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Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) is a collection of standards and specifications for web-based e-learning. It defines communications between client side content and a host system called the run-time environment, which is commonly supported by a learning management system. SCORM also defines how content may be packaged into a transferable ZIP file called "Package Interchange Format".[1]

SCORM is a specification of the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative, which comes out of the Office of the United States Secretary of Defense.

SCORM 2004 introduced a complex idea called sequencing, which is a set of rules that specifies the order in which a learner may experience content objects. In simple terms, they constrain a learner to a fixed set of paths through the training material, permit the learner to "bookmark" their progress when taking breaks, and assure the acceptability of test scores achieved by the learner. The standard uses XML, and it is based on the results of work done by AICC, IMS Global, IEEE, and Ariadne.



A testing initiative was started in 1996. In December 2003, the US Department of Defense mandated that all its e-learning purchases must comply with SCORM standards. By May 2010, ADL had validated 301 SCORM-certified products [2] while 329 products were compliant [3].

SCORM versions


SCORM 1.1 is the first production version. It used a Course Structure Format XML file based on the AICC specifications to describe content structure, but lacked a robust packaging manifest and support for metadata. Quickly abandoned in favor of SCORM 1.2.

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