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What is SCORM and How is It?

Tech can be quite hard to wrap your head around or understand if you are not armed with the proper knowledge or goal-oriented research. This article seeks to give a general exposition of the SCORM Concept and an overview of the dynamics of SCORM. In creating SCORM packages authoring tools are frequently used as a matter of industry standards to ensure professionalism. 

SCORM is the face of the E-learning industry. It has redefined the operational scope of the E-learning industry with its beneficial features. Understanding and having in-depth knowledge about the operational methods of SCORM makes it easy to navigate when using and uploading content/packages to the Learning management system. 

What then is SCORM?

SCORM is an acronym that stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model. SCORM is an international technical standard, criteria, or specification for e- courses. One quality of SCORM is that it can be uploaded to any Learning management system without any hassles or strain. A SCORM compliant e-course can be used in different management systems. 

Standards are the focus of every 21st-century industry or innovation. Companies are in the business of outwitting their contemporaries by steadily improving their ratings and features. Every industry innovation has to pass through some criteria before they can be deemed instruments of ” accepted usage”. Just like how movies have to pass through certain standardized tests to be published to the general populace, the same way E-courses have to pass this test to qualify as SCORM compliant. 

Before the advent of SCORM, establishments would have to lose their previous packages because their new LMS cannot support or anchor their former content. This made establishments or institutions, particularly universities, do away with their previous content which cost a fortune both in terms of finances and the mental input associated with formulating  courses.

SCORM has two notorious variants which are SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004. Since their advent, they have served different organizational needs and purposes with their different features ranging from sequencing, status separation, speed character length, and other added features. 

We can go on and on as regards the textbook definition of SCORM but its functions are seen by the benefits it seeks to offer. The benefits of SCORM include: 

  1. COMPATIBILITY: The stress of creating new content packages to upload to a Learning management system is better imagined than experienced. This feature saves financial cost and prevents unnecessary human exertion since a SCORM content package can be uploaded to any learning management system with little or no tweaks at all.
  2. REUSABILITY: This function stems up as a result of the domino effect. With compatibility comes reusability. You do not need to change your content package or file to suit your new Learning management system in circumstances of scaling to meet your E-learning needs or preferences.
  3. SAVED PROGRESS: SCORM saves your progress so that you do not have to go back. You can start from where you left off without hassles. This benefit further screams usefulness in cases of systemic failure or course closure. 

Ever wonder how content is delivered to a Learning Management System?

The underlying operations are caused by the interplay of several components functioning as a single unit. These components include: 

  1. CONTENT PACKAGING: This is one of the bases of SCORM operations. All the necessary streamlined information is collected in a SCORM package which the learning management system will make use of during content upload, importing, and launching.

A useful piece of advice to weather the storm of this phase is to first sort out LMS relevant content before they are gathered to a SCORM package. This process answers questions such as Which documents will be launched? Do they qualify to be launched to a Learning Management System? What’s the name of this particular content?

  1. RUN-TIME SPECIFICATION: Imagine yourself in a room with a group of people who are communicating with each other but do not understand the message passed across. Chaos, confusion, frustration would easily permeate the atmosphere even stagnation would follow since they would not make progress. This highlights the importance of effective and efficient communication in all life’s dealing. 

In this phase, the content has to communicate with the Learning Management System. All of this communication happens within the context of a single SCO. All SCORM content must also be web deliverable and all SCORM communication occurs within the context of a web browser session. The reason why it is always highlighted as a requirement is that HTML versions of contents should be created before they are gathered into a SCORM package.

This communication in its entirety happens through a series of set calls. It should be noted that the communication that occurs between an SCO and the LMS is via the medium of ECMAscript (JAVAscript) API. There are no other alternate communication channels except the one provided by Javascript. Communication is not even possible through form posts, database writers, or web services except the one provided by the Learning Management System

  1. SEQUENCING: Presentation sure makes a huge difference in the scheme of things. No customer is hooked by disorganization. Sequencing is simply the mechanism in which contents are displayed or how the user navigates through different programmed activities. Sequencing makes SCORM operations seem like it is being controlled as a boot camp with stronger rules. Upon completion of each activity, you can move to the next one. 

Conclusion

Understanding SCORM and its internal dynamics can be rocket science if you don’t take time to appreciate and grasp the underlying processes, their usefulness, and their applications to various industries. More exposure to this technology/E-learning concept breeds better understanding. 

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