Producing e-learning materials can be an easy task for the experts, but a very challenging task to those without experience. For many of those new to the process, producing this material is all about using a word processor and devising materials that people can use. However, this is not the case these days, since many people are using a variety of gadgets to access materials.
With increase in the use of technology, the number of stakeholders in the e-learning sector is on the rise. Some of the stakeholders in this area are: education institutions, such as universities and colleges, government institutions, businesses and students.
The view of the number of stakeholders in the e-learning sector tells us it is important to note that learning materials should be of a particular standard. This is where SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) becomes involved. SCORM is simply a set of standards that guides programmers on how to devise learning materials that will be compatible with other software being used for e-learning. There are a number of key advantages to be gained from using SCORM during course production.
A good way to explain this is to give a simple example. When you purchase a DVD movie, it will play regardless of the type of DVD device that you use. The same applies to a USB flash disk: it will always work no matter what type of computer you use. In the same way, when you develop your e-learning materials using SCORM, they will be accessible to all end-users. If you were to produce materials in, for example, LMS format, some users would not be able to access it. Therefore, since SCORM integrates these materials into all platforms, using it will be an easy and time-saving process, both for the end-user and for the developer. The process is also a cost-saving, since it is applied seamlessly as the material is being developed.
To date, four versions of SCORM have been developed. These are: SCORM version 1.1, 1.2, 2004 and Tin Cap API. It was developed by the Department of Defence (DOD) to save the government time and money in terms of producing training materials. However, as more institutions started embracing this technology, more advantages were discovered. Reusability was found to be an indirect advantage for the use of SCORM in producing learning materials. With regard to this, it is important to understand that SCORM-compliant materials can be incorporated in multiple applications and that there are many contexts in which they can easily be used.
Producing learning materials, especially for a large-scale audience, can be a time-consuming activity. Even more so when the materials produced are targeted for different platforms. Converting the documents to comply with all the other platforms can take many hours. However, when using SCORM, this is not the case. This is because the materials are produced in a standard format. Accessing the materials is also time-saving, as they can all be accessed from one remote location. In addition, the materials can be delivered to multiple locations seamlessly. Therefore it is very important for institutions to consider using technology to simplify their course production process. When using SCORM, it is possible to save a great deal of money and time, especially if course materials are being developed on a large scale.