Since the beginning of SCORM, a question has remained: Will a SCORM course play as expected for learners? Whether you’re an experienced eLearning creator or a newbie, SCORM testing is essential in course development. This can be crucial if you have graded items, e.g., quizzes or interactions, in your module. Yes, the SCORM standard makes things easier, but it can be tricky to apply the right settings to receive the needed status in an LMS. Besides, you need to make sure that your SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) is error free.
In this article, we’ll shed some light on the best ways to test SCORM conformance. Read on to learn more.
What Does the SCORM Test Start With?
Testing of the SCORM package is basically all about getting the ‘Completion’ and ‘Success’ statuses. A clear understanding of the desired outcome when creating a SCORM course is half the battle. You first need to define which items you want to grade in terms of the objectives of your eLearning content. For example, will learners just need to view the module to the very end? Or will they also need to pass the quiz?
Besides, you need to choose the right SCORM version for your eLearning content. Will your course be published to SCORM 1.2 or SCORM 2004? Both of these formats have their pros and cons. The surefire approach is to select the one your LMS supports. However, we recommend selecting the latest version of the standard – SCORM 2004. One of the benefits of SCORM 2004 is that the suspend data limit has been increased to 64,000 characters, and this version also allows separate completion and success tracking.
The conformance of your SCORM package to the standard is no less important. When testing a content package, you can find errors in the debug log. In this case, you need to contact the provider of your authoring tool to check if their SCORM packages meet the technical requirements of the SCORM specifications.
This means you need a reliable tool that allows converting courses to SCORM. If you haven’t tried iSpring Suite yet, you can start your 14-day free trial now. iSpring Suite is a PowerPoint-based authoring tool that allows users to create interactive eLearning courses and turn them into SCORM packages with ease.
Configuring the settings of your SCORM content in iSpring Suite
To show the basics of testing SCORM conformant content, we built a course from regular PowerPoint slides with one interactive element – a quiz. We’re going to publish this project to SCORM 2004, 4th edition, and select the quiz as a single graded item. Here is how you can configure these settings:
1. Open your course and, under the iSpring Suite 11 tab in the ribbon, click on Publish.
2. Go to the LMS tab, select LMS profile – SCORM 2004, and click on Customize.
3. Make sure that the selected type is SCORM 2004 – 4th edition and click on Customize again.
4. Uncheck the Rate number of slides viewed checkbox and check Rate quizzes and role-plays. If you have several interactive objects, you can select which items you want to grade. Click on OK, and then Save.
According to the settings you adjust, a user needs to gain at least 80 points to pass the quiz. In this case, the ‘Success’ status will be recorded by the LMS as Passed. The ‘Completion’ status is based on the number of slides viewed. You can get more information about other LMS profile settings here.
Great! Once everything is set, we can publish our course and proceed with the testing!
A SCORM conformant LMS
If a learning management system supports SCORM, then it can be used for testing. You need to upload your course to an LMS and then make at least two attempts as a learner. This is perfect if you already have a trusted LMS and need to make sure that your SCORM courses are working on that specific platform. We encourage you to try iSpring Learn LMS, which supports both SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004.
Uploading a SCORM module to iSpring Learn
You can upload a course directly from your PowerPoint to iSpring Learn as .ismpkg file using iSpring Suite. However, we’re going to show how you can upload a SCORM file to iSpring Learn on the platform itself.
1. In the Admin Portal, go to the Learning Content tab and click on Upload to add your SCORM package there.
2. Select a module and click on Enroll users to enroll yourself in the course as a learner.
3. Enter your name in Search, select yourself, and click on Enroll.
4. If needed, you can set up the date and time of enrollment by clicking on the calendar icon in the Start date field and then clicking on Enroll.
5. Click on the profile icon in the upper-right corner and select User Portal.
6. You’ll see your module under the Enrollments tab. Click on it.
7. Click on Start. Your training will open in a separate tab in your browser.
8. Once you have completed the course, you need to close the tab; the page will refresh and the status will be displayed.
You need to execute at least two different scenarios: when a learner passes a quiz and when they fail. To do that, you can just copy your SCORM and assign each copy to yourself.
- It allows you to understand how the course works with
a specific platform.
- You can track an actual user scenario.
- A standalone version of iSpring Learn is available if you don’t want to upload your content to a third-party platform.
- You can’t see debug logs.
- You need to reenroll yourself in a course several times, which isn’t very convenient.
- Only a 30-day trial period is available for free.
SCORM Cloud is an online platform that’s very popular among both course creators and developers. The platform was built by Rustici Software, the experts on the SCORM standard. If you need to ensure that your course will play on any LMS that supports the standard, you need SCORM Cloud. If your course works on the platform, then it was built well.
