How to Create a SCORM 1.2-Conformant Course

by Jack Gerard

The Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) is an educational data format that was developed as a collaboration among government, educational and industrial organizations. The goal of SCORM is to create a uniform coursework structuring format that allows all SCORM-conformant courses to function properly in SCORM learning-management systems. Though a newer version of the SCORM structuring format exists, as of the date of publication, SCORM 1.2 remains the most widely-used version. SCORM 1.2 is made up of two components: the Run-Time Environment that controls the behavior of data loaded into the learning management system, and the Content Aggregation Model that specifies how data is packaged.


Create a new directory folder for your SCORM coursework. This folder can be placed on your Desktop, in your computer's root directory or in any other location where it can be easily accessed. Double-click the folder to open it.


Create additional folders within your primary course folder, naming them "SCO 1", "SCO 2" and similar names until you have one folder for each specific lesson within the course. These "SCO" folders will contain all of the content for the Sharable Content Objects that SCORM uses, with each folder representing an individual lesson.


Open "SCO 1" and create four new folders inside of it. Name your folders "HTML," "images," "jscript" and "media." Repeat this process in your other "SCO" folders until each has four named folders within it. These folders will contain all of the data for your lessons, organized in a way that SCORM learning-management systems can recognize.


Download and install the SCORM 1.2 API from the Advanced Distributed Learning website; this ensures that you are using the latest version of the API. Place the "APIWrapper.js" file in the "jscript" folder in each of your "SCO" folders so that it is accessible to every lesson.


Create the content for your lessons using HTML. Place the line "script src = "jscript/APIWrapper.js"" (without the outside quotes) between the head tags of each HTML page. Place any JavaScript files, images or media files in the appropriate folders for the lesson.


Place "onload="LMSInitialize()"" in the body tag of your first lesson and "onUnload="LMSFinish()"" in the body tag of your last lesson (both without the outside quotes); this initializes and closes communication with the learning-management system at the appropriate places in the lessons.


Download "imsmanifest.xml" from the Advanced Distributed Learning website and open it in a text editor; this is a sample manifest file for a SCORM 1.2 course. Edit the fields as necessary to indicate the location of the files for all of the material for your course and place it in the original directory folder you created.


Create a .zip archive file containing your manifest file and all of your "SCO" folders. This archive can now be distributed and loaded into learning-management systems that are SCORM 1.2-compatible.


  • close Make sure that you test your SCORM content on the delivery LMS. Just because you pass the conformance test does not necessarily mean that our course will run smoothly on the LMS.

Items you will need

About the Author

Born in West Virginia, Jack Gerard now lives in Kentucky. A writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience, he has written both articles and poetry for publication in magazines and online. A former nationally ranked sport fencer, Gerard also spent several years as a fencing coach and trainer.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images