SCORM 2004, 4th Edition

Still using SCORM? Are you using the latest version? You should; here’s why…


Still using SCORM? Yes? Are you using the latest version?

You should; here’s why…

SCORM was last updated in March 2009 with the 4th edition (

It is the version that best supports:

  • Complex Sequencing – If this… then… else… For example, if student fails question, then navigate back to content, else navigate to next question.
  • Larger Courses – Content has 100+ slides that are chapters within the entire course.
  • Bookmarking – Student leaves training and returns to their last viewed page (perhaps several times).

Head Banging With SCORM 1.2The most common issues we see with SCORM 1.2 content are:

  • It fails to re-start at the correct location.
  • It fails to send completion to VTA even though the student completed the course.

The Nitty Gritty

These issues (usually) occur because the database field for bookmarking was maxed out (so it can’t continue to track progress).

cmi.suspend_data Size DifferenceSCORM bookmarking data is held in a field called cmi.suspend_data.

How does the field differ between SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004?

  • In 1.2, the field is limited to 4096 characters.
  • In 2004, the field was expanded to 64000 characters (and the 4th edition allows even more).


eLearning Specification PyramidWant to solve all your content issues? Use cmi5.

If you can’t use cmi5, use xAPI.

If you can’t use cmi5 or xAPI, use SCORM 2004, 4th edition.

Selecting SCORM 2004, 4th edition is your best SCORM option if you can use it, but if you can’t, use as modern of a version of SCORM as possible – and avoid 1.2 if you can.

Lots of content development tools will allow you to select SCORM 2004, 4th edition. If yours does not, consider getting another tool. The money you saved buying the limited (or outdated) tool will be wasted chasing completion data later.

If you are working with a content vendor that can only publish SCORM 1.2, consider getting a new vendor.

Does SCORM 1.2 and/or AICC still have a place in eLearning?

Yes. When you have legacy courses that still work and the content doesn’t really change, save the money and drive them into the ground.

Did you know RISC can create and/or convert simple Power Point training into cmi5, xAPI, SCORM 2004 (4th edition) or AICC modules at a cost less than what you would expect?

We can. Call us at 281-480-7910.

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Marc Letendre on Linkedin
Marc Letendre
eLearning professional with over 20 years experience positively impacting corporate productivity through skillful management of staff development programs and implementation of RISC LMS solutions. Marc attained an M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Springfield College in 2005 and is reputable for working with groups to identify issues and create tools, processes or training solutions to achieve and exceed measurable objectives.