History of SCORM

E-Learning-woman drawing flow chart on glass

There’s plenty to interest you about SCORM if you’re a business owner looking for the best way to deliver e-learning solutions to your workforce, but the standard’s origins are perhaps even more interesting than that.

Believe it or not, SCORM was originally envisaged by the government of the USA after a lot of annoyance with their training courses. Different governmental departments were all undertaking different courses, leading to a lot of confusion when it came to actually delivering them on an LMS. At the time, many different LMS’s were vying for attention and so the U.S had to deal with a lack of interoperability between each.

Content duplication, wrong results and poor co-ordination were just a few of the reasons why the government decided to establish a set of principles for e-learning in 1999 by the name of SCORM: Sharable Content Object Reference Model.

The Department of Defense drafted together the Advanced Distribution Leaning (ADL) team to put SCORM together and they have been advancing and fine-tuning it ever since. Commercial enterprises started to abide by these standards, hence its widespread usage today.

With the help of industry specialists and partners, ADL were able to contribute towards making e-Learning universal and easy for all. It all started with SCORM 1.1.

The Birth of SCORM 1.1

The framework for the future. Although unsophisticated by today’s standards, SCORM 1.1 showed the potential for the innovation for the future. Thanks to a lack of metadata support and a bit of a lightweight support, it was quickly upgraded to 1.2 but its impact on online training cannot be undermined.

A lot of businesses all over the world embraced SCORM 1.2 and many of them still do. Its interoperability between so many learning management systems made it a winner and although many years have passed since 2001, its effectiveness has proven its durability as the model of choice.

e-Learning Moves On

Things stayed the same for online training providers for three years until the current standard was introduced in 2004. SCORM 2004 changed the game by adhering to exciting new standards in API and the development of content objects.

The most intriguing change for the new edition was that course leaders could now keep better track of user results and set specific learner objectives. Interoperability was a worry of the past when this was released and was seen as a great step forward by programmers everywhere.

There were many tweaks and refinements made to the SCORM 2004 standards over the years with 4th and most recent edition coming out in 2009.

The Future?

The experts are always thinking of new ways to advance and fine-tune SCORM so your guess is as good as ours! One thing’s for certain though: e-Learning is here to stay.