Importing Courses: SCORM, AICC & TinCan


Absorb offers the ability to import third-party eLearning courses, authored in either the SCORM, Tin Can, or AICC formats. Importing a course package is a simple process that can be performed in one of two ways: to a brand new online course, or by adding new learning objects to an existing online course.

In This Article

Importing New Courses (from the Courses Report)

To import a new course, navigate to the Courses report and click on the IMPORT COURSE button on the right hand sidebar:


This will open the Import Course Package window. This is where you'll select the course format to be imported as well as how you'd like to store your files. Private files will only be accessible to learners enrolled in this particular course, where Public* files will be available to anyone that is provided a link to them. Finally, you'll want to select the .zip course package that has been provided to you by your course author.

*Please note: certain technologies such as the Articulate Mobile App that rely on outside access to play back your course files will require the files to be publicly hosted.


Clicking SUBMIT will verify and upload the course files to the LMS and create a new online course. The course created will utilize the metadata contained in your course files to derive a course title and description (this can be overridden if you choose to do so). At this point you will have the option to configure your online course as you would with any other, hitting SAVE to finalize things.

Adding New Packages To An Existing Course (Add Learning Object)

Alternative to the method described above, there are times when you may choose to add a new course package to an already existing online course. This may be the case when opting to import multiple course packages to their own individual lessons in the same course, or when lesson content needs to be updated to a new version. From the Courses report, click the EDIT button to open any course. Select the SYLLABUS tab and click ADD LEARNING OBJECT.


This will open the Add Learning Object window. Select the format (SCORM 1.2, SCORM 2004, Tin Can, AICC) of your course package and click the NEXT button.


This will bring you to the familiar Import Options window. Once that is all set click the CONTINUE button. In addition to the options described in the previous section, you will also notice a couple new elements: the Update Options section as well as a SKIP button at the bottom. These will be touched on in a moment, but for now simply opt for the NEW LEARNING OBJECT update option to add a new package to an existing course.


Replacing Existing Packages In Existing Courses (Add Learning Object)

There are times when you may want to import an update to your lesson content. The use-case for this ranges from simple updates to correct potential errors in the course to a full content update as training requirements change. Either way, Absorb allows you to replace the content in a learning object quite easily. When replacing an existing lesson using the method described below, the lesson itself will not be affected, but rather the file content it references. It's helpful to think of the lesson, and all existing enrollment data (lesson statuses, scores, attempt dates, etc.) as the container, untouched by such changes. Importing an update will simply alter what the learner sees when they open that container! Also worthy of note: importing an update to a lesson will not remove the existing course files from your file manager, so you can rest assured that any other lessons in other courses that are referencing this content will be unaffected.

To import an update to a lesson, navigate back to a course's Syllabus tab and select ADD LEARNING OBJECT. This time, you'll want to opt for the REPLACE AN EXISTING LESSON update option. You will then be prompted to select the existing lesson that you would like to update the content for.


Manually Building Learning Objects

There are times when admins will want to manually build their own SCORM, Tin Can, or AICC learning objects, referencing course launch files (uploaded within a .ZIP package) directly. This can be useful for tasks such as referencing the same, previously uploaded package in multiple courses. This is also essential when working with URLs offered by cross-domain AICC providers. We recommend this for advanced admins / course authors only, as this requires a base-level of understanding of the components within a standard SCORM / Tin Can / AICC package.

When adding a learning object from within an existing course (this option is not available from the IMPORT COURSE panel accessed from the Courses report directly; you'll need to add a new course > Syllabus > ADD LEARNING OBJECT in the case of a brand new course), you'll notice the option to SKIP the import page altogether:


This will take you to the standard EDIT LESSON page where you'll have the option to CHOOSE FILE and browse for your source. This will bring up an instance of the file manager where you can browse for course packages / folders that have already been uploaded previously. The SOURCE field can also be used to paste in any URL links to cross-domain AICC content.


You are also presented with various configuration options for the lesson, including whether learners launch it as a modal or a popup/new tab which you can configure independently for learners on desktop PCs and learners using mobile devices:


Launch in a modal will open the lesson within the learner's interface as an iFrame on the page, which is unaffected by pop-up blockers and is effectively a new element on the existing web page.

Launch in a popup / new tab will open the lesson as a new page in learner's browser, allowing for it to act as an independent window / tab on the learner's device.

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