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Trainers and eLearners know that they need to find SCORM compliant tools for their courses, but what exactly is “SCORM?” We get asked this question from time to time at learning and development conferences, so we thought a brief history and summary of SCORM would help clarify.

What Is SCORM?

SCORM stands for “Sharable Content Object Reference Model” — a set of technical standards for building online learning management systems. SCORM helps programmers design learning management systems (LMSs) in a way that content from one LMS can be used in another LMS. For example, every LMS has the concept of “pass a test” after completing a course. SCORM defines how this works so that content can be easily moved between SCORM-compliant LMS platforms.

With that said, a little history will help. Back in the days before eLearning existed and computer-based training (CBT) was provided on CDs and DVDs, each LMS vendor had their own proprietary way of delivering training, handling test questions, doing branching, etc. When the Internet came along, companies using LMS software migrated their service to the web, just like lots of other software companies. That introduced the need to standardize the way LMS software works. Why? Nobody wants to be locked into proprietary software. What if they wanted to switch vendors? Would they have to recreate all of their content? YIKES!

The Department of Defense recognized this problem early, and, in 1997 created the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative (ADL), which developed SCORM. The technical specifications and most recent guidelines set by the ADL can be found in the SCORM 2004 4th edition.

What Is The Purpose of SCORM?

SCORM helps programmers answer questions like:

  • How should content be organized in my LMS?
  • How should answers to tests be stored in the database?
  • How should admin functions work that let customers define things like branching, or how many times a student can take a test?

You’ll want to find an LMS that’s SCORM-compliant, so your learning content can be migrated OFF of that LMS to a new one, if necessary.

Is GoAnimate SCORM Compliant?

SCORM guidelines don’t actually apply to GoAnimate. GoAnimate is the leading cloud-based DIY animated video creation platform. Using simple drag and drop tools, it can be used to create engaging animated, infographic, and whiteboard training videos, but it is not where you’ll host finalized learning content. GoAnimate videos work with any LMS that can import an MP4 file, but GoAnimate is not an LMS itself. GoAnimate is a tool in your training toolkit for creating the finished content that lives inside your SCORM-compliant LMS.

Once a video is created in GoAnimate, many trainers and course designers deploy their animated MP4 videos into SCORM-compliant platforms like Articulate Storyline, Lectora, and Adobe Captivate. Lectora Online users can also seemlessly export GoAnimate videos into their LMS, without downloading them first. Learn more about the GoAnimate + Lectora integration here.

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