Do Your eLearning Modules Need to Be SCORM Compliant?
Since eLearning has been in the public eye more and more this year, people have been asking me: “Do my eLearning modules need to be SCORM Compliant?” Well, that depends.
First, I’ll be honest and say that after being an instructional designer for years in Corporate America, I didn’t even know what SCORM was until two years ago. So, if you’re feeling sheepish about not knowing, no need. Not everyone in our industry knows either.
OK, So Do You Need to Be SCORM Compliant?
First, you need to know what SCORM means. SCORM is an acronym that stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model. It has one big purpose, whose biggest hint is the “S” in this whole name. Shareable. Authoring something in a SCORM Compliant platform means that you’ve made it with certain industry standards and are able to share it across different Learning Management Systems (LMSs).
The Best Explanation of SCORM
The best explanation of this term I’ve ever read is at Scorm.com. While I’ve not worked with this company, you have to give props when you hear something so good.
In their explanation, they assimilate SCORM Compliance to a DVD movie disc. The disc will play in any brand of DVD player because the creators of the DVD made sure that it was standardized for every player brand. Had they created a DVD movie disc that played in only one brand of player, then this would mean the DVD is not “compliant.” It’s not standardized for every player.
Does Every Instructional Design Element Need To Be SCORM Compliant?
Only your eLearning instructional materials if you want to make them shareable to different LMSs. I’m talking about your HTML eLearning modules. You know the ones. These are the modules where you have to push “play” for them to start and answer Knowledge Check questions.
Once you create your modules in a SCORM Compliant authoring tool, such as Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline, you’re cooking with gas. You won’t have to think twice as to whether you’re in compliance or not. These tools are built compliance-ready. There are other SCORM Compliant authoring tools, but the two above are the ones I’m familiar with.
Wait, So All eLearning Modules Need to Be SCORM Compliant?
Nope. Only if your client requires it or if you have that expectation of yourself.
How Can You Be Sure Whether You Need SCORM Compliant Modules?
Maybe this next question helps.
Does the LMS Require It?
At the risk of throwing way too much at you, a Learning Management System (LMS) is where many companies house eLearning modules after creation. Sometimes clients require that you author modules as SCORM Compliant because they want to ensure they fit their LMS. Just ask your clients what they need. But do ask. The last thing you want is to be creating instructional design modules you’ll have to redo. The simple question to ask is: “Do the modules need to be SCORM Compliant?”
Are You An Entrepreneur Creating Online Content?
I’ll be publishing an article just for you very soon. It’s worth separating corporate tools from entrepreneurial tools. Entrepreneurs creating modules to share their ideas and monetize are able to work with different platforms. The type of compliance this article covers may not be necessary at all.
Who Are We?
We are Miranda Park Learning. We offer contract instructional design services. If your training needs are more intensive and your eLearning curriculum needs to meet the high standards set by your corporation, your industry, and the best practices of instructional design, your best value is to work with a trained instructional designer. We can put more powerful design tools to work for you.
If you are ready to create the eLearning training program that elevates your team’s skill to the next level, let’s get to work! Contact Cassy Huidobro at 720-722-9998 or via email at [email protected].
Picture: Photo by Julia M. Cameron from Pexels.
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