The Perfect SCORM: Is there an impact to elearning or not?

Guest Blogger PostSCORM is a standard. That is the bottom line. It is a way to move content across Course Management Systems (CMS) and Learning Management Systems (LMS). It is a way to package information and move it between various conformant platforms. Standards make our lives easier. Imagine going shopping for a queen size mattress and none are the same size. Standards are important, but if SCORM is just a standard, then is it important to learning?

Some elearning professionals believe that SCORM is mandatory for anyone who is developing elearning. On his blog, Tony Karrer espouses the importance of SCORM as a standard for elearning when creating any content for an LMS. Other elearning professionals vigorously defend the standard because of improved interoperability of content across learning systems. Despite the heavy protection from some SCORM camps, others in the blogosphere admit to a variety of SCORM issues such as the difficulties non-technical users, such as teachers and instructors encounter, when trying to implement this standard.

Despite the many opinions elearning professionals have, the question still remains: Is SCORM important to learning? In my opinion, SCORM has nothing to do with learning.  First, learning is personal, and individuals learn in a variety of ways. Just because your elearning content is SCORM compliant doesn’t change how the learner will understand it. All it does is guarantee your learner can view the same content on more than one SCORM compliant system. SCORM standards do not affect other traditional methods of learning. Second, SCORM is only important to elearning distribution, not learning.  Having standards in elearning can be good, but standards do not change how people learn. Third, SCORM has nothing to do with the quality of the instruction. If the instructional design is poor, all of the SCORM in the world won’t help one bit.

Do you believe SCORM has an impact on learning in general? Do you think all elearning should be SCORM compliant? I look forward to your comments.

Guest blogger: Stacy Clayton is an IT Specialist with over 8 years of experience in Higher Education. She is employed at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She manages websites, web conferencing, interactive development, and video services. Her interests are in creating elearning content and improving the way technology is used in the classroom at the university level.

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