Resume Presentation in LMS not always working

Hi Everyone!

I've got a problem I'm hoping someone might have some ideas on how to fix.  I deliver my Articulate-published presentations via a LMS (Prosperity).  For some of my users, the resume presentation feature works just fine (myself included).  However, there are numerous students for whom this feature does not work and they are required to start a presentation over from the beginning again.  Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but since the navigation is restricted, they're not able to jump ahead and must view all slides in order. 

I know there can be issues with the data_suspend file getting to large and messing up the bookmarking, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case here because the presentations are not that large and, as mentioned before, the resume presentation feature works just fine for the same courses for many of my users. 

A more technical person has suggest that there might be security settings within the users' browsers or issues with javascript that are causing the resume presentation feature to not work for all users.  Any ideas?

By the way, I'm using Presenter '09, SCORM 1.2 and have the box checked next to "When running in LMS, ignore FLASH cookie.

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions you can provide!

Best regards,

Steven Stark

Upward Bound Training

75 Replies
Aaron Anderson

Hi Steven,

I have not yet found a solution to this problem. I'm certain that we are having the same issue. Here's why:

When a student has this problem, I can login under their account and advance the student to the spot in the course where they left off (according to the suspend_data string). Once I exit, I am able to resume just fine. I contact the student and they are then able to get in just fine as well. The reason that this works is that when the student initially exits and is started over from slide 1, they call to inform us that they are not able to resume where they left off and they exit until we can fix it. Once they exit, it saves their "last slide viewed=1" since they exited on slide 1. In the suspend_data string all the way at the end, the numbers have changed from "7" to "1" which is some sort of code that has not yet been explained by Articulate - perhaps it's proprietary. Nonetheless, when I get in and advance the student to the slide where they last viewed and exit, these numbers all change to "7" (code that must mean that these slides have been completed - whereas the "1" likely means that it has not). It is this tail end of the code that is being read in order to resume the student; not the beginning numbers that state the student has viewed through n slides.

I'm confident that you'll find the same thing in your data string.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to get any clarity here (or elsewhere) regarding the meaning of the suspend_data string and why it can be overwritten in the first place. We know for certain that it is not the user that is selecting "No" when prompted to resume - we've seen this occur first-hand. The user is always selecting "Yes" when prompted to resume. I would think that either or both the LMS or Articulate could reprogram the data string to only overwrite when the answer to the resume prompt is "No" but there seems to be something else going on here. The string is maintaining the information that the user has viewed up to a certain slide but since it responds to the "last slide viewed" and not the "furthest slide viewed" (and the "7" is overwritten with "1") the student is resumed at the last viewed - which is slide 1 if they've exited and were not able to get back. I'm still thinking this is a matter of 7's and 1's but you'll not see a response to anything to do with 7's or 1's here. It seems to be the forbidden question.

I have not found any truth in this issue resulting from a browser, browser setting or version.

I've mitigated the variable of incorrectly selecting "No" during prompt to resume by changing the language in the prompt message in Articulate to read something like "You have already started this course" and the buttons to read "Resume where I left off" and "Reset my course". I also attempted to remove the prompt altogether but tound this not to be possible in Articulate - you can only modify the language, which I've done.

I hope this helps.

If anyone knows anything about the 7's and 1's and what they mean or how they can be set to stay 7's, please respond to this post and explain or help Steven and I.

Thanks,

Aaron

joe smith

Hi Dave, (hopefully get this)

I'm still searching for a solution to the issue with resume presentation not always working for my students and was wondering if you might be able to shed some light on a few questions I have . . .

Let me start by providing an example of the suspend_data file for a student who worked through a portion of a presentation.  Upon re-entering the presentation he answered 'Yes' to the prompt asking if he'd like to resume where he left off, but was forced to start over from slide 1.  The suspend_data information below was taken AFTER he was forced to start over again.

Normal 0 false false false oNotPromoteQF /> EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

viewed=1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30|lastviewedslide=1|1#1##,15,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1#0,0,0##1

One thing I've noticed is that the suspend_data file in these situations is that it looks the same as it would if the student had answered 'No' to the resume presentation prompt. Am I right?

