SCORM 1.2 has been around since 2001 with only one standard: write-only. That means an author can’t read what he wrote. Years later, in 2004, a new version came around with a read-write model. This allows for interactions and could be helpful for reporting. On top of that, SCORM 2004 allows authors to check older interactions, see results, and create a plan based on that.
SCORM 1.2 has received a lot of negative feedback because it has only one lesson status: “Lesson_Status”. This status can be: completed, incomplete, failed, passed, browsed, or not attempted. For most authors this is enough information, but others want more data. For example, whether a learner completed a course, and what questions a learner passed. That’s where the newer version has created a huge difference between 1CORM .2 and 2004. Why? SCORM 2004 lets authors split the lesson_status into completed/incomplete (completion_status) and passed/failed (success_status). That gives authors more insights and data to base improvements on.
When sequencing was first implemented, no one thought it would be possible and a lot of LMS did not support the option. The basics are simple. Sequencing allows authors to add rules that define the order in which content is accessed by learners. It sets up specific paths that can be adjusted per learner and allows them to save results mid-course and continue at a later point in time. Sequencing is something you can only do with SCORM 2004.
Do I need SCORM 1.2 or SCORM 2004?
So, SCORM 1.2 vs 2004, which version do you need? If your main goal is to just have a report on learners results, both options will suffice. The core of the reporting elements is the same. However, if you are looking for more in-depth options like complex navigation and sequencing, you will have to go with SCORM 2004. If that is the case, make sure both your authoring environment and your LMS are SCORM-compliant.