To SCORM or not to SCORM

To SCORM or not to SCORM, that is the question

We work with a lot of companies that are relatively new to eLearning, and one question that comes up a lot is: “Should we build SCORM courses or should we bring our existing content (in Word, PowerPoint, PDF, or video formats) directly into LearnUpon instead?”

I’ve worked in the eLearning and LMS space for 10 years and even now, it’s still not a straightforward question to answer. The growing popularity of the Tin Can API (xAPI) has recently added another important factor to consider in a future post.

There are many pros and cons that can influence a decision about whether to build SCORM-based courses using a popular authoring tool like Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline alone. For me, it depends on your individual circumstances and what you’re trying to achieve with the eLearning program you plan to develop. Here’s a list of the main pros and cons of SCORM to consider before making a decision.

Let’s start with the pros of developing SCORM-based content to import into your LMS:

There are also a number of cons to choosing SCORM that you should be aware of before reaching a decision:

Deciding whether to invest in SCORM courses isn’t straightforward and there are pros and cons to both options. If you have time to invest in developing nice content, I think SCORM courses are a great idea, as they tend to look polished and engaging.

Much will also depend on the type of training you want to deliver and why you need to deliver it. If you’re a professional training company that wants to sell courses online, I recommend investing in the development of professional-looking SCORM-based courses. If you expect someone to pay $50-100 or more for a course, you want them to see appreciate its quality.

If, on the other hand, you simply need to deliver internal training that’s less about learning and is more compliance focused, then adopting a simpler approach of importing PowerPoint and video documents with an exam bolted on at the end may be a more cost-effective option.