Learners are taking advantage of mobile learning more now than ever. If you have SCORM content, there’s a lot of confusing information to wade through on how SCORM can, and should, work on mobile devices. Does the mobile experience depend on the authoring tool used to create the content? How does your LMS affect SCORM delivery on mobile devices?
Since Skilljar recently released support for SCORM 1.2, we thought we’d take the opportunity to demystify the subject of SCORM on mobile. Skilljar’s software engineer and resident SCORM expert Morgan Marks shares her insight into key questions about delivering SCORM content on mobile devices.
Q&A with Morgan
What are the major factors that affect the SCORM experience on mobile devices?
Morgan: There are 2 major factors: 1) how the content is designed and 2) the LMS that hosts the content.
For a SCORM experience to be mobile friendly, both the SCORM content and the LMS must work well at small screen sizes. While a lot of legacy SCORM content was designed with desktop viewing in mind, most authoring tools provide options to better optimize for mobile viewing. And an LMS that utilizes a responsive design, like Skilljar for example, will scale appropriately to fit a wide variety of screens.
How is reporting affected?
Morgan: Cloud-hosted LMSs require an internet connection for SCORM content to communicate data like progress and quiz responses back to the LMS. As long as the mobile device has a data connection to both load and view the content, then reporting should work. If the device loses the data connection, then some learner interactions or status changes could be missed, though.
Any common myths that you want to clarify?
Morgan: One myth is that SCORM won’t work on mobile. If the SCORM content itself is designed and exported appropriately, and your LMS is mobile friendly, you can deliver a good mobile experience. And as long as the learner’s device can browse the web (most tablets and smartphones have modern, powerful web browsers), your LMS and SCORM content can communicate together as expected.
How does Flash impact your ability to use SCORM on mobile?
Morgan: Some SCORM content, especially legacy content, relies heavily on flash, and not all mobile devices support flash. Many authoring tools now have options to export in HTML (or HTML5) rather than Flash. Use HTML for maximum compatibility.
So many factors can affect the SCORM mobile experience. But it can be done, and it can be a good user experience. Once you’ve confirmed that your LMS can deliver an optimal mobile experience, Morgan recommends keeping these 3 key considerations in mind:
- For the best mobile experience, consider your authoring options. Some tools allow you to choose a fixed size for content, or scale to the size of the browser. Choose “scale to the size of the browser” for mobile.
- Export in HTML rather than Flash – this will help ensure your content can be played on all tablets and smartphones.
- Break up that 1-hour training video into smaller parts! If the data connection is slow, smaller content modules (smaller videos, PDF files, etc.) will load faster, ensure more accurate reporting, and create a better learner experience.
I hope you’ve found this article helpful.