H5P or SCORM: which format is more promising for e-learning?

H5P or SCORM: which format is more promising for e-learning?
Piotr SędziakLuty, 2023

Managers responsible for creating the perfect e-learning environment often face the challenge of selecting a platform that can process content packages made in either H5P or SCORM technology. According to the official H5P website, this technology was used to create over 22 million pieces of content in 2022, and the number of content being created in this format continues to grow. On the other hand, Rustici Software states that SCORM is compatible with 72,000 systems worldwide, demonstrating the strength of both solutions. 

Picking the right technology will require a comparison of the characteristics of both options. We have prepared a comparison of these two choices below for your reference.

Openness and Accessibility

Modern businesses are searching for solutions that allow for flexibility in creating and developing systems. Closed and inaccessible systems eventually become a limitation for companies. In this regard, H5P is worth considering, as it is an open-source format for educational packages that offers a great deal of flexibility and allows for the development of resources even within one's own scope.

Furthermore, the H5P format has witnessed a tremendous amount of content creation, and as a result, the community of people developing this technology is highly developed. Most of the problems related to processing e-learning packages have been resolved and are now easily accessible. This is a significant advantage for organizations that plan to develop their e-learning over the long term, as H5P offers virtually no limitations in this area. I also can't help but mention another dimension of accessibility here, namely the idea of a11y and the WCAG 2.1 standard. Both H5P and Wellms are tailored for people with special needs.

Supported File Formats

Another difference between SCORM and H5P lies in the supported file formats. SCORM only supports the own customized file formats, which have specific parameters and capabilities. In contrast, H5P enables the use of HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS with the full range of possibilities offered by these technologies. These fundamental technologies allow programmers to create highly advanced and interactive lessons without being bound by rules and requirements. H5P's support for widely used file formats offers greater flexibility, which is particularly advantageous for those seeking to create customized content.

Lesson interactivity

Both formats compared in this article allow for the creation of interactive content. However, the difference lies in the number of available types of content and the degree of engagement they offer to users.
In this respect, H5P takes the lead, allowing for the use of 

  • videos, 
  • games, 
  • presentations, 
  • quizzes, 
  • interactive page elements… and many more.

SCORM, on the other hand, offers knowledge tests and simulations.

Interactive content is not only an interesting way to present educational material, but also an effective means of increasing the efficiency of knowledge transfer and learning.

  • eLearning Industry shows that interactive content can increase learner engagement by up to 80%.
  • Researchers from the University of Stavanger confirmed that interactive content accelerates the learning process and increases the level of knowledge acquisition by students.
  • The Cognitive Research Trust has demonstrated that interactive content can increase the effectiveness of teaching by up to 20% compared to traditional methods.

Tracking Progress

Easy and flexible creation of interactive and engaging content is a key element in building an efficient e-learning system. An essential aspect is measuring the progress of learning and tracking the progress of course participants.

SCORM excels in displaying statistics, interactions, and progress at every stage, making it a powerful tool for monitoring learners' progress. However, tracking progress using H5P requires additional platform support, such as Wellms.io.

Despite this, H5P remains an excellent choice for organizations that require more flexibility and customization in tracking their learners' progress.

Compatibility with Systems

The development of e-learning in universities and businesses is an ever-evolving process. As the systems used by these organizations are subject to change, it is essential for e-learning technology to be highly compatible with various applications. While SCORM educational packages are compatible with a broad but closed list of systems, H5P offers virtually full flexibility. Thanks to its versatility, H5P is compatible with practically any CMS, including widely used systems such as WordPress, Drupal, and Moodle. This compatibility makes H5P a magnificent choice for organizations looking for an e-learning solution that can seamlessly integrate with their existing systems.

Course Versioning

Introducing new course versions on the platform is one of the challenges that keeps e-learning managers up at night. Fortunately, H5P allows for easy content updates and direct sharing within the e-learning system. This enables educators to easily change, modify, or enrich educational content, making it a convenient tool for maintaining and updating courses.

Summary: H5P vs SCORM

Both technologies for creating educational packages have their strengths and weaknesses. However, in long-term e-learning platform development and a future-oriented approach, H5P has several advantages over its competitors:

  1. Openness and flexibility – H5P allows for the creation of virtually any type of content and has the support of a broad community, providing greater opportunities for engaging users.
  2. Lower costs – H5P is not subject to any licensing fees and can be created by anyone who knows how to program in HTML5, JavaScript, or CSS.
  3. Content compatibility – H5P's compatibility allows for long-term planning of content creation, and created content can be easily transferred to various CMSs.
  4. Progress tracking – H5P, when used with platforms like wellms.io, allows for precise tracking of user progress and learning outcomes.
  5. Easy updates – creating and updating courses is simple and quick and does not require technical skills.

We hope this post has helped you understand the differences between H5P and SCORM and has brought you closer to making an informed decision about choosing the right technology for your e-learning platform.

Photo by Compare Fibreon Unsplash.

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