eLearning software packages must adhere to a set of technological standards known as SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model). SCORM provides programmers with instructions on how to write code that works seamlessly with other eLearning applications, making it an industry standard for interoperability in e-learning. Specifically, SCORM governs the interoperability of learning management systems and online learning content. It's essential to note that SCORM is purely a technological standard and does not address pedagogical or instructional design issues.

SCORM encompasses a group of technological standards that ensure the smooth operation of Learning Management Systems (LMS) and eLearning content. In essence, SCORM serves as the foundation of digital learning, guaranteeing that the content you create using course authoring programs like Adobe Captivate is compatible with your LMS. It ensures that they "play well" together.

Due to its widespread adoption, SCORM is often referred to as the de facto or default standard of eLearning. However, some eLearning professionals may find SCORM challenging to grasp due to its cryptic name and technical nature.

In addition to selecting a top LMS, you must also decide whether you need to create SCORM courses. Trainers and developers must determine the role SCORM should play in their learning programs, making it crucial for them to have a solid understanding of this technology.

In this article, we will explore some fundamental aspects of SCORM, including its definition, benefits, and available tools. You will gain insight into what SCORM entails and learn how to convert simple PowerPoint slides into a SCORM lesson, which can then be uploaded to a Learning Management System.

SCORM–All You Need to Know

The concept of SCORM becomes much simpler to grasp when the terms "Shareable Content Object" and "Reference Model," or SCORM, are broken down as follows:

SCOs (Sharable Content Objects): These are small chunks of content that can be reused across multiple platforms and are understood by a SCORM-compliant structure. SCOs form the components of a SCORM package and can represent various elements, including training modules, lessons, or chapters.

Reference Model: According to the reference model, SCORM is a set of "rules" that anyone working in the eLearning sector should comprehend and adhere to.

What Is the Purpose of SCORM?

The SCORM standard was introduced in the 2000s with the aim of standardizing the industry and enabling interoperability among various e-learning platforms, course authoring tools, and learning management systems. SCORM compliance was established to enhance the accessibility of online courses.

SCORM empowers content developers and learning professionals to work with a range of systems, allowing them to exchange course content seamlessly. Additionally, SCORM authoring tools enable the export of courses as HTML5 folders, which can be uploaded to your LMS.

Despite being one of the older e-learning tools, SCORM remains widely used and is available in five different versions:

    • SCORM 1.1
    • SCORM 1.2
    • Version 2004 of SCORM
    • 3rd Edition of SCORM 2004
    • 4th Edition of SCORM 2004

Why Is SCORM Important??

While SCORM is not legally mandated, it plays a crucial role in creating engaging learning environments. To increase the significance of your courses, you need:

    • Valuable content
    • A robust learning platform or LMS capable of accessing, processing, and analyzing content      

Efficiently utilizing SCORM allows you to achieve all of this. SCORM ensures that your chosen LMS and eLearning materials are compatible and work seamlessly together. By using a standardized zip file structure recognized by online learning platforms and learning management systems, SCORM enables the delivery of courses without any technical issues.

SCORM is invaluable when developing engaging lessons for use across various learning systems. It provides flexibility in delivering training materials and enhances the learning process. Specifically, SCORM consists of a set of technological standards designed to ensure that your learning content integrates smoothly with your educational site and can interact seamlessly with it.

SCORM 101 – How to Use It

Many administrators source lesson content from external content providers for the purpose of reusing it on their training website. These content providers may include several tools and systems.

SCORM Analytics

Most SCORM content providers offer options to monitor lesson analytics. If these settings are configured in your package, your dashboard can capture SCORM scores and lesson data. SCORM analytics provide a summary of the performance of the SCORM package in your courses, including the grade average and success rate. It's important to note that the metrics collected depend on the options you select through your SCORM data provider when creating your SCORM lesson package.

SCORM comprises three parts that collaborate to deliver eLearning courses through an LMS:

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Content Packaging

A SCORM package is created from all the learning resources for a single course. This package includes all the data necessary for content import and launch. It effectively answers questions like "What is this document called?" and "Which article needs to be opened?"

Real-Time Conversation

This component manages delivery and tracking and facilitates data interchange between the LMS and the content. Initially, the LMS and the content "discover" each other, followed by communication using a related language involving "set" and "get" calls. In simpler terms, this includes messages like "ask the student's name" and "inform the LMS that the student scored 70% on the task.


Sequencing pertains to how a student navigates through the course. It specifies which tasks must be completed before advancing to the next phase and controls the user's progression after specific actions, such as clicking the next button.

