Just put yourself in the position of an instructional designer who is given the responsibility of developing an online learning solution.

Alternatively, think of yourself as handling the task of finding a suitable vendor for building a Learning Management System (LMS) for the customer training program of the company.

When dealing with these tasks you for the first time came to know about SCORM compliance or SCORM LMS software. You may not have any idea about it but that’s why we are here to explain.

This is, of course, a technical term that you as the LMS solution provider should be knowledgeable about. The acronym doesn’t involve a lot of complexities that our elaboration will reveal.

We will explain the term from both general and technical perspectives with examples besides giving a fresh perspective on why and how to make LMS SCORM compliant.

What Exactly is SCORM?

What Exactly is SCORM

The acronym SCORM basically stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model. By the Sharable Content Object, we understand the materials of online learning that are imparted to the learners.

They are basically the building blocks or development units of the learning management system or instructional learning program design.

An online learning curriculum will consist of various assets like HTML page, flash built quizzes, images, audio files, video files, etc.

These assets are organised in separate units or SCOs as per the instructional requirements of a topic.

The assets organised and aggregated across multiple units make the way for learning pathways for the entire course offered by a LMS.

The Reference Model representing the RM part of the acronym refers to the industry standard and ideal references for creating interactive instructional content for an LMS.

While the SCO part refers to the aggregation of the assets and building blocks of a Learning Management System (LMS), the RM part stands for the industry standard and reference for creating the content.

So in totality, the SCORM basically refers to the industry standard that every learning management system (LMS) should comply with for arranging and organising the learning assets into courseware.

How The SCORM Originated?

How The SCORM Originated

Way back in the decade of the 90s, with the proliferation of the web, a multitude of government departments and agencies participated in eLearning for training the employees across levels.

As an immediate effect, each agency and development built its own content and proprietary LMS solutions creating a chaotic scenario for online education with no standard practices to follow.

After this scenario continued for some years, in 1999 the Department of Defense directed by the then US President Clinton, developed an Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) research group.

The objective of this body was to come up with a set of content creation standards. The vision was to incorporate tools and content creation practices that can work in harmony through an LMS for the best learning outcome.

The guidelines that were created then by the ADL eventually became the primary basis for the SCORM compliance. Soon a comprehensive SCORM compliance checklist was followed by various online education apps.

ADL is continuing its operation and it looks after the ongoing iterations and value additions happening with SCORM. The SCORM LMS examples continued to increase and eventually became the developers-facto standard for online education.

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Is SCORM Making LMS Solutions Better?

Is SCORM Making LMS Solutions Better

Let’s make one thing loud and clear that SCORM has its downsides as well when we compare the set of standards with the fast-paced evolution of online education, learning technologies, and focus areas.

No wonder, in many LMS development companies, a more advanced standard is followed for creating LMS solutions instead of sticking to the old SCORM compliant LMS software practices.

On the other hand, remaining SCORM compliant at the bare minimum level is equally important. SCORM compliant practices are widely adapted by LMS solutions all over the world for creating beautiful, engaging, and thoroughly practical courses and curriculums.

Read More: The Must-Have Qualities Of Every LMS To Consider For Your Startups

Understanding The Scope of SCORM Compliance in LMS

Understanding The Scope of SCORM Compliance in LMS

A SCORM compliant system for LMS solutions deserves to be the topmost priority for the features of a learning platform. When a learning platform is SCORM compliant, learners can depend on the course to offer content and learning tools more reliable.

When it comes to SCORM compliance for LMS solutions, we found the below attributes.

First of all, most companies in the online learning space do not have faith in their current LMS.

According to a study, around 44% of companies engaged in online learning already want to change their present LMS. Many of these courses are still not fully SCORM compliant.

On the other hand, most learners are of the view that SCORM compliant courses happen to be more engaging for the learners. If today’s learners demand more interactions and features for learner engagement, SCORM just ensures this.

When it comes to building LMS solutions with any leading software development company, following SCORM guidelines is a must for many reasons.

From helping learning management systems (LMS) to incorporate more visual and interactive elements to encouraging learning evaluation through quizzes and interactions, modern LMS solutions powered by SCORM offer everything for an engaging learning experience.

LMS SCORM in Recent Years

LMS SCORM in Recent Years

In the past few years, the SCORM compliance guidelines and practices came with considerable value additions for Learning Management Systems (LMS).

Just in the year 2013, an API named Tin Can xAPI came into the picture that can keep track of informal learning from other sources outside of the LMS. This helped companies get a comprehensive view of the employees learning activities.

This latest LMS SCORM tool can track your learning through social media content, YouTube video, or other channels. Bringing your entire learning from different sources into the perspective is the actual value proposition of this LMS tool.


LMS solutions became very much part of the modern learning temperament, whether in university courses or in professional arenas. As the foundation of advanced compliance standards for online learning platforms, SCORM guidelines have been a close ally in the LMS path to success.