Understanding the differences between SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004

If you’re choosing to release your course as a SCORM package, you have the option to choose from two different SCORM versions: SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004.

Each version has slight differences in the way they track a learner's success which you may want to consider before exporting. 


1. Success in SCORM

2. How do SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004 measure success?

3. Which SCORM version should I choose?


Success in SCORM

In order to understand the differences between the two SCORM types, it's necessary to know that the SCORM standard uses two verbs to define a learner’s success. 

These verbs are Complete and Passed.

A learner can achieve these depending on the actions they’ve taken in the course.

The Complete verb

Completing pages and interactions contributes towards progress which is then used to determine whether or not the learner achieves the Complete status. Progress is measured in percentages with each completed page contributing to that percentage.

Once the learner has reached the completion rate (minimum progress percentage required) defined in the course, they will receive a Complete status which will then be reported to their LMS.

The Passed verb

Answering questions contributes to a learner’s score. This is used to determine whether or not the learner achieves the Passed status.

The total score is divided by the number of questions in a course. Each correct answer the learner gives contributes towards their score. When the user has reached the pass rate (minimum score required), they will achieve a Passed status. This is reported to their LMS.


How do SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004 measure success?


SCORM 1.2 is the most widely adopted version of SCORM and it is considered the industry standard. You’ll find that most LMSs will be able to support SCORM packages created in this version.

Packages exported in SCORM 1.2 format will only be able to report on one of the two success verbs. It cannot report both simultaneously.

SCORM 1.2 reporting Complete

A SCORM 1.2 course reporting Complete will report only the learner’s progress to the LMS and use their progress percentage to determine whether they’ve been successful.

A learner who is successful will receive the Complete success verb.

SCORM 1.2 reporting Passed

A SCORM 1.2 course reporting Passed will use the learner’s score to determine their success instead of their progress.

A learner who is successful will receive the Passed success verb.


SCORM 2004

SCORM 2004 is the current version of SCORM. Elucidat Create Projects are exported using the SCORM 2004 4th Edition. While this version has been also widely adopted, it isn’t as broadly compatible as SCORM 1.2.

As a result, you may want to check with your LMS that it supports SCORM 2004 4th Edition before you create a course using this version.

SCORM 2004 differs from SCORM 1.2 in that it is able to report both the Completed and Passed success verbs simultaneously. This means that you do not have to choose which definition of success you’d prefer to use for your course. 

This does mean, however, that it is possible for a learner to achieve either success verb independently of the other, for example the learner may achieve completion, while not passing the course, or vice versa. 


Which SCORM version should I choose?

You may find that you require the use of different SCORM versions depending on your needs.

SCORM 1.2 Complete

This mode would be suited more to courses where the learner is required to complete pages and interactions in order to learn.

There may be questions in the course but they are designed more to help a learner internalize a topic or subject rather than formally test them.

SCORM 1.2 Passed

You would typically use this SCORM version if you have a course where the primary definition of success is the learner's score rather than completing every page and interaction. For example, if you needed the learner to:

  • Achieve a certain score in order to prove their knowledge
  • Pass a set of questions for compliance training.

SCORM 2004

This is useful for courses where tracking both the learner’s progress and their score is equally important. 

However, this also means that it is also possible to achieve one of the success verbs without the other. For example, a learner can achieve Completed but not Passed if they have achieved a high enough progress percentage but not a high enough score. This can be a useful indicator but for courses that don’t have scored questions or where the learner’s progress isn’t important, you may not need to track both. In this case, SCORM 1.2 might be more appropriate.

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