SCORM isn’t really the standard all by itself; rather it is a collection of the specifications andstandards produced by such standards bodies such as the Aviation Industry CBT Committee(AICC), IMS Global Learning Consortium and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers(IEEE). SCORM integrates all of these specifications into a cohesive and usable model that e-learning developers can adhere to.The SCORM reference model is comprised of the following four separate parts (called “books”in SCORM lingo).
The SCORM Overview book highlights the objectives of SCORM and lists thespecifications and standards of the different bodies included in SCORM.
The SCORM Content Aggregation Model (CAM) book describes the SCORMcomponents used to build a learning experience from various resources andprovides instructions on how to package those components so they may beexchanged from system to system. The content model contains Assets,Sharable Content Objects (SCOs) and Aggregations. Assets are the individualmaterials that make up a course such as graphics, web pages, Flash movies,documents, etc. Sharable Content Objects (SCOs) are a collection of one ormore of these assets that together become a single launchable learningresource. Aggregations detail how assets and SCOs are put together. Contentpackaging provides the organizational layout of the e-learning deliverable,showing how the different instructional activities relate to one another. Thispiece provides one of the many benefits of SCORM because it specifies howto assemble courseware so that it may be transferred between systems. Inother words, your SCORM-conformant courses will still work should youdecide to switch LMSs in the future.
The SCORM Run-Time Environment (RTE) book covers Learning ManagementSystem requirements and standard elements that will be used to pass backinformation about how the learner performs in the course.
The SCORM Sequencing and Navigation (SN) book covers navigationsequencing.
So in summary, SCORM is important because it makes web-based training content and theapplications that control and display that content to learners interoperable in a standard way. If you have a SCORM conformant LMS, you can be fairly certain that learning content that is alsoSCORM conformant will integrate successfully with your system. And that is a good feeling tohave.
What are Learning Management Systems and LearningContent Management Systems?
We’ve been talking about SCORM-conformant courseware being compatible with a SCORM-compliant LMS (Learning Management System) and you may be wondering, what is an LMS?And is that the same thing as an LCMS?Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are software that automates the administration of training events. Different ones are on the market to meet most any organization’s needs; theyrange in price from freeware to large million dollar installations. LMSs manage learner log-in,course catalogs, course completion ratios and progress status, scheduling, test scores, etc., and provide reports on all of this to management. So once a course is built, an LMS is where you goto take it.