Benefits of SCORM

Now that you're familiar with what SCORM is and how it functions, let's explore the advantages it offers. In fact, some benefits might surprise you, including:

1. Compatibility
A SCORM course is compatible with nearly any LMS.

2. Progressive Saving
Students aren't required to complete the entire course in one go. It can be done in parts. For example, after working for 30 minutes and taking a 10-minute break, the course can resume where it left off. This flexibility is especially helpful when technology malfunctions or if the course is accidentally closed.

3. Feedback
You can assess a student's progress through feedback. When a student completes an online course, the system will display either "Course completed" or the number of points earned.

4. Solid Course Structure
You can create a course with a well-defined structure and establish guidelines for navigating it. For instance, students may need to watch a video first, then study a lecture, and finally take the final exam.

5. Modularity
SCORM course materials are composed of independent components or modules. Each module can be used in any other LMS course.

SCORM Publishing Guide

To publish your course as a SCORM package, follow these steps:

1. Go to the "Publish" group tab in the home ribbon.

2. Choose the "Publish" drop-down and select "SCORM."

3. This will redirect you to a system error check. Ensure that any detected errors are fixed before proceeding.

4. In the options tab during publishing, add the conformance level.

5. You can choose to enable or disable various SCORM-related features, such as displaying content in a separate window.

6. Use the preference to create a zip file from the HTML Options page. This zipped file must be uploaded for use with Learning Management Systems.

7. Adjust any other necessary options on the available tabs, then select "Ok."

8. The system will compile and package your course into a single file, which will be zipped and placed in the designated destination folder.

9. If you wish to download the file to your computer, choose the download option.

10. Follow the procedures provided by your learning management system or team to upload and use your content.

What Exactly Does SCORM Compliance Mean?

SCORM compliance means that a learning management system allows users to access any SCORM-compliant content. A course that includes online learning content transferable between systems is considered SCORM-compatible. When your course achieves SCORM compliance, you can upload it to your system, and it will function properly because they are compatible.

HTML5 Multimedia Packages: What Are They?

Authoring tools transitioned to the new e-learning prototype when HTML5 emerged as the new web standard for web interactivity. In a cloud LMS, HTML5 packages are essentially interactive websites that load. Unlike earlier versions, they natively support interactive components and video playback, making them suitable for e-learning. When creating a complete course or a learning unit using an authoring system, you will have two options: a SCORM-compliant export or an HTML5 package. Similar to a SCORM file, HTML5 can provide dynamic content and customizable interactions.

What Makes SCORM Different from HTML5?

The HTML5 web standard outlines guidelines for creating, arranging, and displaying content on browsers. In contrast, SCORM establishes a uniform interface between content and an LMS. You can build and export HTML5 content as a non-SCORM or SCORM file. The presence of the IMSManifest.xml file in the.zip file indicates SCORM content.

Common SCORM Problems You May Face

While integrating a SCORM folder with your dashboard, you may encounter the following issues:

    • Upload errors
    • Visibility issues, such as the lesson's content not appearing
    • Lessons not marked as completed
Typically, these problems can be resolved by adjusting settings and using troubleshooting tools provided by your SCORM content provider.

A quick and simple way to check for problems or concerns is to move your SCORM course and use their free testing tool. SCORM Cloud, an online tool, can host your lesson and identify any issues that may hinder interaction with your main page. If you experience problems integrating your SCORM file with your main page and encounter the same issues in SCORM Cloud, the issue likely lies with your package. In such cases, you can contact support and share the information obtained while using SCORM Cloud.

P.S. To utilize SCORM Cloud's testing features, you must register for a free account.

Final Thoughts

SCORM serves as the eLearning standard for educational content, describing the ability of systems to communicate data through a set of technical specifications. It functions as a standard that governs the use, development, and creation of online education content to ensure interoperability with various eLearning software solutions.

The primary advantage of SCORM is its interoperability. If you create e-learning materials, it's likely that one of your customers will request integration with an LMS. Similarly, if you develop an LMS, your customers may wish to integrate content from various sources into that LMS. SCORM makes this integration simple and seamless.

In summary, SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) plays a vital role in e-learning by ensuring interoperability between learning management systems (LMS) and online learning content. Its standardised approach enhances the accessibility and compatibility of online courses, making it a cornerstone for creating engaging and effective learning environments. At Cinema8, we understand the significance of SCORM compliance and its impact on educational content. Our platform empowers content creators to produce interactive videos and multimedia packages that align seamlessly with SCORM standards.

For a deeper understanding of how Cinema8 can elevate e-learning videos, explore our showcase, which features compelling demonstrations of e-learning videos. These real-world examples showcase the innovative potential of interactive videos within the educational realm. Whether you want to enhance your existing e-learning materials or delve into cutting-edge interactive video solutions, Cinema8 provides the tools and support required to deliver engaging and impactful educational experiences.