How to upload a course to SCORM Cloud
SCORM Cloud has a free plan; so once you create an account, you can start testing your SCORM package immediately.
- Click on Add Content and select Import a SCORM, ACCI, xAPI, or cmi5 package.
2. Click on Browse to select your course on your local drive, and then on Import Course.
3. Once the course has been uploaded, click on Launch to start. Your course will open in a new browser window.
4. When the test is complete, close the window with the course, and the page will be refreshed automatically.
We passed this test, so we received a passed status, but we haven’t viewed slides to the very end, which is mandatory in SCORM 2004 when a course is created with iSpring Suite. That’s why we received an incomplete status.
You can click on Reset Progress and view the course as many times as you wish to perform different user scenarios.
You can click on Debug Log to see SCORM API, which is the exchange of data between your course and the platform. Here, you can find out if any errors occurred while testing the course.
- It’s a very convenient interface for testing online courses.
- Debug logs are available.
- It’s a reliable testing tool used by course developers worldwide.
- 100 MB of free space is available in a free account.
- Sometimes, a course is working on SCORM Cloud but doesn’t get the required status in an LMS.
- A debug log is quite complicated, and you need to spend a lot of time to find the errors.
What if we need to see how the communication between our SCORM conformant content and an LMS finds errors? For this purpose, we can use SCORM Tools, a cloud-based platform that supports both SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004. Here’s how you can test the course with SCORM Tools.
1. Create a free account and open SCORM Tools.
2. Click on Upload content and choose a SCORM file that’s on your local drive.
3. Select your course in the top window and in the bottom window as well; then click on Start SCORM Debugger.
4. Click on See Debugging and test it in real time.
5. You’ll see Completion and Success statuses on the right and the debug log below the window with your course.
- It lets you monitor internal project variables in real time and sort them.
- You can invite guests for remote testing and feedback, and create restore points.
- You can export the debug log to Excel.
- Once the testing is completed, the debug log will be erased.
- The free plan includes only 250 MB of free space and three SCORM files.
- It is a third-party platform.
If you’re looking for something completely different, you can try SCOverseer. This free tool is a bookmarklet that’s easy to install and allows you to track the status of your course and suspend data in real time.
- Follow this link and drag the SCOverseer logo to the bookmark bar in your browser.
- Upload your course to your LMS and launch it. Click on SCOverseer on the bookmark bar as well. It will now be launched in a separate window.
- To finish testing, you need to close your course; then the ‘Complete’ and ‘Success’ statuses will be updated.
- The bookmarklet works locally on your device.
- You can use it with different LMSs.
- It allows you to track suspended data.
- It doesn’t show a debug log.
- The bookmarklet hasn’t been updated for a long time.
- It requires a platform where you’ll be able to launch a course.
The Most Common Issues with SCORM modules
The status of your course isn’t updating
If you built a SCORM 1.2 or SCORM 2004 package but can’t get the needed status in your LMS, you can do the following:
1) Try to view your SCORM module in one of the recommended browsers: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari if you’re a Mac user.
2) Update your browser to the latest version and clean the cache.
3) Try to add the Close button. Sometimes, this simple step helps an LMS receive the data that’s needed to consider the SCORM course completed.
SCORM content isn’t resuming properly
This issue often occurs because of the suspend data limit in SCORM 1.2, which allows only 4,096 characters. So, if you have a lot of slides, interactions, and animations in your package, learners can reach the limit long before the last slide, and their continued progress won’t be saved.
In this case, you can try to disable the Save slide animation state feature in Player. This will help free up space for other information about the user’s progress. Or you can simply use SCORM 2004, 4th version, where the limit for suspending data was increased to 64,000 characters.
A course published to SCORM 2004 isn’t completing
For example, a learner has passed all quizzes, but the status of the course in your LMS is still ‘incomplete.’ The thing is that learners need to view all the slides; that’s the default setting for the SCORM 2004 package created with iSpring Suite and it cannot be changed.
If your course is published to SCORM 1.2 but is also receiving the ‘incomplete’ status, try to change the Report Completion settings to Passed/Incomplete or Complete/Failed. SCORM 1.2 can only pass one status, so you need to find out which type of report meets the settings of your LMS.
To Sum Up
We performed a brief review of the course sandboxes that you can use to test your eLearning content published in SCORM. As usual, we recommend choosing the course sandbox that works best with your objectives and preferred SCORM versions. If you’ve done some tests and still can’t get the right status for your SCORM content, we encourage you to contact the iSpring Support Team, and our eLearning geniuses will help you achieve the desired outcome.