The SCORM Engine Building Block manages and plays Shareable Content Object (SCO) packages. These packages are often created by private companies, such as textbook publishers, or by instructional designers. The SCORM Engine has a content player that supports SCORM, IMS, or NLN standards and formats, where instructors see the different standards as additional content types for adding content.

Instructors import SCOs into their course in the same way they add other content. Instructors can choose to add a Grade Center item, as well as select from other standard content item options. When a user interacts with content that has been set to be graded, the attempt is shown in the Grade Center. Additional attempt data such as total viewing time and completion status are also recorded to assist the instructor in grading.

From the users' perspective, the different types of content items are seamlessly presented with other course content, and can even be added to a Learning Module.

About the SCORM Engine

The SCORM Engine Building Block is bundled with Blackboard Learn and must be made available by the administrator.

SCORM Support
SCORM Engine Version Content Types Supported
2010.1.407 SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004 (up to 4th Edition)

The SCORM Engine Building Block, like many Building Blocks, will not work with Blackboard Learn - Basic Edition.

The SCORM Engine Building Block supports SCORM content, while the legacy Open Standards Content Player Building Block supports SCORM, IMS, and NLN.

SCORM content

The SCORM Engine Building Block supports content that conforms to the SCORM 1.2 standard and the SCORM 2004 4th Edition standard. The Open Standards Content Player Building Block supports SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004 3rd Edition. The instructor does not need to determine ahead of time whether the content is designed as 1.2 or 2004 compliant, because the player will automatically handle each type as needed.

Learn more at the ADL Net website

IMS content

The Open Standards Content Player Building Block supports content that conforms to the IMS Content and Packaging 1.1.2 standard with the webcontent attribute.

Learn more at the IMS website

NLN content

The Open Standards Content Player Building Block supports NLN content, which conforms to SCORM and IMS standards. The United Kingdom NLN Materials Team is responsible for commissioning and developing e-learning materials for the NLN, and offers advice on best practices in integrating the NLN materials into teaching and learning schemes.

Learn more at the NLN website

Make content types available

For the SCORM Engine Building Block, it does not matter whether the content is SCORM 1.2 or which SCORM 2004 Edition (up to the 4th Edition). The Building Block automatically compensates.

Deciding which content type to offer relates largely to what term the instructors and course builders use for standards-based content. For example, If users at an institution are more generally aware of SCORM content than NLN content, that corresponding content type can be turned on and the others turned off.

Make the SCORM Engine Building Block available

  1. On the Administrator Panel, under Building Blocks, select Building Blocks.
  2. Select Installed Tools.
  3. Locate the SCORM Engine Building Block in the list. In its menu, select Set Available. When the Building Block is first made available, the system displays the list of permissions required by the building block. This is a security feature to protect Blackboard Learn from dangerous content.
  4. Select Approve to make the building block available and allow it the listed permissions.

You can managed the SCORM Engine tools by going to Tools on the Administrator Panel under Tools and Utilities.

Advanced options

The SCORM Engine Content Player offers many features and capabilities, including advanced options settings which can be accessed whenever an instructor edits an existing SCORM package that uses the SCORM Engine Building Block. Normally, the advanced options are hidden on the Edit Content Package (SCORM) page unless the instructor sets Edit SCORM Player Behavior to Yes. Once enabled, however, the SCORM Engine Advanced Options are presented in two or three columns. The left column lets a user select the category of advanced options controls, while the right columns list the choices and settings associated with the category selected.

The categories of settings include:

  • Navigational Controls
  • Launch Behavior
  • Rudimentary Sequencing
  • Rudimentary Rollup
  • Compatibility Settings
  • Communication Settings
  • Debugger Options
  • History Options
  • Other Behavioral Options

Instructors new to the SCORM Engine Building Block may come to Blackboard administrators for information and guidance on using the advanced options. In most cases, instructors creating and managing course content do not need to change the player's advanced options default settings. They are intended primarily for technically experienced and knowledgeable course content developers, and are not necessary for most content packages.

Two of the settings categories, Navigational Controls and Launch Behavior, may be useful to instructors with a basic level of experience with SCORM, since these settings can control the behavior, available features, and functionality of the SCORM Content Player itself.

Another instance where the settings can be useful is when Content Packages that previously had been using the Open Standards Content Player are re-uploaded to use the SCORM Engine and there are errors or the content won't run. Here, enabling the Debugger Options to record logging information can aid in diagnosing and troubleshooting the problem, and provide clues as to what needs to be done. History Options can also provide useful information.