Why SCORM is bad for elearning

This post is in regards to the recent $2 billion dollars that the US gov’t has set aside for the creation of Open Educational Resources. A significant shot in the arm for OER’s, except for on small glitch – the content has to be developed to be SCORM compliant. This post rips apart how that little gotcha puts the whole idea of resuability at risk. A good trashing of the SCORM standard. It should be noted that the trashing is being done by a person who is involved in creating a competing standard, but these remain valid concerns with SCORM. But really, what about just developing to web standards and be done with it?

Amplify’d from www.imsglobal.org
1. SCORM is severely outdated and narrow in scope. The model upon which it is based is 15 years old and very focused on one specific need: self-paced computer-based training (CBT). It is also old in terms of the technology used to implement it. It is not web friendly. It was even kind of outdated when it first came into the market. Now it is ancient.
. SCORM does not provide reliable interoperability or reuse. SCORM is very complex and notorious for providing inconsistent interoperability even among products achieving the SCORM certification.
3. SCORM was not designed for and has NOT typically been used for cohort-based educational courses with teacher and professors involved.
4. SCORM is especially bad for customizing and remixing by regular teachers and professors. SCORM objects are generally a “black box.” They require complex authoring tools to create and edit SCORM content. Therefore, remixing and republishing by the users is extremely complex
5. SCORM has no concept of or support for assessment. At best SCORM can be set up to provide short quizzes or individual questions that are a black box.
6. SCORM has no concept of protecting access to content with license codes or any other protection mechanism.
7. SCORM has no concept of or support for existing in a wider Information Technology (IT) infrastructure in which there are administrative student systems. This means that SCORM does not think through how access to various content and resources is restricted to certain individuals, including cohorts of students for collaborative activities and courses, or how data gathered from the learning is reported to administrative systems
it is very difficult to find even a single higher education course that has been reused as a result of SCORM
So, why is SCORM a poor fit for education? SCORM may be part of the solution, but at best it only addresses 10% of the requirements, and unfortunately based on very outdated technology.
Social learning, collaborative learning? These were never even contemplated with SCORM.

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