1.  Is there anything that you're aware of that could cause a 'Yes' answer to the resume presentation prompt to act as if 'No' had been clicked instead?   Maybe something in the student's operating environment?  Or something within the LMS? 

2.  I was always under the impression that the ability to view slides already viewed within a 'locked' presentation was based on the viewed slides showing in the suspend_data file.  However, that seems not to be the case.  I tested it and after answering 'No' to the resume presentation prompt, the suspend_data file will still show all the slides previously viewed (viewed=), but it does not allow the user to freely move around and view slides already viewed.   So my question is how does a presentation decide which slides have already been viewed, thus allowing the user to jump around to other viewed slides within the presentation? 

Thanks for any help you can provide with these questions, Dave.  I feel like the better I can understand the way things work, the better my chances at figuring out why this problem occurs with the resume presentation not working properly.

Best regards,

Steven

Dave Mozealous

Hi Steven,

Sorry for the delay, I was out of the office the last couple days.

1. When this happens the cause is that the data that is returned by the LMS for the suspend_data can't be interpreted by the course.  So say for example we send the suspend_data to the LMS, and what is returned is something entirely different, when the course is launched it sees that suspend_data was sent back, so it asks if you would like to resume, if you select yes, then it tries to figure out where to resume you too.  If it doesn't know what to do with the data then it returns you to slide 1.  So essentially whenever the course gets suspend_data back from the LMS that it doesn't know how to interpret you will be prompted to resume, and dropped back on slide 1.

2. What you are seeing is not what I am seeing on http://cloud.scorm.com.  I went through a 9 slide locked course and exited, and the suspend_data that was sent looked like this:

viewed=1,2,3,4,5,6|lastviewedslide=6|5#1##,7,7,7,7,7,11,1,1,1###-1

I then launched the course again, selected "No" on the prompt to resume, viewed the first 2 slides and exited, and the suspend_data that was sent was this:
 viewed=1,2|lastviewedslide=2|1#1##,7,11,1,1,1,1,1,1,1###-1
Anyway, I hope that helps.
-Dave
joe smith

Dave,

Thank you so much for your reply and for shedding some light on exactly how things should work with the suspend_data file.  Something is clearly wrong in my case because the suspend_data files for students  who are being forced to start over from slide 1 again are still correctly showing the history of the slides they previously viewed.

Would you have any ideas as to what could be going on with the LMS to cause the resume presentation not to work even though the suspend_data file looks as it should?  It just doesn't make sense to me whey the resume feature doesn't work correctly even though the integrity of the suspend_data files appears to be fine.

Any thoughts or suggestions you have on the matter would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks,

Steven

joe smith

Hi Dave,

Sorry to be such a pain, but I just ran the same test you did in SCORM Cloud and got different results. 

I launched a locked presentation and viewed the first 5 slides which generated the following suspend_data info:

viewed=1,2,3,4,5|lastviewedslide=5|4#1##,7,7,7,7,11,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1#0,0##-1

I then closed and re-entered the course again and answered 'No' to the resume presentation prompt.  As expected, I was forced to start over from slide 1, but the suspend_date info that was generated is below.  It still shows the original 5 slides that were viewed.  And even though it shows the 5 slides being viewed, I was not able to move around freely within those 5 slides.  I could only view slide 1.

viewed=1,2,3,4,5|lastviewedslide=1|0#1##,11,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1#0,0##-1

Any ideas on why we got different results in our tests?  Normally I wouldn't care about such a trivial matter, but I'm just trying to figure everything out so I can figure out why resume presentation doesn't always work properly.

Thanks again, 

Steven

Justin Wilcox

Hi Steven,

We send all of the information regarding your attempts, but when you say No to resuming it means you are starting over. You are explicitly saying you don't want to resume where you left off. That means in a restricted course, you need to view everything over again. If you didn't want to, you would simply say Yes to the prompt to resume. In  your Player Text Labels in Player Templates you can customize the resume message to be more clear if you think that it's not clear to the end user what's happening. However, what you are seeing wouldn't impact completion status in anyway.

