What Is The Difference Between AICC And SCORM Compliant?

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What Is The Difference Between AICC And SCORM Compliant?

While e-learning is relatively new, it seems the AICC vs. SCORM debate is already an age-old question. Both protocols have their place in content creation and delivery. Below are some of the key differences between the two and some guidelines about which to use and when.

Definitions, pros and cons

The Aviation Industry CBT Committee (AICC) standard uses the HTTP AICC Communication Protocol (HACP) to foster communication between an existing learning management system (LMS) and the developed course content. The HACP methodology is rather straightforward, using an HTML form to transmit information to and from the LMS. AICC was first developed in 1993 for CD-ROM delivery methods, and in 1998 was adapted for web-based e-learning.

  • Pro: Content can be stored on a separate server, allowing for the secure transfer of information using HTTPS protocol.
  • Con: Data structure is complicated. Multiple functions are necessary to remove information that's stored on the single text string returned by the server.
  • Con: Content developers need to write all functions needed for communication., due to AICC-compliant LMSs not needing to support all features.

Conversely, the Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) uses a JavaScript API (Application Programming Interface) to communicate information between the course content and the LMS. The model was developed by Advanced Distributed Learning, a Department of Defense-sponsored research group tasked with creating e-learning training material standards. Using the JavaScript API, a developer can create content that is sent to and receive information from the LMS.

  • Pro: A standardized function set is used to send and retrieve information.
  • Con: Issues exist with scripting across browsers. Both the content and the LMS must reside on the same server.

Industry usage

SCORM is the predominantly used method in the e-learning industry today. Ease of use is often cited as the most significant advantage regarding SCORM, which can be as simple as uploading a .zip file to a server. SCORM-compliant e-learning has several other advantages as well. It is best used when developers need to:

  • Use an LMS both to deliver and manage required learning content
  • Create an extensive library of learning objects
  • Design content that could be re-used in other media or contexts
  • Design learning content that needs to also track learner performance

While SCORM does provide flexibility and function, AICC is particularly advantageous when you need to send information securely over HTTP. SCORM's use of JavaScript leaves it less secure and more prone to cheating.


Key Consideration:
Sharepoint, Learning

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