Monday, September 22, 2008

Whither SCORM

It was way back in 2002 that I first heard about SCORM, as I got to attend a presentation on SCORM by an IIT academic. At that time SCORM was not widely-known among eLearning professionals in India. But before long it became a buzzword in the eLearning industry. Six years down the line, however, this eLearning standard seems to be going out of favor among eLearning experts. There is a growing opinion that the standard has failed to deliver on its promise of promoting collaboration and reuse in content development.

See some answers in response to a question from Mark Friedman on the future of SCORM at Linkedin Answers:

I believe that SCORM has to demonstrate the ability to achieve it's promise of content and media searching and finding that can produce training mashups from various sources. This was a big deal for SCORM in the beginning with the idea that "Training resources would be able to be reused"...
- Trevor Bollers

In my work, SCORM is already outdated. It was developed for the Federal Government 10 years ago. The individual sco's in the standard include both display and content. The purpose is to allow each SCORM compliant course or module to transfer tracking information no matter which LMS platform you are using. I work with multiple LMS systems and come across many problems with compatibility. It's not efficient to re-publish a course for every end user display platform.

To be truly useful today, a standard built around keeping content separate from display is needed. There are so many different devices to which we can deliver content. My suggestion is an XML component for the content and a display properties component. With that we can publish content with varying display properties, so that more learners can be reached.

- Jacqueline Monroe
In short, while SCORM does have its utility for ensuring interoperability (compatibility with any LMS), it has failed to promote reusability and collaboration.

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