e-Learning, being a learning system by using information and communication technology (ICT), has pursued the standardization for a long time.

As a result, SCORM2004 (newest version of SCORM) designed and led by US governmental organization (ADL) has been adopted as the international de facto standard in the industry and now promoted by a number of governments, public entities and companies worldwide.

As a leading organization, ADL prepares various supporting programs for SCORM2004 which include registration of global SCORM Adopters(*) by using their test suite program.

Having cleared the tests, our company is registered as a SCORM Adopter. Based on our experience, we would like to make a brief introduction of SCORM2004 and explain how important it is to follow the global standard for your investment in ICT and e-learning.
In addition, we will also introduce practical information about xAPI (Tin Can API) which is said to be the next generation SCORM.

(*) SCORM Adopter is the registration by ADL, which is different from that in Japan.

Basic knowledge about xAPI (Tin Can API)

The xAPI is the specifications announced as the next generation SCORM, of which the official name is the Experience API. (abbreviated as xAPI, and commonly known as Tin Can API, the previous name)
While extending the scope to diversified devices, the xAPI stipulates the specifications of the LRS (Learning Record Store) that is essential for the use of Big Data.

* BISCUE e-Learning/m-Learning and BISCUE App are registered and listed in both the xAPI Adopters List of ADL (Advanced Distributed Learning) in the US and the Adopters of the Tin Can API on the globally recognized website for Tin Can API (xAPI).

Basics of SCORM

First, we will explain the basics of SCORM including the activities of ADL.

What is ADL in US?

ADL, Advanced Distributed Learning, was established within the US Department of Defense (DOD) in 1997 to standardize and modernize training and education management and delivery.

Being not a juridical entity nor company but an organization within DOD, ADL has been promoting the standardization of e-learning since its foundation.

What is SCORM?

SCORM is an abbreviation of Sharable Content Object Reference Model developed and promoted by ADL as the standard specifications for e-learning in the world.

E-learning usually consists of two different parts which are learning management system (LMS) and content for learning. One of the important specifications of SCORM is the standard API connecting these two components of e-learning, which is described in the summary of specifications below.

In Japan, a joint effort mainly between Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and non-profit organization e-Learning Consortium Japan has supported SCORM as the e-learning standard.

What is SCORM Adopter?

Even if defined, standard specifications do not prevail without setting up certain programs to motivate companies in the world to integrate the specifications into their systems. SCORM Adopter registration is one of the key programs of ADL for this purpose.

Companies should meet the following to be approved as the SCORM Adopter.

  1. Challenge the SCORM Test Suite provided by ADL and clear a number of trials in them.
  2. Clearance of all trials is testified by the logs generated by the Test Suite.
  3. By Applying to ADL with the log report generated, if approved, the organization will be registered as the SCORM Adopter

SCORM Adopter is the system intended to promote SCORM Conformant products ADL advocates over the world and not to endorse the products themselves.

SCORM2004 vs SCORM1.2

Since its initial release, SCORM has been developed and upgraded, and its versions have advanced as 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and finally 2004 in the year 2004.

SCORM2004 is the final version of SCORM announced as a major version up in January in 2004, and thereafter minor changes have followed.

The previous SCORM1.2 used to be the prevailing specifications in the marketplace. However, since SCORM2004 involves all features of SCORM1.2 with some updates and is announced as the completed product of ADL as the e-learning standard, the global industry leaders have been adopting and promoting it in the world marketplaces.

Please contact us for details.

SCORM Adopter approved by ADL

Shubiki Corporation is the first Japanese company approved as the SCORM Adopter by ADL in 2002 and since then, has been approved in their different schemes up to SCORM2004, which are as follows.

ADL Logo permitted for use by SCORM Adopters Source:Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative
(The logo is a registered trademark of ADL.)

Above all, BISCUE LMS II was honored to be the first SCORM2004 Adopter in the world in 2004, and we received plenty of words of praise from around the world including Korea which is a highly advanced nation of e-learning.

You can refer to the SCORM Adopters on ADL site. By selecting SCORM Version 2004 at the column of SCORM Version, you will see the list of companies registered as SCORM2004 Adopters.

