SCORM Overview

Standards-based eLearning

ADL CertifiedWhat is the SCORM?

The SCORM is the standard content model for web-based learning. It is part of the US government’s desire to coordinate and standardize existing and emerging eLearning systems. The SCORM, or SharableContent Object Reference Model, specifies that web-based learning content should be:

·         Accessible – Create, find and add self-contained instructional components known as Sharable Content Objects (SCOs) to build a web-based course. A course can be created with SCOs stored locally or accessed from several remote sources.

·         Interoperable – When SCOs are retrieved into different LMS systems, the navigation, tracking and recording mechanisms will work.

·         Durable – Ensures that SCOs do not need redesigning, reconfiguring or recoding when new technology or systems come along.

·         Reusable – SCOs are recombined into different web-based courses for additional learners to maximize the value of the content.

·         Cost-Effective – Quality content is easier to find, use and reuse. An organization can also maximize its budget by using existing content from course developers.

Does Online Training and Education support the SCORM?

Online Training and Education is a strong advocate for the SCORM. In February 2003, Avilar’s WebMentor LMS

 was the first LMS to be SCORM Certified.

WebMentor  has implemented many innovations such as SCORMFront, which provides flexible behaviors and templates for SCORM courseware. In addition, Avilar offers a unique SCORM debugger allowing you to examine content and identify any parts that may not meet the standard.

Who is responsible for the SCORM?

The Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative (, an organization sponsored by the US Department of Defense, is responsible for developing and managing the SCORM standard. Their vision is “to provide access to the highest quality education and training, tailored to individual needs, delivered cost-effectively anywhere and anytime”.

What is the difference between certification and conformance?

The ADL rigorously evaluates Learning Management Systems and content to determine if they are fully compliant to the SCORM standard. Only fully compliant products and content are SCORM-certified by the ADL.

Many eLearning companies claim to be conformant to the standard when their product is not compliant to the SCORM standard.

What is the latest version of the SCORM?

SCORM 2004

Are all certified SCORM 1.2 LMS products certified to the same level?

No, there are three levels of certification: LMS-RTE1, LMS-RTE2 and LMS-RTE3. WebMentor LMS is certified to LMS-RTE-3, which is the highest level of certification.

What do the SCORM 1.2 LMS-RTE1, LMS-RTE2 and LMS-RTE3 certification levels mean and why is it best to insist on LMS RTE3?

LMS_RTE3 is the highest level of certification that an LMS can receive when it undergoes certification testing. SCORM 1.2 specifies three levels of certification.

·         LMS-RTE1 means that the LMS has only implemented the mandatory portions of SCORM.

·         LMS-RTE2 means that the LMS has implemented the mandatory and some of the optional portions of SCORM.

·         LMS-RTE3 means that the LMS has fully implemented SCORM 1.2. You should insist on an LMS that has this level of certification since it gives you the best chance at ensuring that SCORM 1.2 content can run on it.

Can WebMentor LMS support content that was created with older versions of SCORM?

WebMentor LMS can support SCORM version 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2. There are currently many SCORM 1.1 courses available, and it is important to be able to support these in your LMS.

Will courseware, currently in development, need to be completely reworked in the future, because it isn't SCORM-conformant?

It is the ADL’s belief that most electronic courseware will not have to be "completely reworked". Many vendors are creating tools to reduce the conversion as well as initial SCO creation time.

Does the SCORM standardization of courseware restrict instructional designers when creating learning materials?

It is intended that the SCORM have minimal impact on instructional design. ADL requests help from designers and academics to understand how the reference model affects instructional design.

How do I find out more about the SCORM?

Go to the ADL web site -