What is AICC and SCORM?
By definition, SCORM is a standard in e-learning as well. It makes it possible to track and trace the results of your learners in an LMS. A course is SCORM-compliant when it meets the requirements of the standard set by the ADL. It makes it possible to create an e-learning course in any authoring environment, run it in any SCORM-compliant LMS, and report your learners’ results to that LMS.
AICC vs SCORM
Now that you have a better understanding of the definitions of SCORM and AICC, it’s time to look at what is AICC and SCORM in e-learning and their main differences. SCORM and AICC are learning technology interoperability standards that help e-learning courses and LMS communicate with each other. These standards resolved the vendor lock-in issue that forced LMSs to have their own proprietary content. Basically, without these standards, one had to use the vendor’s tool to create content that worked with that vendor’s LMS. To resolve this, SCORM and AICC were released to ensure that that content will work on any LMS.
Here are the differences between AICC and SCORM at a glance.
- Is easier to use and has a simpler process to upload e-learning courses to LMS (.zip file).
- Compliant content is easy to make and doesn’t require programming skills.
- Allows you to define the rules to pace and control the learner navigation with the course.
- Can handle tracking the basics like course completions, time spent in courses, and assessment scores.
- 1.3/2004 is the latest version and has a larger adoption in the industry despite its limitations.
- Offers LMS-only deployment.
- Uses HTTP messages to communicate with an LMS which enables better data security.
- Has a multi-step process to upload a course to the LMS.
- Is complex and not straightforward to authors without a programming background.
- Is limited when it comes to metrics and tracking.
- Has become an outdated standard and is losing support from authoring tools.
- Offers flexible deployment.
Benefits of making your e-learning SCORM and AICC compliant
Making your learning content both SCORM and AICC compliant ensures you can easily transfer it to any LMS that complies with these standards. And in that case, you save yourself time and costs by not having to create your content from scratch all over again just to use a different LMS.
Still, keep in mind that SCORM is much more common in e-learning today than AICC. Exporting your content as a SCORM package yields a .zip file, making it easier to upload it to an LMS in one go. AICC, on the other hand, uploads in multiple steps. Finally, making your content SCORM-compliant also enables the added benefit of being able to track your learners’ results in an LMS, allowing you to gain insight into their progress and make strategic adjustments to your content as needed.
Is AICC still relevant for e-learning?
AICC’s guidelines and regulations formed the basis for SCORM and all other e-learning specifications that came after it. Specifications like xAPI and cmi5 include features that developers could never have imagined 30 years ago. So, is AICC still relevant in today’s e-learning world? It certainly is. Although officially disbanded in 2014, AICC’s legacy survives. Many major organizations still rely on AICC-compliant technologies to drive their e-learning activities. Although SCORM, xAPI, and others have continued to improve standards, let’s definitely spare a thought and a quick thank you to all those early pioneers who introduced AICC to the e-learning industry.