Have you ever wondered which version of SCORM you should select when publishing your Storyline project? This was a question I encountered in the Articulate forums this past week. Specifically, the individual wanted to know, “What is the difference between SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004?” That’s the focus of today’s micro-lesson! But first, let’s review what SCORM is and how to create SCORM packages.
What is SCORM?
Shareable Content Object Reference Model, or SCORM for short, is a set of standard specifications that are used in e-learning to ensure your online content can be shared across different learning management systems and platforms.
What are SCORM packages?
How do you create SCORM packages?
- Option 1: Create a SCORM package manually
- Option 2: Use a converter (if you have existing content (e.g., PDFs, PowerPoint presentations) that you want to make SCORM compatible
- Option 3: Use an authoring tool (e.g., Storyline, Captivate, Lectora)
Option 1: Create a SCORM package manually
If you are technically savvy, you could create a SCORM package from scratch by writing some basic code and creating/modifying the imsmanifest.xml file. The imsmanifest.xml file defines:
- The overall structure of the e-learning course or module
- Lists all the resources in the SCORM package
- Contains the metadata information (e.g., the course title, author, version)
- Includes information on how the learner’s progress will be tracked and reported to the LMS, and
- Defines rules for how the learner should progress through the content.
If that sounds a little too involved (and it is for most people who are not SCORM experts), there are two other ways.
Option 2: Create a SCORM package using a converter
A SCORM converter tool allows you to convert Word, PowerPoint, MP4s, etc., into a SCORM package for upload to an LMS. Some examples of these tools include:
- iSpringFree (PowerPoint to SCORM)
- SCORM Hero (PowerPoint to SCORM)
- Camtasia Studio (MP4 to SCORM)
- iSpringFlip (Word, PDF, or PowerPoint)
Option 3: Using Authoring Tools
Articulate Storyline, Articulate Rise, Adobe Captivate, and iSpring Suite are all examples of tools that will allow you to build SCORM packages for your course/module. I won’t go into the details of the actual steps in this post, but you can find more information on how to publish to SCORM by following these links:
- Storyline 360: Publishing a Course for LMS/LRS Distribution
- Articulate Rise 360: Publish and LMS Package
- Adobe Captivate: How to create SCORM packages with Adobe Captivate
- iSpring Suite: Publishing to LMS
What are the different versions of SCORM?
Although the person’s initial question was, “What is the difference between SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004?” I wanted to take a moment to explain there are many different versions available to you.
- *SCORM 1.2
- SCORM 2004 2nd Edition
- *SCORM 2004 3rd Edition
- SCORM 2004 4th Edition
* SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004 3rd Edition are the most widely used versions.
There are also alternatives to SCORM, such as xAPI (Experience API), also known as Tin Can API. These are designed to capture and track a broader range of learning experiences. Tin Can expands the tracking capabilities beyond what SCORM offers. You will find it being used by organizations that want to track activities that occur outside traditional e-learning courses. Examples might include reading articles, attending webinars, and tracking learning on mobile devices when learners are in the field. On the other hand, SCORM is designed to track quiz scores, completion status, and time spent in a course.
What’s the difference between SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004?
Here is the response I provided in the forums:
A great reference for SCORM is SCORM.COM!
Also, remember that when you compare SCORM 1.2 with SCORM 2004, SCORM 2004 has four editions. For example, SCORM 2004 3rd edition is the most widely used.
As Math stated, the version of SCORM you use will impact what you can track in your LMS reports and suspend data. Suspend data tells your LMS where the learner exits the courses and lets you resume later without starting over.
Also, the version of SCORM you publish determines what the LMS can track. SCORM 2004 has a more robust reporting model. For example, it can report individual question responses, allow multiple scores associated with a single SCO, etc.
SCORM 1.2 has more limited reporting data. For example, courses published to SCORM 1.2 can track completion status (complete/incomplete) and the score.
Different SCORM versions have different lengths of suspend data. SCORM 1.2 is 4,096; SCORM 2004, 3rd edition, allows up to 64,000 characters.
Why suspend data matters? Have you taken a course in which you had to exit before you finished? When you returned to resume the course, did you resume at an earlier slide/location? If this happens, it’s most likely related to the suspend data package size.
SumTotal’s website states it supports the following version’s of SCORM (of course, what your LMS is set up for would require you to log in and check).
SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004, AICC, xAPI, CMI5Richard’s Post on eLearning Heroes Forums
The more you know
Now that you’ve mastered this micro-lesson, share your new knowledge with a friend, family member, or colleague. Who knows, you may even impress them with your newfound expertise! Keep learning and growing; I’ll see you in the next micro-lesson.