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SCORM packages as module content

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When the SCORM LTI tool used in Canvas was built, the focus was on using SCORM packages for assessment with the marks in the SCORM assessment being passed back to the Canvas gradebook. However, there are lots of instances where SCORM packages are created just for the purpose of showing content to students and not for assessment (or for more formative work where grades aren't necessary to be recorded in Canvas).


Where SCORM is content only, not an assessment, using the LTI tool results in a column being created in the gradebook, even if you update the assignment to be an ungraded assignment (it is still an assignment). The New gradebook can help with this as you can put those in an assignment group with a 0% weighting and then filter your gradebook by assignment group to reduce the clutter. However, this is still not ideal as the content is not an actual assignment.


There is another way!


You can embed the content itself directly as a module item in your course. Here's how you go about doing this:


1. You need to make sure you export your SCORM package in HTML5 format from your SCORM authoring tool. This will produce a ZIP file that contains your SCORM package.


2. Create a folder in your course Files and upload the zip file into that folder by selecting "Expand it"


Create a folder in the course Files for your SCORM package


Click on "Expand it"


3. Add a module item by pressing the "+" symbol for that module and select "File" as the item type


Add a module item

Select "File" as the item type

4. Find the .htm or .html file in the folder you created in step 2 - in my case it was called start_here.htm


Select the HTML file from the SCORM package folder you created

5. I like to then edit the module item name so that it's not just the name of the HTML file


Edit the module item name


Item name edit screen


You now have a SCORM item in your module sequence and not in your gradebook!


SCORM content in a module


I should mention that my colleague, Amelia Hayson, created a great guide on embedding SCORM content into a page. There's a little more involved to do that, but that is also possible. I like adding it as a module item as it means that it is not surrounded by other content and makes it easier to have it as a separate chunk of content so as to avoid the "scroll of death".


Also, another colleague, Daniel Gilogley, deserves a big thanks for his massive contribution to the genesis of this article. He's great!


Lastly, I can't finish this without mentioning that SCORM is an older technology and that it is a standard that has not been updated for over a decade. If you have the opportunity to use other tools for creating content, I'd recommend doing so. H5P is a standards based content creation tool that a lot of Canvas users are enjoying using creating engaging, responsive content. I'd recommend checking it out as a starting point.


Have fun!

Adventurer II

Agree wholeheartedly with your comments on H5P.

Some examples to look at here - H5P - Free Interactive Content Creation with HTML5

Learner II

Thanks, pmillar 

Where is Canvas in relation to maintaining SCORM as a useable feature, or providing an alternative?

Could you provide an update on the following please:

  • Will SCORM in Canvas be updated/improved features?
  • Will Canvas support xAPI? 
    • xAPI has proved to return more meaningful data on the user experience and reporting, including multiple attempts etc.
  • Where is Canvas with xAPI as a feature in addition to or instead of SCORM?
  • When I have been adding SCORM/HTML files into Canvas files and iframe into Canvas item the item does not display on many mobile devices (iPad/Phones - Canvas Support says does not support iframe of html on mobile devices)
    • the only workaround I have found to this is to host the file on a separate web server and link or iframe
    • this is ok, however, requires content to be hosted elsewhere and in 'another place' and no result to gradebook if desired
  • h5p is suitable for selected cohorts and discourages users using the free site to embed into live courses (not value for $ for us to purchase due to courses/cohorts, I'm designing/working with there is only a handful of features would be ideal for). For VET we require more flexibility and tools e.g. Articulate, are ideal to create anything you can pretty much image.