Question: We created a bunch of online training years ago that we still want to use. We want to put this into our Learning Management System and our vendor is saying that we need to take our content and put it in a SCORM wrapper. What does that mean?
First off – you probably don’t need a SCORM wrapper
If you are curious about what exactly a SCORM wrapper is, then you probably heard that you need one. However, the truth is you probably don’t. If you really do need one, eLearning.net offers SCORM wrapper and consulting services to assist you. Either way, the fact that you are reading this article might be an indication that you could use helping hand getting your content loaded into your Learning Management System. If this sounds like you, then you have come to the right place! This article will give you a good overview, but we also invite you to call 866-771-4449 (between 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. pacific time) to speak to a real live person who will answer your questions for free!
Before you go down the custom SCORM wrapper path, you should know that there are excellent eLearning tools like Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline (the two largest players in the space) that make it fairly easy to import your content into them and then publish to SCORM automatically. We have these tools, too, and we can quickly and affordably SCORM-up your content no problem. Just Contact Us through the website or give us a phone call.
SCORM Wrapper Definition
A SCORM Wrapper is a set of files that make it possible for a SCORM-compliant Learning Management System (LMS) and any form of digital content(Word documents, PowerPoint, Flash, etc.) to communicate back and forth. One can apply a SCORM wrapper to nearly any form of digital content and then upload that content to an LMS for immediate learner access. Many also refer to this as a SCORM Authoring Tool. Let’s say you have a few video files that you want to have uploaded to an LMS. You want some way to navigate between them (e.g. a table of contents and next/back buttons, etc.) and you want to have a way to show that a learner has started and/or finished the content. A SCORM wrapper provides all of this for you. Standard features include:
- LMS Import: Simply upload the content in to the LMS and enjoy all the tracking feature described below
- Bookmarking: Return the user to the last page viewed
- Page Complete: Check off each page in the table of contents as complete
- Course Complete: Mark the course complete once learners have either viewed all of the content or passed a test
- Built-in Quiz: Support for true/false, multiple choice, multiple correct, and other question types. Question pooling and set course to pass/fail based on the score.
A “SCORM Wrapper” is a essentially a generic term for any set of (correctly programmed and formatted) files that are designed so that the user (usually a trainer/content developer) can load content files (Word, PowerPoint, Flash, PDF, etc.) into a Learning Management System in such a way that it is SCORM compliant and easily deployed to any SCORM compliant LMS. Generally, this “wrapper” can be thought of as a digital “table of contents” that provides a way in which a learner can navigate through various pages of a “course”, all the while recording learner page clicks and other “performance data” back into the LMS database so that the teachers or training professionals can run reports and analyze learner performance.
SCORM Wrapper Example
For example; a training developer can take PowerPoint files, Word documents, PDF files, HTML pages, and all other forms of digital content and combine all of this information into a single folder. A SCORM Wrapper can then be added so that the trainer can just upload digital file package into the LMS and provide learners with instant access to the resources contained therein. What’s more, the LMS can track which learners viewed which pages at what time, etc. The SCORM Wrapper is what presents to the learner a cohesive table of contents so that learners can navigate to whatever document, presentation, web page, PDF, or other files that have been grouped together.
At the heart of the SCORM Wrapper is a manifest file. Just as a airline manifest includes a list of all passengers and personnel listed on a plane, the SCORM manifiest file lists all of the files that make up a digital course. Also, just as an airplane manifest may include a listing of assigned seating, so too can the SCORM manifest file record the order in which the digital content is to be presented to the learner. Officially, this file is named imsmanifest.xml. In addition to the SCORM manifest file, the SCORM Wrapper usually also includes a user interface (often referred to as a player, shell, or player skin) which includes navigation features like next and back buttons, pause/play controls, and other items that the learner uses to navigate through a course.
If you use an eLearning authoring tool, all of these files are created for you automatically, so again, you probably don’t really need a SCORM-wrapper. What you really need is an eLearning expert who can help you establish a solid eLearning development strategy. And that’s why eLearning.net exists!