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Does Pathwright support SCORM?
Does Pathwright support SCORM?

A few thoughts on SCORM and whether or not Pathwright interacts with it

Paul Johnson avatar
Written by Paul Johnson
Updated over a week ago

I'll get straight to the point: Pathwright doesn't support SCORM and doesn't plan to.

Here's why: SCORM is an outdated protocol that's on its way out. While the ability to instantly transfer content from one LMS to another is a great concept, it's proved to be less than ideal in most cases.

Part of this is because SCROM objects are "dumb" – they're just bundles of content without much classification data attached to them so they don't transfer from one system to another easily unless those systems' content types are also generic and unstructured. This leads to generic, boring learning experiences (the opposite of how learning should be). There are classification options, but as with the entire SCORM specification, they're very complex and there are so many different versions since 2004 that it's pretty much impossible to be compliant. 

We've chosen not to focus development efforts on SCORM for four reasons:

  • SCORM content leads to generic, passive, and boring learning experiences.

  • SCORM is a legacy spec being gradually replaced by TinCan.

  • Pathwright already has a simple, but powerful, authoring tool for virtually any type of learning interaction built in. There's usually no need to embed or import something from another authoring tool.

  • There are security holes in some versions of SCORM that have not been resolved.

TinCan is a more modern and flexible approach to a part of what SCORM was trying to accomplish: tracking learning activity across different software systems (e.g., "Joe completed project 1"). For that purpose it's designed quite well and actually fits Pathwright's "Verb: Action" completion model we use for steps quite nicely. 

The part we haven't seen developed yet with TinCan is a method of instantly porting the actual content of a learning action (a reading, quiz, project, video, etc.) to another system. Since TinCan is still in the early stages of adoption it's hard to say how it will handle that issue, if at all.  

Depending on how things evolve, we're open to implement TinCan at some point for tracking learning activity, at minimum. However, we think it's currently too early to start right now. Once things solidify a little more, we'll be more comfortable dedicating development resources implementing that spec.

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