Knowledgebase
Troubleshooting Course Issues
Posted by Jessica D'Apice on 15 December 2017 12:08 PM

At ICS Support, there are two issues we get the most questions about…

The lesson was not marked completed after a user went through the whole lesson.

OR

“AN ERROR HAS OCCURRED WITHIN YOUR LESSON.”

Whenever there is an issue with a course, it is rarely an issue with the learning management system (LMS). The course sends data to the LMS, and the LMS’s only job is to store and display the data that the course sends to the LMS. That’s it. As a result, 99.99% of the time, the issue is caused by one of the following:

  • User error
  • Improper browser settings
  • Course issues

The following questions are exactly what we in the ICS Support Team ask whenever we get either of the complaints mentioned above. This article will arm you with the tools to either resolve the issue quickly and effectively through your own power, or enable you to provide us with the information that we need to investigate and point you in the right direction.

 

ISSUE: Lesson not marked completed

Q: Is the lesson marked Optional in the Course settings (Inquisiq only)?

WHY: Optional lessons in Inquisiq are automatically launched in review mode every time they are launched, so they never record completion data. From the Administrator Menu in Inquisiq, click Courses, click the course in question, click the Lessons tab, and make sure that the lesson in question is not marked Optional if you want the lesson to report completion data.

Q: Was the learner connected to the internet while within the course and/or when they exited?

WHY: A solid internet connection is vital for the course to be able to send data to the LMS. If that connection was broken at any point while the learner was taking the course, or when the learner exited the course, data would not be sent from the course to the LMS, and vital completion data may not have been recorded.

Q: Did the learner exit the course correctly?

WHY: The course may have a certain exit procedure, such as a required amount of slides or percentage of a video to view, or a certain button the learner must click in order to exit the course. If the proper exit procedure is not followed, the learner’s completion data may not be sent to the LMS. (All of the questions below will tie in to this question, as well.)

Q: What authoring tool was used to create the course? What version of the software was used?

WHY: The authoring tool and version used to create the course both dictate the possible features, publish settings, and known version bugs for that authoring tool. Common authoring tools used to create courseware are Articulate Storyline products (the most up-to-date versions are Storyline 3 and Storyline 360), Adobe Captivate (2017 is the most recent version), and Camtasia (specifically for publishing interactive videos to SCORM; the most recent versions are Camtasia 9 for Windows and Camtasia 3 for Macs).

Q: Does the course contain a quiz?

WHY: Whether there is a quiz in the course is relevant, not only to the data, but the publish settings, covered in the next question below.

Q: What publish settings and reporting/tracking options were chosen when the course was created?

WHY: The course publish settings dictate how users are supposed to interact with the course, and how the course sends data to the LMS. Here are some common publish settings that we usually need to know about in regards to completion and/or status…

Setting:  SCORM Version
Options:  SCORM 1.2; SCORM 2004 v 1.3; SCORM 2004 v 1.4
Function:  Dictates how much data will be sent from the course to the LMS; SCORM 1.2 sends only one status to the LMS, while SCORM 2004 sends two statuses.

Setting:  Report Status
Options:  Completed/Incomplete; Completed/Failed; Passed/Failed; Passed/Incomplete
Function:  Controls what data will be sent from the course to the LMS; this setting is also affected by the SCORM version selected; to learn more about how SCORM version and report status affect the data that is sent to the LMS, please check out this whitepaper: https://www.inquisiq.com/documents/scorm-publish-settings-in-articulate-studio-and-storyline-products/

Setting:  Tracking
Options:  Number of slides viewed (indicate number selected); Percentage of course viewed (indicate percentage selected); Quiz result (only if there is a quiz with a result slide; indicate score selected)
Function:  Learner may or may not have completed the course as required, set by the parameters in the tracking settings

If the questions above do not help to address the issue, have you experienced this situation? – A user completes a course, you run a report, and the report says that they have not completed the course yet. You go to their profile, click to view their enrollments, and the course is now listed as “Completed.”

WHY: Course completion data can get tied up in the database and not commit to the LMS right away. Let us know if this happens on your system. We have a solution that we can implement on your system that will resolve this issue.

