LMS Reporting with Authoring Tools and SCORM

Calendar Icon November 16, 2021
Reading Time Icon Read Time: 4 min
By Firmwater

Student assessment and experience reporting is crucial for your training business’s success. Making the right content-creation and online-delivery technology decisions today will ensure that your business is ready to grow and keeps clients happy in the future.

One area that you don’t want to overlook when making technology decisions is data communication. Sometimes, companies find that their content-creation tools report student data, but not in a manner that their learning management system (LMS) can translate or interpret.

If you offer online training, you must use a SCORM-compliant LMS to standardize data reporting from your content-creation tools. Using the right tools and LMS makes reporting on student scores and progress seamless.

Read on to learn how LMS reporting can work for you. You’ll learn:

  • Why a SCORM-compliant LMS is mandatory
  • How to keep your business clients happy by easily collecting and providing them the data that they expect
  • How the right LMS reporting system makes it easy to produce the most in-demand learning reports

Why You Need a SCORM-Based LMS

SCORM, or sharable content object reference model, has standardized e-learning and made rapid course development and scaling possible. SCORM is the open-source, e-learning technical standard adopted by content-creation software companies and LMS around the world. This standard revolutionized LMS flexibility in two key areas.

First, since it is an open object reference model, SCORM enables learning content to be created once in content-creation software for myriad learning management systems. One-and-done development saves your learning content development team time and money.

Second, SCORM compliance enables an LMS to import this content. If your LMS is SCORM compliant, you can use any authoring tool that publishes to SCORM. If you switch to a new LMS, you can easily update content in your authoring tool without having to reinvent a course from scratch.

SCORM Enables E-learning to Report Data to Your LMS

If these reasons are not enough to persuade you that SCORM is crucial, this should: SCORM makes LMS reporting easy. All you need is a SCORM-enabled LMS and SCORM-compliant learning content software, such as Articulate 360 or Adobe Captivate.

SCORM-based reporting works by enabling communication between your SCORM-compatible training content and your SCORM-compatible LMS. The e-learning content records e-learning reporting data and communicates this to your LMS. You can then generate an up-to-the-second report in your LMS.

Verify That Your E-learning Saves the Required Data

Given all the options within e-learning authoring tools, it’s crucial to verify that the content is reporting the desired status and data to your LMS.

If your content and LMS are both SCORM compatible, but your LMS reporting is giving unexpected results, you may need to change a few configuration attributes in your authoring tool and re-publish the content. For example, if users are not receiving the expected completion status (Passed/Failed, Complete/Incomplete, etc.), you should review your authoring tool’s status reporting options.

If you’re not able to report on interaction data, ensure that you have selected the appropriate options within your e-learning authoring tool. For example, Storyline-produced content only saves the question text for interactions when you publish your content to SCORM 2004.

The Four LMS Reports That Your Clients Need to Have

LMS reporting is crucial for training success, but not all reports are equal.

The types of data reporting that your clients may request are numerous, but a good content tool and LMS can meet all but the most idiosyncratic needs. Just make sure your content authoring tool saves interaction and status data to the LMS using the SCORM API.

Although your LMS may provide a multitude of reports, there are four essential ones commonly used by training providers.

1. Starts and Completions

Most clients want to have data regarding how many people began training and how many completed it.

Starts and completions data can be saved straight to the LMS using the SCORM API. The Starts and Completions report shows completion rates for courses. It will enable you to filter and summarize the data using different attributes, and you can even get individual user details.

2. Participant Status

The participant status report is essential. It reports the status (e.g., started, completed, passed, failed, etc.) of learners across different activities in a course or training program. You can also get individual user detail.

3. Activity Detail

Activity detail reports focus on use and outcomes for learners during a particular period of time for each course that they have taken. The report should enable several filters to control the level of detail included in the output.

4. Interaction Data

Your clients are likely going to be interested in their users’ interaction data from learning content. This data is typically useful for analyzing quizzes, assessments, or interactive simulations. Interaction reports enable you to view and analyze questions, responses, and scores, item by item.

Plan and Execute—the Rest Is Automatic

All it takes to create a flexible and durable reporting system for you and your clients is a little planning and two technologies.

First, you need a SCORM-compliant LMS designed for training providers, with multiple reporting options.

Second, seamless LMS reporting depends on the use of e-learning content software that exports using the standard. Many software vendors offer SCORM-compatible content authoring tools. Choose the one that works best for you and your clients. Just make sure it exports using SCORM!

Here at Firmwater, we don’t just sell an LMS for training providers. We partner with our clients, giving them the tools and insights they need to implement the best practices in e-learning course development, growth, and delivery. We care too much about our customers’ businesses to have them wade through forums and chatbots for help.

Ready to use an LMS that’s designed for the way YOU work, with a team dedicated to YOUR needs? Book a no-obligation consultation directly with our team today!

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