Andragogy and self-paced learning: why teachers need SCORM content

We have already talked about Andragogy, namely training and education specific for adults: in this article we will talk about the importance of self-paced learning for this type of target and will try to explain why teachers should invest in SCORM eLearning content



The principles of Andragogy described by Malcolm Knowles can help us understand why, among all the different types of learning, self-paced learning – especially using SCORM content – seems to be the most suitable for adults training

It is worth mentioning that self-paced learning can make use of different kinds of materials: videos, presentations, ebooks, infographics are all content for asynchronous training, even with some differences mainly related to engagement and progress tracking



SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) is the standard for self-paced e-learning content: they are assigned to students and can be studied autonomously with remote tracking by the teacher. 

We have already proved the importance of SCORM content within blended learning programs, together with face-to-face training in class or online. In addition, we have to highlight the advantages that this type of training material – which can be varied in form and content – can have when the target of reference is represented by adult learners



The first elemento that makes SCORM particularly suitable for adult learners is related to the principle of Andragogy called “Self-concept”: adults, since they have acquired more self awareness with age, require more autonomy even within a training program, with the feeling of independence and control over the process. Self-paced SCORM content, then, leaves to adults a certain degree of choice, even within a preset training program: when to study, where to study, how frequently and so on. All these aspects make training more effective, since it is perceived as tailored

In the same way, according to the principles of Andragogy it is essential for adults to be ready to learn, which is strongly linked to intrinsic motivation: despite being aware that training needs to be “forced” some times, it is important allow adults to access content beyond a set period of time, whenever needed. SCORM materials, staying available even after their completion, match perfectly with the need of finding solutions to daily problems, especially if they have a modular structure according to microlearning.    



Teachers and trainers, professional or not, often choose those types of materials that do not require specific technical skills: webinars, very close to traditional in class lessons, or presentations and texts, which are easy to create and manage.  

However, if SCORM content should be preferred for effectiveness reasons, it is also true that they represent a valuable investment for teachers: when they design self-paced content, in fact, they can use it for different purposes and in different contexts, saving time for new clients and in-class training. In addition to that, as we have already said, the modular structure allow to easily maintain SCORM content, make it simple to apply updates and corrections where and when needed. 

Of course, development platforms for eLearning courses and SCORM content are often quite complex and this is the main reason holding teachers back from choosing this type of materials for asynchronous learning. Therefore, teachers have two possibilities: entrusting external providers specialized in designing and developing SCORM content, or turning to platforms that are specifically designed for non-specialized users, with a few key-functionalities to create and manage self-paced learning materials autonomously.  


And you, what do you expect from a SCORM content development platform? Answer a few questions to help us develop a tool which is truly teacher-friendly!



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