What is Scorm
by Logan Smith
Any good Learning Management System needs to be compliant with widely-used industry standards so that you have the greatest choice when it comes to deciding what type of e-learning is best for your situation. With compliance comes the opportunity to buy off-the-shelf training packages, hire a consultant to write specific programs, create content yourself or indeed any combination.
Like many technological developments, it can trace its roots to quasi-military origins: originally it was an idea from the office of the US Secretary of Defense and their Advanced Distributed Learning initiative. Since those beginnings it’s been taken forward by different bodies around the world and has developed into the standard we use today. Put simply, it defines the way e-learning is followed by the user. A pathway if you like, from point A, to B, to C and so on. It allows students to bookmark where they got to so they can pick up easily later on. It also provides recognized, commonly accepted test scoring systems and it defines the Package Interchange Format through which content can be uploaded to the hosts Learning Management System.
In many ways you could look at it like your USB or Bluetooth connections. USB and Bluetooth have become a standard by which numerous electronic products can link together and share content. SCORM is like that for an LMS.
The other international standard that Simplydigi’s Learning Management System supports is AICC. What is AICC? It’s the Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee – although with training professionals involved from all over the world, these days its reach goes much further than the “aviation” the name suggests.
In fairness, the original aim was to help airline operators as they developed a globally accepted set of guidelines for CBT (computer-based training) and interoperability of systems. However, the standard is particularly relevant to aspects of Leaning Management Systems and as a result has become more widely used.
There are in fact 9 different sections – called AICC Guidelines & Recommendations, or AGRs – and AICC compliance means that one or more of these is being followed. In real terms, as with SCORM, it’s an important technical standard for those like us who work “behind the scenes”, but something the end-user need never be aware of.