Everything I know about SCORM

by Jonathan Malko

SCORM is an eLearning standard, to be able to create unique courses and share them across many Learning Management System platforms.

There are benefits and drawback in my eyes

Advantages

  • Content creator can add rich content
  • Content creator can define successful course completion
  • When you build a course, you have built an asset that can be distrubuted with little to no work

Disadvantages

  • There are multiple SCORM standards - and they don't talk to each other
  • SCORM 1.2 and 2004 3rd Edition are the most popular according to Rustici
  • Up until recently, official documentation were marketing pages in disguise
  • SCORM LMS environments are inconsistent - lots of testing needed, but in enterprise this presents big challenges.
  • Courses across a SCORM LMS provide a widely inconsistent look and usability pattern

A different approach

I am sure if the original creators of SCORM were to rebuild the standard, it would come in the form of an API - and let LMS companies make the UI/UX decisions. Atleast, that's the approach I would take.

However SCORM is the reality

I have had success in using light SCORM-compliant shells, to wrap around and call for course content (via JSON file) and a custom course logic via JS. In this case, we can use any kind of course builder that will output via API in order to either locally or remotely build SCORM compliant courses.

So far, I have used Automattic's Sensei plugin, along with wiritng a custom API for it, in order to remotely serve thin course wrappers for a client. This gives my customer the flexibility for their course builders to easily maintain their courses and push changes to all their clients in an instant.

Can I do better?

For now, this plugin is SLOW due to following general Wordpress patterns (n+1 problem in SQL, etc). I will build a backend in order to integrate with a Wordpress site first to serve courses and retain reporting in the high performance Golang language.

Stay tuned for more news regarding this platorm

IF you want to talk or would like to demo this software before it's ready, email me at [email protected].