What is a SCORM file and how does it work?

Click here for a 60 second overview of SCORM, by Rustici Software.

SCORM stands for “Shareable Content Object Reference Model. 

As a set of technical standards for eLearning products, it provides the communication method and data models that allow eLearning content and Learning Management Systems (LMS's) to work together. 

SCORM takes care of making sure content is compatible with an LMS and that an LMS can import, launch and track content.

SCORM Versions:

Since its launch, SCORM has come packaged in 3 basic versions:

SCORM 1.1. 
- Considered by many developers as the “prototype” version and is not widely adopted today.

SCORM 1.2. - 
Launched in October 2001, fixed many of version 1.1’s bugs, and gained acceptance across the board. It still is supported by every major LMS, and vendors continue to supply material that meets the guidelines set out in 1.2.

SCORM 2004. - 
A partial extension of SCORM 1.2, which also includes S&N (Sequencing and Navigation) guidelines. S&N standards allow for a wider range of content interaction types, and an increase in SCO reusability.

Matobo Learning uses SCORM 1.2, which is the most compatible version for most LMSs.

How Does SCORM Work?

SCORM is composed of three sub-specifications:

- Content Packaging.

- Run-Time

- Sequencing

Content packaging specifies how content should be packaged and described. 

Run-Time specifies how content should be launched, how data communicates with the LMS and includes the spec for the data model of that communication. Lastly, Sequencing specifies how a learner can navigate between parts of a course (SCOs).