Dave Mozealous

Hey Steven,

Yeah, after looking at my second attempt, it does look like right after we get the resume data from the LMS we submit it again, but if you look at the very last time we send it, it should only show the data from the last attempt.

See these logs:

1st Attempt:

http://cloud.scorm.com/sc/guest/ViewDebugLog?logId=c7226da9-1374-4b88-951e-ed94c05041d5&courseTitle=Current

2nd Attempt:

http://cloud.scorm.com/sc/guest/ViewDebugLog?logId=a2c9bf49-7ef1-4548-81af-656449bc05e4&courseTitle=Current

Can you send the links to the debug logs for your attempts?

-Dave

Aaron Anderson

Hi Steven,

If you check the resume_data string, you'll notice that in the first string, there are four sevens present. A "7" indicates a completion status and it is this part of the string that is actually being read by the LMS in order to resume you where you left off. The "viewed=" and "lastviewed=" data does not affect the resume.

viewed=1,2,3,4,5|lastviewedslide=5|4#1##,7,7,7,7,11,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1#0,0##-1

In the second string, notice that there is an eleven in the first number space (must mean a partial completion of the first slide - that is, you saw the first slide but did not complete it - see also the fifth digit in the first string that shows and eleven on the fifth slide) and then there are a series of ones following (best I can tell, a "1" indicates the slide is not complete and has not been viewed).

viewed=1,2,3,4,5|lastviewedslide=1|0#1##,11,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1#0,0##-1

It is the 7's and 1's argument that I have been having through this entire string. Why are the sevens being overwritten by ones when the student clearly indicates that he/she wishes to resume? I have posed this question in several different ways without a response to this particular issue.

Good luck and I'll stay tuned if anyone has an answer to that one and a solution to fix.

Aaron

Jeb Hoge

FWIW, we're also fighting this battle with a course we've developed. We've tested with two different LMSs; same behavior with each system, but different slides in each one. The one possibility we've disproven is the suspend data character limit (based on checking our log files on 2-3 different runs). I'll keep checking back.

joe smith

Hi Dave,

I ran the same test and still got different results than you. My 2nd attempt (clicking 'No' to resume presentation prompt) still shows the slides I had previously viewed int he 1st attempt (or else I'm not seeing the right info).

1st Attempt

http://cloud.scorm.com/sc/user/ClientDebugLogReport?appId=7LMHGFYL7V&courseId=G1a05e0f9e-376e-435b-9f87-60c4aab939af&logId=7184ef18-ec75-4cfa-9318-5b92919992d8

2nd Attempt

http://cloud.scorm.com/sc/user/ClientDebugLogReport?appId=7LMHGFYL7V&courseId=G1a05e0f9e-376e-435b-9f87-60c4aab939af&logId=12e500e2-468f-4287-b3e7-c8f23e9a570c

Thanks for your willingness to look at all of this.  I've poured over the various forums, blogs, etc. and I know I'm not the only person that has this problem.   Maybe if we're able to figure out the problem we'll win a Nobel Prize or something.

Steven

joe smith

Jeb,

Thanks for you post.  It's nice to know that Aaron and I aren't alone in this issue.  In your experience, is the problem with resume presentation not working intermittent?  Or does it happen consistently? 

With me it's totally inconsistent.  My students report that sometimes resume presentation will work fine for them and other times it won't.  Of course, this makes it even more difficult to troubleshoot.  And to make it worse, I've never been able to duplicate the issue in my own testing.  It always works perfectly for me. 

Aaron Anderson

Hi All,

In my experience it's intermittent. One thing that baffles me is that we get a student that experiences this issue and we can login as that student, resume from slide 1 (just as the student experiences) and advance through the course exiting and resuming as often or as little as we want in order to get to the slide where the student expierenced the issue. We can then exit on that slide and tell the student that we were not able to duplicate the issue and then, if we look at the resume_data, what used to be ones is now sevens and the student is then able to resume where they were previously. I'm still certain there's something to the sevens and ones.

