SCORM Player Tool - OWL

What is it?

The Scorm Player tool in OWL is essentially a Flash media player that only plays SCORM modules. OWL only accepts SCORM 2004 3rd Edition - also signified by "1.3." SCORM is a standard for content packaging. It stands for "Sharable Content Object Reference Model."

A SCORM module consists of .xml, Flash, .html, and image files, that together create a dynamic and interactive module - like a more extensive PowerPoint.

What is its purpose?

It allows for a dynamic and interactive interface of learning content.  Videos, audio, images and testing content can be combined into modules for students. Interactions can be tracked to a limited extent by linking a SCORM module to the Gradebook in OWL.

How to use it

Within your OWL worksite, enable the 'Scorm Player' tool using the 'Site Info' page and clicking on the 'Edit Tools' tab. The Scorm Player tool is added to the left side of your OWL worksite. SCORM modules are often distributed by content creators, and some modules are freely available on the internet. Western employees have access to programs that can output SCORM compliant modules - Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, and Course Creator (available within the ITRC).

SCORM modules are .ZIP files. If creating your own module, ensure you select all of the files and create a zip, as opposed to zipping a folder containing these files. The zip must contain a "manifest" xml file, which lists the contents of the course.

Modules are uploaded within the Scorm Player tool in OWL. At the top of the tool's page, you will click "Upload" then "Choose File." Modules can only be uploaded from local folders, and not the OWL site's "Resources." If uncertain of the edition of the module (given that OWL only accepts the 2004 3rd Edition), you can validate it before it is uploaded. Regardless, OWL will reject files if they are not the proper format.

Where to find Support

This tool is centrally supported


For help, you can contact the WTS Helpdesk


More information on SCORM can be found on the OWL Documentation Site

Tool Evaluation

Functionality overall rating: 2 starsFunctionality

Rating Rationale
Scale rating: 2 stars


The SCORM Tool can scaled to accommodate any size class but lacks flexibility to assign specific SCORM materials to smaller sub-groups

Ease of use rating:2 stars

Ease of Use

The SCORM tool's learner interface is straightforward, however the instructor interface may be confusing to some. For instructions on setting up and using the SCORM Tool see the SCORM page in the OWL Documentation

Tech Support/ Help Availability rating: 3 stars

Tech Support/Help Availability

Western technical support/help documentation is readily available. See the SCORM page  in OWL Documentation Wiki or contact the Helpdesk

Hypermediality rating: 3 stars


The SCORM Tool itself simply supports the uploading and integration of SCORM packages in OWL, however the tool enables the addition of SCORM materials (such as Articulate Storyline materials) which are typically media rich and allow for non-sequential, flexible/adaptive engagement with material

Accessibility overall rating: 2 starsAccessibility

Rating Rationale
AODA Friendly rating: 2 stars

AODA Friendly

The SCORM Tool itself meets functional accessibility standards (AODA and the W3C WCAG 2.0 standards). However, the documents uploaded to the SCORM tool are only as accessible as they are made to be. The SCORM material (i.e. the Articulate Storyline module) needs to be made accessible through design considerations of the module. For example, Articulate offers the following guidance on ways to make Storyline Modules accessible

User Foused Participation rating: 2 stars

User-focused participation

The SCORM Tool itself does not achieve user-focused participation. Instead, the SCORM material needs to be developed in a way that adequately address the needs of diverse users, their various literacies, and capabilities.

Required Equipment rating: 2 stars

Required Equipment

Proper use of the SCORM Tool requires equipment that is common and/or purchased at a low cost (microphone, speakers, cell phone, etc.)

Technical overall rating: 2 starsTechnical

Rating Rationale
OWL Integration rating: 3 stars

OWL Integration

The SCORM Tool is native to OWL

Operating Systems rating: 3 stars

Operating Systems

Users can effectively utilize the SCORM Tool with any standard, up-to-date operating system (i.e. Windows, OSX, etc.)

Web Browser rating: 2 stars

Web Browser

SCORM packages that use javascript may encounter variable results depending on the browser used.

