A Learning Management System, or LMS, is software made to deliver educational or training courses via web-based programming. To be SCORM compliant means that the LMS has been certified to meet a specific set of standards.
SCORM stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model and generally it will not be referenced unless one is in the market for an LMS. SCORM is a specification of the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative of the US Secretary of Defense. It was developed in 1999 after the government recognized the low interoperability of their then current systems.
The largest problem the government was having at that time was that all of its systems could not communicate with one another, lending to loss of data, corruption of educational and training files and other vulnerabilities. The development of SCORM brought them to a higher level where the programs not only communicate with each other but allow for smoother user interface. Less time is spent wrestling with the core programs and more time can be spent utilizing the LMS courses for what they were originally designed for: learning.
SCORM courses need to communicate with the LMS in order to pass along information about the learner’s training session, such as quiz scores, bookmarks, status, pages viewed, and more. In other words, SCORM practically ensures the least amount of loss of the information stored in the LMS for tracking and reporting services.
It is beneficial to have a SCORM compliant system for anyone seeking to integrate e-learning and training content with a Learning Management System. The expectation of interoperability is high and an LMS that is able to deliver any content is more useful to the student, the trainee, and the instructor than one that is set up for a single type of content. This flexibility ensures not only that the program will deliver what is promised on the label, but also ensures its use by a much greater variety of consumers and developers.
Ultimately, the largest benefit of SCORM certification in modern educational, training and even corporate institutions is the ability to rely on the chosen Learning Management System to deliver the content in an efficient, organized manner with the smallest amount of bugs.