Online Learning Management Systems – Which LMS format works best?

Beakon’s online learning management system (aka e-Learning system) is a simple and effective way to deliver online learning. We are often asked if our e-Learning platform is SCORM compliant; the answer is yes, but it’s easy to overlook the alternatives to SCORM formatted courses.

What Is SCORM?

The US Department of Defence developed an online learning management system in the 1990s. Not wanting to do things by half-measures, they created an advanced content management system to deliver engaging and interactive content for learning.

SCORM courses may include interactive quizzes, videos, images and slide shows; using interactive and multi-media learning makes it easier to understand and remember learning outcomes. Many e-Learning platforms are configured to deploy SCORM courses; linked to its flexibility, this often makes SCORM the format of choice for online learning management systems.

SCORM has seen several updates, SCORM 1.2 being the current version.

To SCORM or not to SCORM?

SCORM is very good for building engaging courses, but it does have some downsides that should be considered:

1) SCORM courses can be very large, making it more difficult to download over a slow internet connection.

2) SCORM doesn’t always display correctly on tablets or smartphones.

3) SCORM courses are time consuming and complex to build.

4) They’re equally time consuming to modify or change.

At Beakon, we understand how good SCORM courses can be, but appreciate that it can be quite time and cost intensive to build. For this reason, we’ve built a simple online course builder inside Beakon using a simple WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)  system.

Beakon’s course builder can deploy videos, pdf files, images, and text quickly and simply in a lightweight format.

Many Beakon clients use a mix of SCORM courses and simple courses built inside Beakon to give flexibility and agility in building and managing courses for effective online learning.

Things to consider

When deciding on an online learning format, consider who will use the course, how often it will be changed or modified, and how much money and time you can invest in creating the course.

If you want simple and lightweight, WYSIWYG is probably best, and for more complex and engaging courses, SCORM is still the best option.

We’re great believers in giving our users diverse tools to build and deploy learning – no two organisations have exactly the same requirements, and our experience is that you know your audience better than anybody else.

Find out more

To see how a WYSIWYG content-builder works (or if you’ve any questions about which online learning management system format will best suit your requirements, contact us today!