Aaron

Jeb Hoge

We've had an existing version of this course on Learn.com (now Taleo) for a few years, and if the users were having non-user-error problems, we never caught on to it. This new version is much more fully featured and complex, but the basic structure is the same, and so it was kind of a surprise that our testers started having issues, and then the current public version (the old one) started doing the same. I'd had to republish it, though, about three weeks ago when our LMS admin accidentally borked up the public course, so...who knows?

We're trying out the blank-slide-after-quiz fix now. Crossing fingers.

Aaron Anderson

Hi Jeb,

We checked our reports of this issue and tried to correlate the issue to particular slides (especially the slide after the quiz since it seems natural that someone might exit after a quiz and later continue the course). We did not find  but a single instance where this was the case - after scores of complaints where we collected the lastslideviewed from the customer and confirmed through the resume_data string.

This did not turn out to be a fix for our issue.

Good luck!

joe smith

Dave,

I'm using version v6.3.1103.112 Pro for Presenter '09.

I've attached the zip file for the presentation I used in my testing.

On a side note, do you know when the next version of Presenter is scheduled to be released?  And will it have a 'forced resume' option so that the Resume Presentation prompt won't have to appear?

Thanks,

Steven

Jeb Hoge

Pardon the frustration, but I'm losing confidence in the product. We've got our QA team working on testing our course. Here's a sample of the kind of results they're seeing.

"I took and passed the quiz for Predatory Lending. I continued on with the slides and went to slide 132. I exited properly. When I came back in the system asked if I wanted to Resume where I left off. I clicked yes, but the system took me to question 6 of the Predatory lending quiz and not to slide 132 where I left off. "

We can't identify why this is happening, and as far as I have heard, neither can the LMS vendor (and it's happening in different LMSs), and we've got 42 entries in this thread about the issue as well. Why are we missing the answer?

Aaron Anderson

Hi Jeb,

I feel your frustration. Same issues on our end. We are losing business as a result of this issue and looking at other course development software as a result (leaning towards Lectora at the moment).

There's certainly something to the sevens and ones in the data string. Once a slide has been viewed and completed, the character for that slide in the data string should change from a one to a seven and should never be overwritten unless the user selects the option not to resume.

I'm not sure why there's an avoidance of anything to do with sevens and ones in any of the responses here (equally as frustrated), but I'm sure solving that would fix the issue. Can't it be made somehow (probably fairly easily for someone with some programming ability) to make the data string a write only feature where it cannot be overwritten with one exception - the student selects 'No' on the resume prompt? I'm pretty sure that's how it's supposed to work.

Anyone out there know about 7's and 1's and care to respond? It may be helpful to know exactly what the data in the string represents. I've seen sixes, threes, elevens and fifteens as well but can only deduce that a seven is a completion status and a one is a never viewed status. The others likely represent some duration of slide progress but unsure.

Thanks,

Aaron

Brian Batt

Aaron Anderson said:

Anyone out there know about 7's and 1's and care to respond? It may be helpful to know exactly what the data in the string represents. I've seen sixes, threes, elevens and fifteens as well but can only deduce that a seven is a completion status and a one is a never viewed status. The others likely represent some duration of slide progress but unsure.

Thanks,

Aaron


Hi Aaron,

This article should get you pointed in the right direction:

http://www.articulate.com/support/presenter09/kb/?p=2479

Aaron Anderson

Thanks, Brian.

I have read through that and it is useful in understanding how the data string works, it still does not explain what a seven or a one or an eleven in section 3 of the data string means.

Any light on the meaning of a seven? A one? An eleven? A fifteen? A six? A three?

Also, is there a way to not allow any data in the string to be overwritten (outside of the exception of selecting "No" when prompted to resume)?

Jeb Hoge

Our LMS provider just says that there is a problem in communication between the LMS and the course. So that's helpful. THANKS, TALEO.

One thing we are going to test is whether the course still throws up resume issues when we take it from an outside line (e.g. not coming through our company internet connection).

Jeb Hoge

Our course has multiple quizzes in it. Right now, when the user exits and then re-enters, the course is re-entering within a quiz (e.g. question 3, or question 6 as I'd posted earlier...it hasn't been consistent). (Edited to add...running in ScormCloud, it's still doing it, but now it's re-entering question 10).

