Debug a .story file

Hi all,

I could really use some help debugging a Storyline file.
The problem: some users (maybe 1 out of 100 or 1000, but still!) experience problems with my courses. The progress is lost. The courses are all built in the same template and the problem occurs with multiple courses, on different devices and browsers, for a couple of months now.

The user reports that he succesfully passed the exam ('Eindtoets') and had 7 or more out of 10 questions correct. The results screen also shows this, see the below screenshot from the user (PASSED-layer is shown):

User results screen

However when I use her credentials to login and open the course, it shows that she had 0 out of 10 correct. The Results screen shows the FAILED-layer:

Check results screen

Also, the button for redoing the test is gone. Which is placed on the base layer of the results screen. Only when the user PASSES, the button to retake the test is hidden:

 

Trigger on PASSED layer to hide button

So how can the button disappear on the failed-layer?

 

The users report that the course is not finished and they do not get their certificate. When reopening the course, they get this failed layer on the Result screen, with no option to retake the test. They also report sometimes that other progress is also lost. It's like the course doesn't track the user's progress in some cases. I have included the .story file of one of the courses.

 

What's going on? Is it a browser issue? Internet issue? Any help would be greatly  appreciated!

9 Replies
Steve Gannon

Sara, when I encounter these types of LMS recordkeeping issues, I often find that they occur because the SCORM 1.2 data limit is exceeded. If users go through the course from beginning to end (without a lot of jumping around and revisiting visited slides) and do not need to relaunch the course later, their record is often recorded properly. But if they exit and later resume, that's when problems often occur. If your LMS supports it, you might try publishing for SCORM 2004 (much more data can be recorded with 2004 than 1.2). Less desirable, but perhaps tolerable, would be to change the Resume setting in the Player to "Never resume" (less data needs to be recorded with that setting).

Regarding the Results Slide button, I could not replicate that issue in the .story file you posted. The button appeared properly. Perhaps some users are retaking the quiz (by using the Menu) even though they passed, just to see if they can improve their score. 

Walt Hamilton

We know this much about computer things: Articulate is going to tell you it is the fault of the LMS, and the LMS people are going to tell you it is the fault of Storyline, and if results are different, it means different things happened, even if we don't know what or where, or why.

In the example you gave, the learner passed, the Retake button was hidden, the state of the slide was saved, but something happened to the number of correct answer data.  When you restarted the slide, the button was gone, but the correct answers defaulted to  zero.  Sounds like the problem is somewhere in the process between when SL discovers the score, and when NewSpring saves it.

If that few users are experiencing problems, and it is that random, I don't think you'll find the answer in either SL or LMS. Truthfully, you are very unlikely to be able to reliably fix what you can't reproduce (sorry).

I tend to favor one of two options, and the first one is to think Steve is on the right track.

My second option is some sort of transmission glitch, or connectivity issue.

Sara Swier

@Steve: I think you were right! The LMS I am on uses SCORM 1.2 with a "suspend_data" maximum of 4096 characters. In the latest example of this bug, the file contained 4947 characters in the suspend_data. It seems you are onto something. 

Do you think allowing more data than 4096 characters in the "suspend_data" would be enough to mitigate this issue using the Scorm 1.2-standard (seeing as that's what the LMS supports; Scorm1.2 with a larger suspend_data)?

Steve Gannon

That might work, Sara. There are many discussions in the forum going back several years about issues with the suspend_data limit and possible workarounds. Alternatives would be to break your course into two Storyline files or inquire with your LMS provider to see if they are considering support for SCORM 2004 3rd or 4th edition.

Sara Swier

Hi Steve,

Could you share any links to those workarounds? 

Breaking the course into 2 pieces is unfortunately not possible, as we have thousands of users on the courses :( It would mean issues for the existing users if the course was altered that way.

Do you think that, if there are too many characters in the suspend_data, the excess characters would be cut off? So anything above 4096 would get deleted on restart of the course? 
Does Storyline support to access the excess data above 4096 characters upon restart, or would that information get lost? That would explain the missing button and lost progress of the users.

Steve Gannon

Hi Sara,

I don't have any particular workaround links off-hand. I would begin with a search of the Community forum, for example:

https://community.articulate.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=suspend+data 
https://community.articulate.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=suspend_data 
https://community.articulate.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=scorm+1.2+limit 

Next, there are a few articles on Articulate's Support page:

https://articulate.com/support/article/exceeding-scorm-suspend-data-limits

https://articulate.com/support/search?p=Storyline+2&q=suspend+data 
https://articulate.com/support/search?p=Storyline+2&q=suspend_data

Yes, characters beyond the limit will likely get cut off, not get transmitted to the LMS, and not be available from the LMS upon restart. 

Since you are unable to split up your course into two pieces or publish for SCORM 2004, can you edit your course by deleting any content? If not, I'm out of ideas. I always have been fortunate to be able to re-publish to SCORM 2004 to resolve these issues.