Working with SCOs

Dec 10, 2014

I am a sco newbie and am hoping someone can help jump start my learning curve.


I created two scos. Then I created a free account on scormcloud and uploaded them. The both appear on the side bar page in the cloud. When I click the first sco, it loads my storyline 2 and runs. When I click the last button in that course, it shoulds advance me to my my transition "glue" sco, but it doesn't.


I think my understanding and therefore my sco logic is messed up somewhere along the way.


So, I have a couple of questions for you all..


1. First, do I need to use a tool like captivate for their sco "package" abilities or does storyline offer the same packaging options for building scos?


2. Do I need to make "glue" scos that contain the transition content from one sco to the next?


3. Now that I have a bunch of LO sco's and glue, how do I assemble them  so they run in the proper sequence? Do I combine them in the proper sequence in the sco packager from Captivate/Storyline/Dreamweaver (like adding pdf files to an existing pdf and saving)? And then, upload the assembled package to stormcloud and then scos will play out my course in the sequence the scos were added to the package?


4. Is building sco's & glue for re usability in eLearning really being used in practice today? It seems a good approach for reuse and for breaking apart  3 hr courses, but I haven't found many people in my next of the woods who know anything about it. Are sco's ready for primetime?


5. For those of you who do use sco's, what LMS's are you using? Likes, dislikes... advice? Anybody using Tin Can API?


Thank you in advance!


5 Replies
Andrew Downes


As Ashley has already tackled your questions around how to do multi-SCOs in Articulate, I'm going to jump in and take on question 4 and 5b!

Your best source of information about practice is the SCORM stats page. As you can see, for SCORM 1.2 (the most commonly used version) nearly 90% of courses we see are single SCO. I think the reason for this is that, as you've experienced, single SCO courses are simpler to create. We still see content being broken up into sections but a lot of the time this is handled with an internal menu and all of the content sits within the same course. That's probably not what SCORM's creators originally envisaged, but it's what's happening in practice in a lot of cases today. 

We recognised this in development of the Tin Can API specification and designed it so the content has control of links between 'APs' (the new word for SCO - it hasn't really caught on to be honest). In theory, you should be able to launch you second module directly from the first without returning to the LMS.

In practice, I don't know if Storyline includes a feature to let you do this easily and you may need to do some clever things with JavaScript to get it working. It's also possible that you could hit difficulties with security features of your LRS if it's not expecting the learner to be in the second AP.

If you're interested in going down the Tin Can route, let me know and I'm more than happy to help you with any specific issues you run into on the way. 


Karen Looney

Thank you Andrew!

I have a client that wants to use a rapid tool like Storyline for development but is opting for developing training in html to re-use/re-purpose content and to reduce bandwidth delivery. I was hoping to use Storyline and multi-scos, but based on your feedback, it sounds like too much risk/unknown/uncertainty for developing multi-scos in production mode on my client's dime.

Does Storyline have any capabilities of working with dynamic content (cms/database, XML )?

I am definitely interested in learning how to use Tin Can and I will reach back out if/when my projects lean in that direction.
Any chance you might put together a "small" Tin Can example for us in the near future?

Andrew Downes

No problem! 

I'll let others (Ashleigh?) get back to you on your first couple of points as Storyline features is not my area of expertise. I'm not actually aware of any rapid authoring tool that works with dynamic CMS/database content though, so i suspect you're pushing your luck there. 

On the Tin Can examples, we have a nice collection of Tin Can prototypes and you might also like to sign up for our Impacts of the Tin Can API webinar in January. The prototypes are actually due to be updated soon (we've done the work but just need to review the changes internally before we publish) so it may be worth coming back to them again in the new year. 

Hope that helps; let me know if you have any more questions. 


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Like this tag team effort, Andrew!

In regards to the specific question of "Does Storyline have any capabilities of working with dynamic content (cms/database, XML )?"

You could likely use Javascript to pull information/report information to a database or XML file. You can see some best practices here in terms of Javascript and then I would recommend posting a specific query in the forums about what you're looking to do so that our community can weigh in with ideas and suggestions as it's not something I'm equipped to support. 

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