SCORM 1.2 in the classroom

Any great innovation needs to go through a couple of incarnations before it can be classed as the product that it’s supposed to be. A lot of refinement and tweaks need to go into any project before it’s fit for the public and that’s exactly what happened with SCORM at the turn of the century.

It’s no secret that when it was first released, SCORM 1.1 was a seriously limited standard. At its core, 1.1 was a decent starting point but its lack of metadata support or packaging manifest meant that it hardly reinvented the wheel within the e-Learning community. Perhaps the most significant development to come from 1.1 is the version that we most widely use still to this day: SCORM 1.2.


What is SCORM 1.2?
SCORM 1.2 is the step up from the underwhelming original specification and is more focused on ensuring interoperability. 1.2 defines training courses as:

• Metadata capable
• Portable, i.e. it can be accessed on remote web servers
• Accessible via a web browser by a user
• Capable of being imported
• Organised as Sharable Content Objects (SCO)


What isn’t SCORM 1.2?
It seems like there’s so much contrasting information out there for people to get confused over that it’s little wonder that more people don’t really understand it. Here’s what it is not:

• Being SCORM certified doesn’t mean that the ADL endorse you
• A guarantee that the course doesn’t have any defects
• That the content is easy to understand by all
• A piece of software
• A law to be abided by for programmers and developers


Who determines whether something is SCORM 1.2 Compliant or not?
There are many different learning management systems out there that claim to be SCORM certified without the necessary certification to prove it. The ADL (Advanced Distrubuted Learning initiative) are the forbearers of SCORM and have the definitive say.

This organisation prides itself on quality and don’t give the necessary certifications to just anybody. With the help of a third party, they grant the highest stamp of approval to e-Learning courses based upon their relevancy to the guidelines.


How do I check for SCORM 1.2 conformance?
This is perhaps the easiest step on the path to ensuring the quality of your courses as it as simple as entering the ADL Conformance Test Suite for 1.2. You don’t have to jet halfway across the world; just visit to find out how to take part.


How do I apply to be a SCORM 1.2 Adopter?
The natural next step from being SCORM conformant is to be a SCORM adopter – you can’t even apply for this without being conformant. In fact, whether or not you’re an adopter is actually determined by the conformance test.

After you complete the test, your logs are then sent to the ADL and from there, you course’s status is determined and added to the SCORM Adopter Product List if successful.


How do I get SCORM 1.2 certified?
Before you even think about applying for certification for your courses, you’re going to have to check and then double check that they fit the guidelines set out by the ADL. It not only gets you a step closer to an assurance of your product’s quality, but it also provides the perfect opportunity for troubleshooting.

Once you’ve made all the final checks, it’s time to submit your courses for consideration. As it stands, the Wisconsin Testing Organisation offer the only ADL Certification Testing Center throughout the world. If successful, your product will then be added to the lucrative SCORM Certified Product List.


Is there anything higher than SCORM 1.2?
Yes, there are actually quite a few different models that have been released following 1.2, but they aren’t quite as popular. The simplicity of 1.2 has meant that more businesses have stuck with it over the years and haven’t embraced SCORM 2004 and its later versions.


SCORM 1.2 looks like remaining the industry standard for at least the foreseeable future. If you would like to find out more, please visit the ADL website.