This ADL Logo is permitted for use by SCORM Adopters.

Please contact us for details.

Merits of standardization are ...

As mentioned above, we have been actively involved in SCORM. However our thinking is that the standardization like SCORM work, only when contributing to end-users by its standardized features.

In this sense, we would like to introduce some of the benefits you can expect by applying it to your e-learning system.

What are the benefits of standardization?

As you are aware, standardization of the products is practiced in a wide range of industries and brings various benefits to the customers which include the following.

  • Being standardized, the interface for end-users becomes easy to use.
  • With standard specifications, product defects and problems decrease.
  • Volume production of the same specification reduces costs and prices.

What are the benefits of SCORM?

Now let's see the standardization by applying SCORM.

When starting to use a new software, you will need time to be accustomed to using its unique features. If the user interface is provided in common, you will definitely save time.

For example, you can continue using your learning management system (LMS) and study different courses prevailing in the market on it, if both the system and content are SCORM conformant.

The theory of volume production of the same specification applies to e-learning as well, thus enabling the industry to provide better products at reduced costs and prices.

Please contact us for details.

SCORM technical specifications in a nutshell

In this section, we will briefly explain the specifications of SCORM2004.

The whole specifications of SCORM2004 are provided in the following 4 books issued by ADL (approx. 800 pages in total), which you can freely download from the site of ADL.


This part is an overview of SCORM2004 and describes the following.

  • Relations between SCORM and other e-learning specifications such as IMS, IEEE and AICC.
  • Brief history of SCORM from the start-up.
  • Objectives of SCORM.
  • Organizations that support and promote SCORM in various aspects including technology.

Content Aggregation Model (CAM)

In training, instructors or managers use not only one single content but also various other content. In this sense, the specifications define how to aggregate all relevant content for the training purpose.

CAM describe the following specifications.

  • File to describe the structure of content. (imsmanifest.xml)
  • Meta-data files to describe the details of content. (Meta-data)

Run-Time Environment (RTE)

Run-Time Environment is a core function of the learning management system (LMS), which allows users to take online courses.

RTE defines the following specifications to implement e-learning in combination of LMS and content supplied by different vendors.

  • Application Programming Interface between LMS and content. (API)
  • Data models to be used to track learning records. (Data Model)

As you understand, if both LMS and content are conformant to SCORM, any combination between them will work as an e-learning system with different courses.

Sequencing and Navigation (SN)

When proceeding in training, you will consider how to plan an entire training program to achieve the objectives.

For example, you may think about the following course.

  • Let the learners challenge tests before starting. (Pretest)
  • Based on the results, you will adjust a course of training.
  • After training, let the learners retake exams for evaluation. (Posttest)

Instructional Design (ID) has been regarded as one of the effective tools for education. For integrating ID into e-learning, both sequencing of content and navigation of learners are to be programmed by trainers or managers for training.

Under such circumstances, newly developed SCORM2004 incorporates the functions of sequencing and navigation as the standard specifications for e-learning.

Of all above, 3 books of Overview, CAM and RTE were provided in the previous SCORM1.2, however, the books of SCORM2004 include largely amended and upgraded specifications.

Please contact us for details.

In pursuit of better services with standard specifications

We dare to say again that the standard specifications have real values when benefiting users. With this in mind, we think it essential to take the following approaches relating to the standardization.

  • Upgrade the specifications to let provide better user interface.
  • Minimize possible defects or troubles of services in the operation.
  • Maximize return on investment (ROI) of users by using SCORM.

We intend to continue our efforts to promote the standardization including SCORM2004 in the marketplaces including overseas for the benefits of all e-learning users.

Please contact us for details.

For inquiry about SCORM

After hearing about your present status and requirements in business, we will submit a proposal which includes how you can make best of SCORM conformant e-learning services.

No consulting fee will be charged until we make a contract. Please feel free to contact us.

  • Contact us by using this form.
  • We will respond to you via e-mail or phone and ask about your training requirements
  • Based on above, we will submit a proposal for your consideration.
  • When needed, we will provide trial IDs for testing our system.

We are waiting for your inquiry.

Last updated 02/18/2020 |