We have initially established that SCORM is a technological phenomenon and intervention particularly in the field of E-Learning and corporate learning. SCORM is an abbreviation for Shareable Content Object Reference Model which ensures that all contents satisfy a global technical specification in functionality and features.
This article seeks to give a methodological approach on how to create a SCORM package. Technical know-how is very paramount in technology-related problems and processes. This article would give a clear exposition on the creation of a SCORM package. Identification is very necessary to distinguish between different tech components hence, it becomes imperative for us to define the term SCORM PACKAGE.
What is a SCORM package?
One delineating feature of technology that sets it apart from other fields of human endeavor is its cultivated ability to usher ease, reduce confusion and prevent instances of non-exclusivity. Before the existence of E-Learning software, only programmers could create SCORM packages using several HTML pages. This process was technical in its entirety hence the exclusion of people who were not tech-savvy.
The reverse is the case recently, Special E-learning software like iSpring Suite automatically generates the code for LMS interaction and packages all needed training materials into a SCORM package. The user is just saddled with the simple responsibility of uploading the course into a training system.
A SCORM package is a useful pool of files that have been grouped according to a predetermined order. With a SCORM package, you can share and upload useful, educational content without compromising its interactive prospects.
Features of a SCORM package
Every SCORM package must contain the following contents to qualify as one. It should be noted and taken into consideration that an absence of one cancels the other. They are all necessary and jointly sufficient. They include:
- XML manifest file (imsmanifest.xml): This file gives an overview of the entire package and its contents. The XML manifest file is deemed the heart of the SCORM content packaging. The XML manifest file contains several essential pieces ranging from assets which are a collection of files that make up a logical unit with an inherent potential of reusability to SCOs (Sharable Content Object) which are the instructional part of a course. The difference between these two sub-elements is that an SCO can communicate with the LMS while an asset is static in outlook when presented to the user.
Also, embedded in it is metadata which gives an accurate detail of every piece of the manifest. SCORM metadata is recorded in a well-defined format known as Learning Object Metadata (LOM).
- RESOURCE FILES: These are the parts that make up the course and its learning activities.
- SCHEMA/definition (XSD and DTD) files: Their sole function lies in referring to the manifest file.
How to create a SCORM package?
In creating a SCORM package different options have to be explored until you arrive at the one that meets your unique needs and peculiar circumstances. You can decide to create it with or without the use of an authoring tool or software like iSpring Suite.
- Use authoring tools to deliver appealing content
We are in an era where the quality of a product or service is not solely predicated on the price, overall value, or market popularity. Users are seeking beyond the ordinary. They want content or assets that would keep them hooked to their screens. Appealing and engaging content surely works its magic.
When using an excellent authoring tool, you don’t have to worry about the accompanying stress and technical know-how that comes with coding and programming. A good authoring tool would shoulder these burdens. The only role you would have to play may be the role of an instructional designer. They can transform your courses from visual content to HTML-compliant SCORM packages that can be uploaded straight to an LMS.
In your usage of an authoring tool to create a SCORM package, you have to consider whether you want deeper insights and analytics or you don’t, as this would streamline the options available to you.
- Generate the package on your own
Generating a SCORM content archive essentially revolves around the aforementioned manifest file. A large part of this is also predicated on whether you have multiple materials in a bundle. It’s easier with a single course. In doing this, you have to create a resource node for each separate module. Make sure that the identifier parameter matches the “identifierref” of the associated item node.
Type should be indicated as “web content” , which leads to the HTML page that opens up when a visitor logs in. The “scormtype” of the resource has to be set as “SCO” if this mentioned resource corresponds with the item to be launched. If this is not the case, it must be defined as “at”. “Assets” don’t need a “href” parameter.
It’s also advisable you have one file per item. The last step is closing the open nodes and ensuring that there is no discrepancy between the manifest file created by the reload editor and the one generated.
You can also decide to create a SCORM package from scratch without using an authoring tool. The steps to be taken include:
- Gather all potential materials like videos, images, audio that are central to the creation of your course. You can outline how you want these assets to interplay and be presented to the user.
- Create an HTML version of your courses. If you are considering using an LMS you have to ensure that your content has the potential to be displayed in a web browser. This part may seem technical but for ease, you should ensure that your course is structured in google docs so you will be able to use the File| Download| Webpage option to download the HTML version of the course.
- Adding the SCORM files is necessary for the LMS which requires you to create a bunch of text files that describe your course using SCORM terms. This is necessary so that the second SCORM compatible product in your LMS can process your course and readily provide learning stats upon activation of the course.
- Packaging the results to a ZIP folder is the last box to be ticked but this can only be done when you have a customized imsmanifest. When you add your HTML and storm files to a zip archive then you can upload the resulting file to your platform.
Creating a SCORM package can be rocket science if you don’t have hands-on experience in dealing with such issues. It is advisable in that instance to make use of a standard industry-relevant authoring tool like iSpring Suite to automate the entire process to prevent stress and confusion. However, if you are quite confident of your tech skills or you have an inclination towards tech you can carry out the process on your own.