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What is a SCORM?

SCORM is an international standard for the creation of e-learning modules. It combines two things:

  • The format of the file to share: it is a zip file containing all the media of the module and respecting a certain nomenclature.
  • The exchange protocol between the module and the LMS platform that will host the module.

Create a SCORM


To create a SCORM module, it is often necessary to get an "authoring software", a kind of Powerpoint++ allowing to create animated scenes, quizzes... This module will then be exported from the platform in ZIP format, it is the SCORM module.


SCORM module explanation diagram


SCORM, Shareable Content Object Reference Model, exists in several versions :

AICC: Very old version, to be avoided if possible. Its operation is not optimal for the modern web.
Version 1.1: more used nowadays, it is the oldest.
Version 1.2: although very old, this version is still widely used, some authoring tools only export in this version.
Version 2004 : the most recent, this version is recommended to get the maximum of statistics.

Indeed, what will mainly differentiate the versions is the level of statistics and customization of the module possible. So the major difference between version 1.2 and 2004 is that the second one will differentiate between finishing and succeeding or failing. In version 1.2, this is undifferentiated..

What about statistics?


The most important statistics that can be uploaded to your LMS platform, whatever the version, will be :

  • Status (Completed or not)
  • Success (or failure)
  • Time spent
  • The score
  • The answers to the questions (correct or not, on what date, in how long)

Be careful, the correct upload to your platform is often linked to the correct parameterization of the module in the tool. The authoring tools often require a little training beforehand to be used properly.


SCORM : who are the leaders?


The market leaders are in alphabetical order:

  • Adobe Captivate
  • Articuler l'histoire
  • Générateur facile
  • iSpring

My SCORM and then what?


Once you have your module, it is important to check a few things to choose your LMS platform:

  • Is the module well imported? Are the data of my scorm well taken into account (minimum score, titles, special characters...)?
  • Is the module displayed correctly? Can I put it on full screen? Does it display well on tablet and mobile? Can I pick up where I left off?
  • Are the statistics up to date ? Are they usable? Do I have the statistics of all my user's trials (not just the last one)?

The SCORM format has been the mainstay of the e-learning market for decades. It is very popular and widespread in the market. All players are more or less compatible with it and it is important to make sure of this before choosing a provider. In recent years, a new format has been proposed, TinCan (or xAPI). This format, which is more data-centric, is struggling to establish itself, probably because it does not bring much newness to the market at first glance. Nevertheless, it is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.


Complementary tools


Some useful tools when working with SCORM :

Scorm cloud : free site, by the creators of SCORM, allowing you to test a module and the statistics it provides.

SCORM Reference : For the most curious, this sheet summarizes the values exchanged with the LMS platform for each version of SCORM


And for test modules for your platforms, it's happening here and here ! 


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