Reverse engineering SCORM packages for editing

I recently took over eLearning duties for my company. I have built courses before, but never SCORM packages. After a switch of LMS's I was handed the courses as SCORM packages. There are errors in the courses that I need to go in and fix, but I don't have anything but the zipped SCORM files. I have the full Articulate Suite, don't know if that makes any difference. How do I go in and fix these courses that were engineered in Articulate and then zipped up if I don't have anything but the zipped files with what seems - to the computer layperson - to be a lot of random pieces?

Some of the problems I am trying to fix include:

Courses do not come to completion; they do no signal to the LMS that the learner has completed the course.

Spelling and grammatical (content) errors.

Notification errors on specific questions.

12 Replies
Dave Neuweiler

Hello Kelly, if the courses were developed in Articulate '09, be sure to ask the original author to send you the Articulate Packages for the courses. This will be a ZIP file that contains all the assets that are built into the course, like Engage Interactions, Quizmaker Quizzes, logos, playlists, and most importantly, the narration, along with any animation timings that were set.

If you just get the PowerPoint and other "loose" files, you'll have to re-integrate everything.


Simon Perkins

Dave raises a good point regarding Articulate Packages - the best option if you can get them.  IME not many authors think to use that feature though - so it's easy to end up with just the original PPT and a bunch of 'objects' (images, audio files, videos, attachments, QM and Engage interactions, etc).  

Alicia Serrioz

I found myself in a very similar situation when I took this job. Ultimately I ended up and am in the process of re-creating all of the courses using Studio '09. While you can edit the javascript, xml, html files, there's not much you can do in the way of changing content without the original Articulate files. If they weren't developed using Articulate, as in my case, you're completely hosed and end up having to re-create them from scratch which often means finding other ways to things.

What I did find, however, is that all of the 'problems' that were being caused by the courses developed in Flash or Captivate were resolved once launched using Articulate.

jenn s

I know this was posted a long time ago, but I am having the same issue: need to edit the course so that it completes.  I don't know what Articulate is, all i have are a bunch of flash and java script files.  I MAY have the source code, but not sure what to look for.  

1. If I want to look for source code/package, what do i look for exactly?  like name of file(s) and extensions, etc...

2. If I don't have source code, can I fix the course to have it complete with just the bits and pieces I have?

3. Is there a known fix to get the courses to complete?


Chris Cole

Hi Jenn and Moeen. Articulate is a software company and has several products, so you'll first need to know which Articulate product was used to create the course. Storyline? Presenter? 

If the course was created in Storyline, you would have a single source file that has the extension .story (like mylesson.story). If the course was created in Presenter, you would have a source file that has the extension .ppt or pptx (like mylesson.ppt) AND a source file that has the extension .ppta.

So, the source file for a Storyline lesson is a single file (with the extension .story). For a Presenter lesson the source is two files (ppt and ppta). If what you have are a bunch of files and folders, lots of mp3 and mp4 and swf and xml files, then you do NOT have the source file - you have the published files. You cannot edit the published files in any practical way and you are out of luck. You would have to rebuild the lessons.

Hope this helps.


Margaret  Crisham

I am in the same boat. My boss thinks I can make corrections (spelling, out-of-sync narration) to the zipped files submitted a few years ago by an outside contractor. If I understand you correctly, I need the source files to do this. Even IF I get them, do I just go into the PPT and make the changes and re-save?  How do I adjust HIS narration in the cases where it is out of order?

Thank you!

Chris Cole

Hi Margaret -

How you edit the source file will depend on which Articulate product was used to create the finished product. Each Articulate application functions differently. If you can, find out which Articulate product was used and get the source file, then I (or someone else) can jump in and help you make the changes.