Additional Tech Requirements rating: 2 stars

Additional Tech Requirements

The SCORM player only supports SCORM 2004 3rd Edition modules. Instructors must ensure that their content is exported in this format.

Mobile Design overall rating: 1 star Mobile Design

Rating Rationale
Mobile Operating Systems rating: 2 stars

Mobile Operating Systems

Depending on the source of the uploaded SCORM package (ie. if the package is flash based) there may be issues viewing the content on a mobile device.

Mobile Functionality rating: 2 stars

Mobile Functionality

Users may encounter functional limitations in the performance of a SCORM package when accessed on mobile systems

Offline Access rating: 1 star

Offline Access

The SCORM Tool cannot be used in any capacity offline

Usage and account set up overall rating: 2 starsUsage and Account Set Up

Rating Rationale
Sign Up/Sign In rating: 3 stars

Sign Up/Sign In

Use of the SCORM Tool does not require the creation of an external account or additional login beyond a Western Identity and access to OWL

Cost of Use rating:  3 stars

Cost of Use

All aspects of the SCORM Tool can be used free of charge to Western account holders

Archiving Saving and Exporting Data rating: 2 star

Archiving, Saving, and Exporting Data

Only SCORM 2004 3rd edition files can be uploaded to the SCORM tool. SCORM material is typically best accessed online without saving or importing. SCORM packages can be configured with Gradebook (see Configuring to Gradebook in OWL documentation)

Data Privacy and Ownership rating: 3 star

Data Privacy and Ownership

Users maintain ownership and copyright of their intellectual property/data; the user can keep data private and decide if/how data is to be shared

Social Presence overall rating: 1 starsSocial Presence

Rating Rationale
Collaboration rating: na stars


SCORM material is typically not intended for collaborative learning.

User Accountability rating: 1 stars

User Accountability

User accountability is not typically supported as learners are often consumers rather than contributors of information presented through SCORM

Diffusion rating: 1 star


The SCORM Tool is not a well known tool in OWL, it is likely that students are not familiar with the tool. To avoid confusion, we recommend providing clear instruction on using the Player or the integration of SCORM material into Lessons

Instructor Presence overall rating: 2 starsInstructor Presence

Rating Rationale
Facilitation rating:2 stars


Given documentation of students’ performance on activities, quizzes, and questions within SCORM material, The SCORM Player has the potential to support instructors’ in monitoring comprehension and performance

Customization rating: 3 stars


The SCORM Tool allows for customized settings with regard to addition of Gradebook integration

Learning Analytics rating: 3 stars

Learning Analytics

Analytics are available on students’ access of SCORM material. If settings are established to integrate the SCORM package with Gradebook, students’ performance on any activities, quizzes, questions, etc. within the SCORM material is documented.

Cognitive Presence overall rating: 3 starsCognitive Presence

Rating Rationale
Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s) rating: 3 stars

Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s)

While the SCORM Tool itself does not contribute to the enhancement of cognitive tasks, it enables the integration of SCORM material which often serves as a dynamic and interactive method of engaging students in targeted cognitive tasks.

Higher Order Thinking rating: 3 stars

Higher Order Thinking

While the SCORM Tool itself does not contribute to the facilitation of higher order thinking skills, it enables the integration of SCORM material which may be designed to target such skills due to the dynamic and interactive nature of Flash content such as Articulate Storyline.

Feedback on Learning rating:3 stars

Feedback on Learning

The SCORM Tool enables configuration between the SCORM material and the OWL gradebook. SCORM material can often be designed to incorporate comprehension tests such as multiple choice, matching, identification style questions within the module. Via the module and Gradebook, students can track and monitor their performance.

Security and Privacy

This tool has been formally reviewed by Western’s Technology Risk Assessment Committee

Security and Privacy Flags


  • Application's Terms of Conditions or End User License Agreement poses a risk of binding the institution to an agreement thereby requiring legal counsel to review the application. However, this is mitigated as it has undergone legal review during the Technology Risk Assessment process.

Last Updated: January 31, 2020


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