From ElateWiki

The Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) was created by Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) of the Department of Defense (DoD) in 1997. The concept was to increase the efficiencies related to the creation, sharing and interchange of digital learning objects between data repositories, learning / course management systems, and other electronic systems.

This approach considers the life cycle uses of digital learning objects and strives to enhance their usage across systems and learning contexts.


The "ilities"

These SCORM standards and specifications were created to promote a set of so-called "iliites".

Interoperability: Works across platforms and systems

Affordability: Able to be created in efficient ways

Durability: Stability, a hedge against obsolescence (without requiring expensive redesign, reconfiguration, or re-recording; not requiring a lot of modifications when used in different digital systems

Reuabil Easy modification and use; adaptable to different educational or training situations; able to be used in multiple applications and contexts

Accessibility: Searchable and easily available; locatable

Manageability: The ease of handling and control

Scalability: The effectiveness with which the digital learning object may be used with a wide ranging number of different learner group sizes

Digital Learning Objects

A number of different models assume many of the ilities suggested by SCORM. These include the Cisco Systems Reusable Learning Object Model, and others.

Much debate has gone on about the optimal size of a digital learning object.

The more essential and foundational an asset, the more reusable it is to other contexts. The more integrated a digital learning object is to a particular learning context and to a learning / course management system, the less reusable it is in different contexts (McGee, 2006, p. 28). The more abstract learning is, the more re-usable it may also be.

Technological Aspects

SCORM has long moved from the purely Web environment. "Hard SCORM" connects this functionality to the "hard copy" of books and papers as they link to mobile devices and computerized systems. "Pocket SCORM" brings related functionalities to handheld devices for mobile and ubiquitous ("ubi") learning.


In 2007, it was announced that the public SCORM and that used by Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) and the Department of Defense (DoD) would split because of differing needs (the first for broad and mass adoption in learning and the latter for the protection of sensitive information). The Learning Education Training Systems Interoperability (LETSI) organization is moving forward with the next evolutions of public-side SCORM.

A more up-to-date version is the Tin Can API. More will be forthcoming shortly.

See Also

"Reusable Learning Object Strategy: Designing and Developing Learning Objects for Multiple Learning Approaches":

Reusable Learning: Granularity:

"Sharable Content Object Reference Model" (Wikipedia):

Learning Education Training Systems Interoperability (LETSI):


McGee, P. (2006). “Learning objects across the educational landscape: Designing for knowledge sharing and generation.” Educational Technology.