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Testing SCORMs Prior to Launch


As a best practice, it is recommended that you test SCORM packages thoroughly before a course is live with real users. SCORMs use settings inside the packages, and the behavior of those settings should be reviewed prior to deciding if the SCORM package is ready to be used by your users. SCORMs can be difficult to change once they are taken by live users, and you may end up with data issues or users having to start over from the beginning if you find you need to switch out the SCORMs frequently. Therefore, knowing if your SCORM is going to function as expected is key.

Best Practice Procedure

A suggested workflow to test your SCORM activity is provided below. If your SCORM activity does not perform as expected, please see the additional topics to help you determine which settings should be changed.

  1. Export the SCORM activity with your desired settings:

    1. Note the status the SCORM will send such as Pass/Fail, Complete/Incomplete, etc. Note the behavior you are expecting from any quizzing feature in the SCORM package.

  2. Create a SCORM activity in Moodle with your desired settings:

    1. Your activity completion settings should match the status the SCORM activity is sending to Moodle.

  3. Set your access restriction settings for any activities following the SCORM activity.

  4. Set your course completing settings as desired.

  5. Enroll a test user in the course.

  6. Sign in as the test user (“log in as” is not a true test for this example and logging in directly is preferred).

  7. “Fail” Test: Take your SCORM activity and do not meet the requirements to pass/complete the SCORM.

  8. Verify the next activity does not unlock.

  9. Verify the course does not get marked as complete.

  10. “Pass” Test: Take your SCORM again and meet the requirements to pass/complete the SCORM.

  11. Verify the next activity does unlock.

  12. Verify the course does get marked as completed.

Saving and Attempts

As a general rule, SCORMs save frequently. When a SCORM package is also reporting quiz statistics, the attempt for the quiz is often submitted in the user’s initial attempt. This save may result in users not being able to “reattempt” the quiz in the same session. If Moodle has already received a fail or incomplete, the user cannot update that score in the same attempt, and needs to start a new attempt.

Moodle also has a feature called Review Mode. When the user has completed an attempt, you may see “Review Mode” in the upper left above the SCORM activity upon re-entering the SCORM activity. Review Mode means the attempt has been completed, but the user has not started a new attempt and is simply reviewing what was done in the attempt. On occasion, SCORM testers will report that the SCORM display Review Mode before the SCORM attempt was finished. This often happens because of the SCORM settings in the SCORM export, and could mean that the score is being reported too early in the SCORM activity, and the design of the SCORM should be modified to send the score after the final question is attempted.

Depending on your desired behavior, you may find that you need to adjust the Force New Attempt setting in the Moodle SCORM activity to disable Review Mode and allow the user to start new attempts as needed. See Moodle Docs SCORM FAQ Handling of Multiple Attempts.


If you are finding that you lose your save place in the SCORM activity when you return to a SCORM activity that was already in progress, it may be the type of export used for your SCORM file. SCORM 1.2 is frequently used in Moodle, but for longer SCORMs, SCORM 1.2 may not be optimal because the suspend data limit is only 4,096 characters. SCORM 2004 can be used in Moodle as it has a much larger suspend data limit of 64,000 characters. Please keep in mind that SCORM 2004 exports will behave similarly as SCORM 1.2 as far as the data available in the SCORM reports.

Data and Incorrect Statuses

If you find that your SCORM did not unlock the next activity as expected, log back into the site with your account that has editing privileges, and click on the SCORM activity. You will see a Reports tab. Click on Reports and look at the status sent to Moodle by clicking into the Attempt information for the test user. Does this status match your activity completion settings? Track Details may also help you determine what status was supposed to be sent to Moodle (look for words like “Pass” or “Complete” as a clue).

Picture of Track Details link in SCORM Report


Once you have modified your export settings or the settings of the SCORM activity, delete the previous SCORM upload in the activity, and then upload the new SCORM. You will also want to delete the previous SCORM attempts. You may also want to reset the course by visiting the course, clicking More, then clicking Course Reuse, and then clicking Reset.   

Root Cause of Problem Analysis

On occasion, you may need to take an extra step to remove Moodle from your troubleshooting analysis. It is possible the SCORM package itself is not packaged correctly, or is performing in a way that is not compatible with the SCORM activity. When the SCORM does not function as expected, we recommend testing the SCORM on SCORM Cloud. If this is your first time using SCORM Cloud, we suggest you search for guidance on how to test your SCORM package using SCORM Cloud and review documentation to better understand how SCORM Cloud functions.

If it is determined that your SCORM package is packaged correctly, the issue could be that your SCORM package needs to be SCORM 2004 instead of SCORM 1.2 (see Bookmarking section above for information about suspend data limits) or that your SCORM package is sending completion too soon. If the completion is sent too soon, when a user returns to the package to finish, it will open in Review Mode. These types of situations are related to the way the package is designed, and are not Moodle failures.

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