SCORM is the most widely used eLearning standard available. This article is an overview.
Use Case Information
SCORM is a set of technical standards for e-learning products that provides the communication method and data models that allow eLearning content and learning management systems to work together. These standards tell programmers how to write code to play well with other e-learning software.
If you wish to know more about creating content using SCORM visit this article, Creating Content Using the SCORM
Supported SCORM Types
- Limited Reporting Capabilities and Statuses: Two statuses to verify completion (Passed/Successful)
- Interactions Only: Can only write data, so it cannot call a previous response to things like tests and quizzes
SCORM 2004 (Version 4 Recommended)
- Separation of Statuses: Able to measure completion and competency (Statuses: Successful/Not Successful Pass/Fail Pass/Incomplete)
- Read and Write Functionality: Ability to recall previous actions or results and have more flexibility in navigation and gating of content
How You Can Use SCORM with Thought Industries
Thought Industries provides you with the option of creating your SCORM content as standalone content object in the content authoring interface, as well as incorporating your SCORM content within a native Thought Industries course that you create.
Standalone SCORM Content
Using the SCORM template, standalone SCORM content provides an optimal learning experience by directly launching the SCORM file in a new window without requiring the learner to enter the standard course learner view. Review the below limitations if using the SCORM as a standalone content object:
- No native Thought Industries reporting (e.g. time spent in course, number of views)
- No access to Thought Industries course options such as discussions, resources, ask the instructor, etc.
- Completion Criteria is set in SCORM package
SCORM Page Type Within a Native Course
If you have content that is already built and finalized in a SCORM format, you can utilize the SCORM page type to easily embed your content. It will provide an optimal user experience by directly launching the SCORM file in a new window, without requiring the user to enter the standard learner view. There are many benefits to presenting your content using this option:
- Leverage Thought Industries course options (discussions, notes, resources, ask instructor)
- Blend courses with SCORM native Thought Industries pages
- Native Thought Industries reporting (e.g. time in course, # of views)
- Some aspects of completion criteria can be edited in Thought Industries
Reporting on SCORM within a frameset/iFrame can be delayed or not supported in some SCORM.
Data Limits and Learner Placement
SCORM uses a concept called suspend data limit to return learners to where they left off the last time they accessed the content. However, when a course has hundreds of quiz questions or interactions, they can go over that limit, which means learners will be placed in the last place they were in the platform rather than the last spot in the SCORM object. Below are the limits for suspending data limits:
|SCORM 2004 2nd edition||4,000|
|SCORM 2004 3rd edition||64,000|
|SCORM 2004 4th edition||64,000|
Many SCORM files are created without the ability to store data outside the file itself. If you are creating SCORM objects to use in the Thought Industries platform, we recommend creating an exit button or auto commit status every x seconds.
Incorrect SCORM Statuses
Sending incorrect SCORM Statuses over is a common issue. For reference, SCORM only supports the following statuses:
- Successful/Not Evaluated
- Not Evaluated
Record Runtime Interactions
When creating results in a SCORM object, post results to cmi.interactions.n.result and categorize them as correct/incorrect.
We report on runtime interactions in SCORM files, but certain objects - like Drag and Drops, Hot Spots, and image selections, for example - don’t have standard reporting from which we can get data. Some authoring tools will report on those objects like "choice1" or "choiceA" but will not give detailed reporting.
All activities, interactions, and questions should be given a unique description that reads easily on reports. For example, if I have a question like “What’s Your Name?” in the SCORM object, the answer should reflect that the learner provided a name. Learner and Correct Response should also be given readable descriptions, such as “Blue” rather than “choice A.”
Transitioning to SCORM Rustici
- Do I need to Republish All of my files? No. You should test that your files still complete properly and that SCORM reports interactions the same way, but you shouldn’t need to recreate files.
- What happens to learners that were in progress in a SCORM file? Learners will lose progress within the SCORM package, but we will still have any historical completions saved.
- Does completion status carry over after Rustici is enabled? Yes, but not individual page completions.
Reporting Best Practices
What SCORM function is used to report completion back to Thought Industries?
Rustici reports on both completion and success. Rustici allows us to report, for example, that a user completed the file but did not pass it. For gating content (such as preventing user progress in courses), we use completion status, not success status. You need to tie completion status to a success status within the SCORM file to use it for gating.
Is there a preferred completion status (passed/incomplete, successful/not successful, etc)?
This depends on what version of SCORM you are using. They return it to us as two separate properties: Passed or Completed for lesson status, and Success Status. For Success Status, you need to use successful/not successful, which will appear in in Thought Industries as passed/not passed.
Setting lesson status to completed depends on your SCORM version: If you are in SCORM 1.2, the lesson status is completed. In SCORM 2004, it's best to have the status also marked as completed.
What do we do with assessment and final exam scores?
This depends on the success status in the SCORM file. You should associate the success of the SCORM file completion to the successful completion of the assessment. For example, if you want a learner to score 70% or higher on the final exam, the SCORM file should have a 70% mastery score for exam passed to satisfy that success criteria in the SCORM Package.
Rustici allows us to report on the assessment score itself, but the assessment score is not used explicitly as criteria for a SCORM file being successfully passed. For example, if you set the completion criteria for the SCORM package to viewing 70% of the slides and an 80% mastery score on the final exam, a learner can score 90% on the exam, but still not show as complete until they also view 70% of the slides.
Project Tools and Responsibilities
Thought Industries supports SCORM created by such commonly used tools as Articulate 360, Adobe Captivate, and Elucidat. Each of these platforms has unique settings to control progress and completion status within the Published SCORM Package, so you need to know these settings and match them to Thought Industries.
Authoring Responsibilities - Completion Criteria
You should set completion criteria within the SCORM package before publishing it. You can set completion at both course and page level, and the package will report Completed/Passed/Successful status as set in the package.
Testing Your SCORM Files
SCORM Cloud is a Rustici-created testing tool that you can use to test your SCORM files. You can access it at this link.
When testing SCORM Connect files in SCORM Cloud, you should register and log in to SCORM Cloud with a test learner email. If you register in SCORM Cloud with an email associated with an admin or manager account in Thought Industries, you will get the error "SCORM Connect is limited to student users".
Thought Industries SCORM Logging
Our logging contains status and SCORM functions that were committed to the platform from your SCORM package.