I was speaking to a client (financial institution) recently who has just invested in a Learning Management System (LMS), to combat the challenges they are facing with the COVID-19 Pandemic safety protocols and not being able to effectively train their staff with classroom training anymore.

He said to me that that he believes the system is fine, however they are having trouble uploading and playing all their desired content on the system. So I asked, Is the system SCORM compliant, so he asked me…

What is SCORM?

I took a deep breath and said…SCORM, which stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model,  is a set of technical standards for eLearning software products. SCORM tells programmers how to write their code so that it can “play well” with other eLearning software. It is the de facto industry standard for eLearning interoperability. Specifically, SCORM governs how online learning content and Learning Management Systems, like Tangerine LMS communicate with each other.

SCORM does not speak to instructional design or any other pedagogical concern — it is purely a technical standard.

He then said….Help me with an Analogy:

OK. Let’s take DVDs for example. When you buy a new movie on DVD you don’t need to check to see if it works with your brand of DVD player. A regular DVD will play on a Toshiba the same as it will on a Panasonic. That’s because DVD movies are produced using a set of standards.

Without these standards a studio releasing a new movie on DVD would have a big problem. They would need to make differently formatted DVDs for each brand of DVD player. This is how online learning used to be before SCORM was created.

The SCORM standard makes sure that all eLearning content and LMSs can work with each other, just like the DVD standard makes sure that all DVDs will play in all DVD players. If an LMS is SCORM compliant, it can play any content that is SCORM compliant, and any SCORM compliant content can play in any SCORM compliant LMS.

Look out for part 2.  #conversationwithaclient

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