LMS Question from a Newbie: SCORM vs HTML


I'm a new eLearning Manager  (first job in eLearning design) and I'm working to convince my new employer to buy Articulate 360 (I love it!). Currently, our LMS is not set up to accept SCORM files.  A little background: I work for a medical association and they offer continuing education, but they've mostly provided webinars and recorded PowerPoint presentations. I'm creating courses in the trial software to demo  and show the benefits of Articulate 360.

I wanted to preview a web object so I figured out how to upload it as an HTML file into the LMS. It functions perfectly.  So, what is the advantage (if any) to a SCORM file over an HTML file? I ask this because it will cost my employer more money to change our contract with the LMS provider, but I've only ever worked with SCORM files when I was an education project manager and so I don't understand the value in using HTML files for our courses. 

I appreciate any feedback or resources to more information.

Thank you!


4 Replies
Judy Nollet

Hi, Kandice,

Whether you publish an Articulate360 course for an LMS or just the web, the course still uses HTML5 (which is the protocol for displaying browser pages). 

Publishing for an LMS adds extra files to the course package that let it interact with the LMS to track the user's progress and score. This is often done with a version of SCORM (e.g., SCORM 1.2 or SCORM 2004). Articulate also allows for publishing to comply with AICC or Tin Can API, which are the other most typical LMS standards. So if your company's LMS accepts either of those, you could publish that way. 

It sounds like the LMS will function as a web server, so you could just load an Articulate 360 course  published for the web. Be aware, however, that this method wouldn't provide the same tracking abilities, because there won't be any way for the course to "talk" to the LMS. Thus, there'd be no proof that someone completed a course (which, I assume, would be needed for CME credit).  

I hope this helps. Good luck!

- Judy



Karl Muller

Hi Kandice,

It's really odd that your LMS does not accept SCORM files.

A SCORM course allows back and forth communication between the course and the LMS. The course sends student data to the LMS that can be saved, evaluated and reported on. The LMS receives data of a course in progress and allows students to resume where they left off during their last learning session. It allows course completion over multiple sessions.

An HTML export file does not communicate at all with the LMS. Each time a student takes a course, they will have to restart from the beginning. There is no bookmarking, no record of previous attempts, etc. No student progress data is stored in the LMS. All the LMS does is launch the course.

Kandice Kidd

Hi Judy,

Thank you so much for explaining to me. I know that this might be a question that my manager will ask. This is a really helpful! I tested a course in the LMS using the web export and I saw the functionality, but as I said I've only worked with SCORM files within the LMS. 



Kandice Kidd


It looks like that's a feature that can be added, but my employer never used it.  I have no clue why.  This is such a clear explanation! I appreciate you for explaining this because I want to be certain that I can help my manager understand the distinction between the two options. I've only worked with SCORM files in my previous job. I would really like to be able to convince them to take advantage of it.

Thank you again,