To SCORM or not to SCORM


On a previous post (‘e’ for Experience), I stated that there are different ways to bring knowledge to users, like interactive modules, videos, infographics, etc., and that they should be used in conjunction and not as isolated products, in order to improve the learning experience on the users.

Let’s say you have to put together a product for a client, a video, an interactive module or an infographic. After days, nights and weeks of graphic design, architecture, programming, testing and fixing, you have the final files to deliver to your client, but then you start wondering if the outcome of the software you used to create and publish the product, will accommodate to the client’s platform.

Well, in the e-learning field there is a question you have to ask yourself (and the client) at the beginning of each project: is it going to be deployed to a LMS and does it have to be marked as “completed” after the user has gone through it? If the answer is yes, have a list of available SCORM wrappers at hand. Remember that, most of the time, you can deploy different types of files to a LMS, but they won’t necessarily have to be marked complete after the user has viewed them.

From my experience, authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate and Trivantis Lectora, can provide you with the functionality to make your product SCORM-compliant, not just because you can actually create interactions and basic animations with them but because you can import a wide variety of files that you may have produced for your client and “wrap” them with the SCORM API. This process of importing videos, images and interactions created in other authoring tools, can be as easy as clicking on a button and selecting the file.

In addition to the aforementioned authoring tools, there are also stand-alone SCORM wrappers that you can use for your projects, usually developed using JavaScript or Action Script 3(like this one: http://pipwerks.com/tag/scorm-wrapper/). Yes, you may have to work alongside a programmer but it’s worth the time, because at the end of the day, you will have your engaging product compatible with the LMS of your choice, but don’t let SCORM limit your creativity when developing an e-learning product.


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