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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."
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.
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.
This was the first version that was widely used. It is still widely used and is supported by most Learning Management Systems.
This is the current version. It is based on new standards for API and content object-to-runtime environment communication, with many ambiguities of previous versions resolved. Includes ability to specify adaptive sequencing of activities that use the content objects. Includes ability to share and use information about the success status for multiple learning objectives or competencies across content objects and across courses for the same learner within the same learning management system. A more robust test suite helps ensure good interoperability.
The Tin Can API which was finalized into version 1.0 on April 2013 and changed name to "Experience API" (xAPI) and "Next Generation SCORM." The Tin Can API solves many of the problems inherent with older versions of SCORM. Just like SCORM, ADL is the steward of the Tin Can API. AICC with their CMI-5 will be using xAPI as their transport standard.
The Tin Can API is a web service that allows software clients to read and write experiential data in the form of “statement” objects. In their simplest form, statements are in the form of “I did this”, or more generally “actor verb object”. More complex statement forms can be used. There is also a built-in query API to help filter recorded statements, and a state API that allows for a sort of “scratch space” for consuming applications. Tin Can API statements are stored in a data store called a Learning Record Store, which can exist on its own or within a Learning Management System.