Should the course even be able to re-enter WITHIN a quiz? The quizzes are all set to not allow the user to exit without completing the quiz, if it matters.

Dave Mozealous

Hey Steven,

It looks like something is up with that course you sent me because when I do select to resume, it doesn't resume properly.  Have you submitted a support ticket about this?  Maybe you should submit a case and see if they can figure out what is up, as I can't seem to repro that here on my own projects.

>On a side note, do you know when the next version of Presenter is scheduled to be released?  And will it have a 'forced resume' option so that the Resume Presentation prompt won't have to appear?

Sorry, we haven't announced a release date for our future products.  Forced resume has been a common request, so I wouldn't be surprised to see it work itself into our future products.

@Aaron

> Any light on the meaning of a seven? A one? An eleven? A fifteen? A six? A three?

Here is an in depth explanation of the 7,etc...

3#1##,7,7,7,11,1###-1

 

Last Completed Slide: 3

ViewMode: 1

Retry Count: Null

Slide State Data: ,7,7,7,11,1

Lock Data: Null

Embedded Data: Null

Open Tab: -1 

 

Slide Data

Slide 1: 7 = 00111 (Displayed = true, Touched = true,Completed = true, Highlighted = false, Expanded = false) Slide 2: 7 = 00111Slide 3: 7 = 00111 Slide 4: 11 = 01011 Slide 5: 1 = 00001

 

Displayed = 1

Touched = 2

Completed = 4

Highlighted = 8

Expanded = 16

I haven't posted this in the past because I didn't want to get into a long explanation of which each of these elements are, and I don't know if it gets at really finding where the problem is...but if it helps....

>Also, is there a way to not allow any data in the string to be overwritten (outside of the exception of selecting "No" when prompted to resume)?

Not on our side...but not sure if this would be totally ideal either.  Say I go and view slides 1 and 2, exit, select no to resume, then view 1,2,3,4,5,6, etc.  I really want to save the second value, not the first.

@Jeb: 

>Should the course even be able to re-enter WITHIN a quiz? 

Yes if resume is turned on in the quiz.  As a note though, the SCORM limit for suspend_data is really low, and although some LMSs support more than the limit, some support less than the limit, and when you add a quiz to a course it will drastically increase the size of the suspend_data.  We do compress the data, but there is a limit to how much we can compress it.  My point being, say we go over the value of what the LMS can support, often LMSs will truncate the data, so they won't send back the same suspend_data string we sent them, which will cause the course not to resume properly.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

-Dave

Jeb Hoge

Thanks, Dave...the info about the quizzes really does help. I'm thinking that we may disable the resume function within the quizzes; they're only 10 questions each, and if it helps, then it helps.

Incidentally, one thing I did yesterday with the quizzes (or at least the last four in the course) was deleted them completely and rebuilt them. It appears, at this time, that our course is resuming as it's supposed to. Maybe there was something corrupted in the quizzes, but in any case, that's a positive development.

joe smith

Hey Dave,

 

I was trying to work with Articulate Support on this issue, but it's pretty much a dead issue because I can't produce an Articulate debug log for a situation where resume presentation isn't working properly.  While I have plenty of end users that have the problem, there's no way I can get a debug log from them.  And resume presentation always works fine for me so I can't really reproduce it myself.  My end users are paying customers and I can't inconvenience them with my issue of trying to get a debug log.  That said, I'm still trying to learn more about the issue so that perhaps I'll find a solution at some point or figure out where the problem lies.  

I read what you posted below regarding how an LMS can return data that is different from the suspend_data info that was sent by Articulate.  I understand how in the case where the LMS has a limit on the amount of data is can support for the suspend_data file that it could return something different, but if that's not the issue, what are other reasons an LMS would return something other than what was sent by the course?  Would you be able to provide any examples of when or why this would happen?

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Dave Mozealous said:

If it doesn't, my guess would be that the LMS isn't returning the same data it was sent for suspend_data.  Unfortunately we see this sometimes from learning management systems, and it can be any number of things, like the LMS not supporting the minimum SCORM standard for suspend data (4096 characters), or any other number of things.

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Thanks,

Steven