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What Are The Real Elearning Standards?

In the eLearning field, we usually come across SCORM/AICC as the standards to which the courseware should adhere to. But how far are these standards learner-centric? Are these standards impeding learning?

I found that these standards, being of technical nature (LMS/ LCMS compatibility), do not add anything to the learner. On the other hand, sometimes I found that breaking the course into SCOs or not able to create links between SCOs can be a little bothersome.

On the other hand, I found the lesser talked about standards like ASTD’s E-Learning Courseware Certification Standards and the standards used by Michigan Virtual University in producing specifications for, and evaluating, e-learning not only learner-centric but also very comprehensive. (I am, of course, not suggesting that these standards are in any way substitutes for SCORM/ AICC)

ASTD’s E-Learning Courseware Certification Standards are grouped into four principal categories to reflect the various elements of courseware design.

  1. Interface Standards address the relationship between the learner and the courseware itself. There are five interface standards.
  2. Compatibility Standards address the relationship between the courseware, the Operating system and related applications. There are four compatibility standards.
  3. Production Quality Standards examine the quality of the courseware’s text, graphics, grammar, and visual presentation. There are two production quality standards.
  4. Instructional Design Standards examine the relationship between the course purpose, objectives, instructional content, instructional methods, and the learner.

CommLab has been one of the earliest companies in the e-learning space to adopt these standards. There were times when these standards were the deciding factor in winning a project for us.

I am, of course, not suggesting that these standards are a substitute to SCORM/ AICC but that they add value to the course. I will be interested to learn about your views on this subject. Thank you for reading my blog.

RK Prasad


The eLearning Champion’s Guide to Master Design, Delivery, and Evaluation