Comprehensive Guide To Picking a SCORM Compliant LMS in 2021

eLearning Software

SCORM compliance makes life easier for everybody in the Learning Management System (LMS) community, and making sure you choose a SCORM compliant LMS is a no-brainer.


What is SCORM?

SCORM, which stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model, is a standard that allows eLearning content to be accessible by and transferred between any and all of the Learning Management Systems (LMS) that the creator might choose to use. In a more technical definition, SCORM is a method of standardizing and organizing eLearning content.

Here’s an example: you are a craftsperson who carves spoons, and you decide to sell your expertise as a teacher online. You create a website and record videos of yourself making spoons, carving them with a knife, turning them on a lathe, using a CNC machine, and so on. Then, you realize you can make a lot more money if your videos aren’t just on your website: you can also sell them to a website that teaches people how to be handy). In order to take the video courses you created and put them onto a different site, you’d normally have to go into the back end of your website, then edit and transfer every bit and byte of data. That is, unless you used a standard way of formatting things (like SCORM) to speed up the transfer process. This is just one example of why using SCORM can benefit you.


When Was SCORM Created?

SCORM was created by the 1998 executive order of President Bill Clinton. The order, titled: “Using Technology to Improve Training Opportunities for Federal Government Employees” instructed the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative to create a standard that could be used to: “explore how federal training programs, initiatives, and policies can better support lifelong learning through the use of learning technologies and to provide learning standards, specifications, and applications which can be sustained and extended to incorporate new technologies and learning science as they occur.”


What Was SCORM Created For?

How’d we get from an executive order and the Department of Defense to learning management software? The simple answer is: a need for efficiency.

When the ADL was told to create a useful standard for eLearning in the late 90s, there were a lot of different groups who were using electronic means to teach: notably the Army, Navy and Coast Guard. While the use of LMSs to administer teaching was widespread and growing, the content created in each LMS was locked into that system; and it was difficult or impossible to transfer out. This repetition of work meant that the Army and Navy could have virtually identical courses and training, but they would be unable to share those courses with one another because they used different LMSs. Therefore, ADL decided to design standards that could be used to let content transfer from one LMS to another without much effort at all: and SCORM was born.


Why Use SCORM in 2021?

You should use SCORM because it grants you the freedom to switch between the LMS so you can grow and adapt your business as your needs change. Right now you might just be training your own employees with a proprietary LMS, but eventually that training could be sold to other companies or universities looking to copy your success. If you choose to implement a SCORM template and format now, you’ll be able to quickly profit when it comes time to diversify your assets.


What does SCORM Compliance in 2021 Look Like?

SCORM was birthed in the late 90s, which means there are a lot of versions of it out there. You don’t want to be using the old and busted models, so here’s the bare minimum you should look for in your own SCORM compliant content.


Use at Minimum Scorm 1.2 (Ideally SCORM 2004 4th Edition)

The most commonly used SCORM format is 1.2; it’s nearly universal in its ability to transfer between LMSs and, though basic, it contains basically everything a learning course needs to get up and running. Beyond that though, your best bet is to use the most recently released SCORM update: SCORM® 2004 4th Edition.


Do I Need To Choose A SCORM Compliant LMS in 2021?

Short answer is: no. You can use any LMS that meets your current needs; and maybe your current favorite doesn’t use SCORM. If you think you’ll be using that LMS forever and don’t ever plan on transferring content, feel free to use whatever.

However, if you think you might grow out of the LMS you are with currently, or if you think you might be able to make extra money selling your courses and educational properties, it might be a good idea to stick to the common industry standard.


Is There A More Modern Version Of SCORM?

Yes, there is. Also created by ADL, are more modern versions of SCORM called xAPI or TinCan that work as well or better than SCORM. There are tutorials for transferring SCORM compliant content into xAPI if the need arises, so starting with SCORM and then moving on up if there is a need is a reasonable way to go. If you aren’t sure what standard to stick to, this article will help you decide.


What Are The Top Rated SCORM Compliant Learning Management Systems?

There are lots of systems like Udemy and Skillshare with use their own proprietary standards for course content; but if you’re interested in growth, it would be better to use one of the following LMSs.

Academy of Mine- Academy of Mine is a custom-built LMS that is always tailored to the content that it needs to host. This means that no matter if you’re taking older content and importing it or starting from scratch, it’ll be compliant and well made.

KnowledgeAnywhere has a SCORM conversion tool built into the LMS, making transfers and upgrades to xAPI or another standard very easy.

OpenSesame, a Portland, OR based company, also has SCORM compliant content and a free demo. – Tovuti boasts the ability to import powerpoints and other common forms of content into their LMS and make the produced teaching materials line up with SCORM. – Bridge integrates with commonly used business tools like ADP, Oracle, Kronos, and Sync HR to help your business get the learning content where it needs to be.

Supercharge your
eLearning Business

Academy Of Mine is the top-rated LMS for Professional Development, Continuing Ed, Certifications and B2B training.