 

ISSUE: “AN ERROR HAS OCCURRED WITHIN YOUR LESSON.”

Q: Is the learner launching the lesson in review mode (they’ve already completed the lesson), and was the original SCORM package resource for the lesson replaced AFTER they had already completed the lesson (Inquisiq only)?

WHY: The Inquisiq LMS stores the completion data from the old lesson (i.e. answers given in a quiz, completed interactions, etc), and when the new lesson launches in review mode, the LMS tries to apply the old completion data to areas that have moved or no longer exist in the new lesson. The data does not match up, the code cannot go where it wants to go, and the lesson throws an error. The extent/gravity of the changes made in the new version of the lesson will determine whether the new version of the lesson will throw errors in review mode for learners who completed the old version of the lesson.

Moving forward, if you must make changes to a lesson that go beyond adding/correcting a few lines of text, replacing an outdated image or video, or publishing the lesson to a different format (i.e. publishing to HTML5 when the old version was published to Flash), your best bet will be to upload the new SCORM package to the LMS and create an entirely new course out of it.

Q: What authoring tool was used to create the course? What version of the software was used?

WHY: The authoring tool and version used to create the course both dictate the possible features, publish settings, and known version bugs for that authoring tool. Common authoring tools used to create courseware are Articulate Storyline products (the most up-to-date versions are Storyline 3 and Storyline 360), Adobe Captivate (2017 is the most recent version), and Camtasia (specifically for publishing interactive videos to SCORM; the most recent versions are Camtasia 9 for Windows and Camtasia 3 for Macs).

Q: What format was the course published to?

WHY: The format that the course is published to can cause serious problems for the course, depending on the learner’s a) device, b) browser, c) browser settings and d) browser version. When publishing a course, format options usually include HTML5, Flash, or both.

HTML5 is currently the most widely accepted and used format across all platforms and up-to-date browsers. In the past it was used for mobile only, since older browsers did not support it. Now, newer browsers prefer HTML5, and do not support Flash. Due to this fact, it is important to keep in mind that users on older browsers will have trouble with courses published to HTML5, and users on newer browsers will have trouble with courses published to Flash.

Meanwhile, Flash is widely being phased out (due to its vulnerability and insecurity), with plans to cease support of the format completely by 2020. Publishing tools will soon stop offering to publish to Flash altogether, if they have not already stopped doing so. To learn more about the Flash phase-out, read this article: https://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2017/07/adobe-flash-update.html

With all of this in mind, as the industry pushes forward with more secure content formats, your best bet will be to publish to HTML5 only, and encourage your users to keep their browsers up to date.

Q: What device was the learner on when they accessed the course?

WHY: Depending on which authoring tool was used to create the course and with which settings, certain devices may not be able to display certain courses. For example, a course may have been created with an authoring tool that does not offer mobile compatibility.

Q: What browser was the learner using to access the course?

WHY: Every browser is different, and has the capacity to handle courses somewhat differently. Knowing which browser the learner was using will also help you to instruct the user on how to change their settings to display the course, if the settings in the browser are the culprit. For example, in Internet Explorer, Compatibility Mode tends to prevent learners from interacting with a course.

Q: Were there any extensions enabled on the browser when the learner accessed the course?

WHY: Browser extensions can affect the way that a course plays or sends data to the LMS. Ad blockers can also cause issues with displaying courses.

If the questions above do not help to address the issue, follow the following procedure:

  1. Launch the course.
  2. Right click the course window and select “Inspect” from the menu that appears.
  3. Click the “Console” tab in the developer window that appears.
  4. Click back into the course, and as you go through the course, watch the Console tab in the developer window for errors that appear at the same time as the error message appears in the course. They’re usually JavaScript errors, and must be addressed by a person familiar with JavaScript and SCORM coding.

We at ICS Learning Group have a team of course development experts who have decades of combined knowledge of the SCORM specification, including but not limited to how to address JavaScript issues in courseware, among many other custom eLearning solutions.

If you would like to utilize our consulting services to set up your courses so they function the way that you want them to, give us a call at (410) 975-9440, or put in a request for a free consultation at http://www.icslearninggroup.com/get-a-free-consultation-2/

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