In short, the answer to the question "Is SCORM worth it?" (I'm assuming you mean having it working in Moodle), IMHO
, the answer is a resounding yes. As Martin said, it's on the "absolutely necessary" category on a lot of people's tick lists.
If anyone's done a search of these forums about SCORM they may well have found a number of posts by me slating it. I'll repeat, I don't like SCORM, neither as a teacher nor as a developer.
As a teacher, which is the most important consideration in e-learning, it promotes the very worst of educational models, referred to by many as dump 'n' pump. It's exactly what's wrong with a lot of school and university education where they've tried to cut costs by increasing testing and decreasing teaching, in other words an unbalanced educational model.
As an educator, I want to be able to customise the results I generated by e-learning interactions. A single % grade doesn't really tell you much about a student's abilities or why they're not performing as you'd like them to. I want to be able to look at a range of activity data and analyse what's wrong and be able to do something about it. If a student breaks a fork-lift truck because he didn't understand a part of the training but passed it anyway, I want to know how and why it happened so that I can make the teaching materials better.
As a developer, SCORM hurts. It's so big and so complicated and so difficult to deal with, that you're at the mercy of a few specialist 'experts' who make a pretty penny from consultancy and development fees. If you just want to deploy a quiz, a test, a questionnaire, a survey, or whatever, then use one of Moodle's many great modules that do the job much better, with less hassle and not so steep a learning curve or expensive consultancy fees. BTW
, you can effectively simulate 80% of the content of Cambridge ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) exams with only the core Moodle modules.
Also, SCORM is incredibly inefficient. You have to create self-contained 'packages' which may be great for selling food (although we seem to be having a bit of a problem with food packaging around the world at the moment) and consumer goods in shops, but doesn't really fit in with good IT practices. I don't know about you but I quite like the benefits offered by Object Oriented Programming, layering, sharing media resources and so on. We're having a pretty good go at getting rid of the need to create mountains of packaging waste (not to mention the environmental costs of manufacture and distribution) through ideas such as downloading MP3s. Are we bent on creating the electronic equivalent with SCORM? How much server
space will we have to take up before we say enough is enough?
The scary thing is, although Moodle is great and it's getting more and more popular and it's one of the few LMSs with a successful learning model, it's encouraging people towards using SCORM by not providing an effective alternative for deploying Flash.
Flash is the de-facto e-learning platform and at the moment, the only way to deploy Flash e-learning interactions in Moodle and store students results is to use the unfinished 3rd party plug-in Flash Activity Module that Jamie Pratt developed for the University of Barcelona some years ago. It's incompatible with any Flash e-learning interactions later than Flash MX 2004 (that's Flash 6 and we're currently on Flash 9 and Flash 10 is soon to be released). I won't go into the many reasons why Flash 9 and later versions are ideal for e-learning here.
It's true, there are a number of way of deploying Flash in Moodle but none of them, except the FAM, can store student activity data. We really need a heads-up on this one guys or people are going to continue to create unsatisfactory e-learning interactions in Flash using SCORM and continuing the dump 'n' pump learning model. Let's set the bar higher and make Moodle extra special.
Another multiple-choice test, anyone?