Problems with Learning Management Systems

Hi all,

I wondered if anyone out there has come across this problem with a Learning Management System...
We have had a number of e-learning modules hosted on an L.M.S with an external company. Then a short time ago, this company did an upgrade to their S.C.O.R.M engine and their system in general AND all the tracking and records or the users who had completed or were halfway through these courses were WIPED...!!!!!!

I went straight to this company on the phone and asked basically how we were going to solve this problem and he advised me to go to Articulate and install the latest updates, which I did and then open each original course, republish it as a S.C.O.R.M  complaint module as normal and then upload these back to the L.M.S. He then told me that he had to manually re-insert the original records for each user back to these modules so that they looked the same as before, for example if Joe Bloggs went completed 5 module completely and passed the test at the end etc.

Now, I've been using Articulate for a while being an e-learning designer/developer etc but when I publish to a SCORM output and upload it to an LMS, I don't know what goes on exactly once that ZIP file lands on that LMS etc as I don't really deal with that side of things!

I thought when an Articulate  module is residing on an L.M.S whether it is a straight-forward module consisting of 10 screens of information or a multiple choice quiz, if a registered user logs into the system and does these courses then the information gathered on this guy's progress is collected and transferred to a DATABASE and if I had to replace these same modules in the future because they had spelling mistakes in them but I kept the same names etc then this wouldn't affect the records, RIGHT?

The data gathered about a user's progress doesn't somehow gets stored in those individual modules DOES IT?

So, I re-upload  a LARGE number of modules to this L.M.S and this guy tells me that he has "re-inserted" the records for EACH user and then afterwards we get users complaining that their records are still missing!

So we try to get to the bottom of this and this guy who is running this "L.M.S" tells us that this a browser issue?

He says the following:-

I’ve been testing the courses and I’d suggest the following:

1.       Use Internet Explorer or Google Chrome on a PC.

2.       Use Chrome on a Mac.

Now, I thought that your browser was like a window that viewed these modules on your LMS and that it shouldn't affect your progress in using them? Am I right?

So as you have probably gathered, I have had a pretty frustrating time with this guy. I didn't think that whejhn I started using modules on an LMS, If I had to change them a number of times that we would have to re-insert the user's records into them...EACH TIME! I am sure that something is fundamentally wrong here.

If I had my way, I would change our external vendor or try and host this ourselves. Is Moodle any good? Could someone recommend an alternative solution or even shed some light on my comments above?

I am sure that there's loads of Articulate users who upload and re-upload courses over and over again without losing learner tracking records and then having to re-insert these again?!? Otherwise there would be loads of e-learning developers with ONE MASSIVE HEADACHE and losing their hair... 

Thanks in advance... 

1 Reply
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Keith,

That certainly sounds like a major headache... 

I'm not certain what LMS you're using, but thought I'd share some information to help demystify the process, and then I'll defer to the community to weigh in on other LMS recommendations or thoughts on what may have happen. 

Not knowing your LMS, but based on how we operate Articulate Online, if you upload a new version of Presenter or Storyline with the same file name, it will overwrite the course but keep the users data. So, I'd think that you'd be correct in your assumption of how it should work in your LMS.  

It wouldn't be uncommon for there to be "recommended" browsers that work best with the LMS, as you'll see for viewing Presenter content, we suggest the following:

Flash Player 6.0.79 or later (http://www.adobe.com/go/getflash) (Flash Player 7 or later recommended), and one of the following browsers:

  • Windows: Internet Explorer 6 and later, Firefox 1.x and later, Safari 3 and later, Google Chrome, Opera 9.5 and later
  • Macintosh: Safari 3 and later,Firefox 1.x and later, Google Chrome
  • Linux: Firefox 1.x and later

And, when we know about a particular issue, such as this tracking issue within IE9, there is generally a good workaround included. It seems your LMS isn't offering you a lot of options, which if you'd like them to offer support for other browsers, I'd definitely suggest sharing that with your LMS team (or the one guy).  

The course itself doesn't hold the tracking data, but the LMS should. It will be based on how you set up the reporting and tracking data within your Presenter course though. Also, in terms of tracking a user who is accessing a course more than once, this is how Presenter communicates the Resume data to an LMS, although what your LMS chooses to do with that data...