, interactive content, Articulate is one of multiple tools that can be used to create SCORM-compliant eLearning content. The platform allows you to use templates with photos, videos, icons, and more, and then export as an HTML file for upload into your eLearning system. At Cloud Assess, we have a team dedicated to creating this content to help get you up and running.

Why Do You Need to Use SCORM?

The main benefit of SCORM is ease of integration. As long as the LMS, courses and tools meet SCORM, they will all be able to integrate without any issues.

For training providers, utilising eLearning software that has SCORM capabilities, like Cloud Assess, will provide an enhanced experience, not only in delivering the materials but also to track the progress of students and satisfactory completion of learning content and learning activities.

SCORM is a widely accepted industry standard and is well regarded. In fact, it has become the norm and ‘expected’ that eLearning content is SCORM compliant.

When you are assessing your requirements for eLearning software, it is important to keep an eye out for whether the software meets SCORM standards.

Other benefits of SCORM include:

Content is available from anywhere and at any time

No need to reconfigure or undertake complicated installations.

Reduces costs in providing training and education

As it provides content interoperability, SCORM cuts down the time and expense to integrate content into your LMS.

Full flexibility with content creation

SCORM is an industry-standard, but its limitation with content creation is minimal so you will have full flexibility.

Withstand time

Durability is second nature to SCORM and even with the rapid changes in technology, it is able to evolve without extensive redesign or recoding.

Capability to adapt content for both individuals and organisations

This means you can make the same course available to different class groups or individual learners.


Every learner is different and so is their interests and learning style. SCORM provides the capability to deliver individual learning journeys with consistency.

3 Most Relevant Versions of SCORM in 2021

Your SCORM version depends on a coding environment that supports eLearning content and your LMS integration with content.

There are three relevant versions of SCORM available today. They are backward-compatible, meaning that the technology allows for interoperability with older legacy systems.


Introduced in January 2001, this was the first implementable specification for eLearning suppliers. This edition did not receive widespread adoption and only covers the highest level guidelines which exist in earlier editions.


Introduced in October 2001, this version established a framework for the documentation of materials such as content management and storage, the metadata, content management and other information. All main LMS systems still support this version and there are no signs that will change any time soon.

SCORM 2004

Also known as 2nd Edition, SCORM 2004 introduced a new technical category: sequencing navigation. Since 2004, the ADL Initiative published several editions of this version.

The Future of SCORM

SCORM is a fairly new technology, but it continues to dominate the eLearning market. SCORM 2004 remains the gold standard for eLearning compatibility, but other educational standards are expected to have a greater influence as eLearning continues to grow. For example, Tin Can API and Cmi5 formats contain a wide range of abilities that will allow learners to learn offline and/or through mobile devices, support PDF documents and interactive simulations, collect detailed statistics about learners’ progress and more.

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Are you looking for a e-learning software that utilises the full benefits of SCORM? Contact Cloud Assess today!

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