Sep 07, 2012

I’m working with a client that wants to track the score and number of attempts it takes an individual to pass an assessment. So if it takes an individual 3 times to take pass the assessment, the details (score/date) is reported separately.

The assessment is created in Storyline, published in SCORM 2004, and uploaded to the LMS. Currently, the LMS is only reporting the details (score/date) of the last attempt. I’ve been working with the LMS administrators who tell me

“To get this to work this way, you would need to use SCORM 2004. SCORM 2004 would allow your course to submit a "Failed" "success_status" (course map) and a "Completed" "completion_status" (course level). This would accomplish what you need. If you have the ability to implement the course with SCORM 2004, this would be my recommendation.”

While Storyline is passing this information successfully to the LMS, it is also keeping the course in “suspend” mode when exiting the course. In order for the LMS to report individual attempts , Storyline needs to pass Finish. I found in the help section where you can edit the default exit type to Finish [EXIT_TYPE_FINISH]; however this still keeps the course in suspend when exiting rather than finish.

Since the LMS reports in this fashion, it’s been suggested that I set the course to where the individual can only take the course once – and if they fail, the score will be reported, but the individual would have to re-register for the assessment to take it again. While this is not ideal, it is a work around the client would accept.

Any suggestions or other ideas that may result in the outcome the client is requesting? Suggestions/ideas greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

16 Replies
Brian Allen

Hello Sherry,

We're using SumTotal LMS, and are able to accomplish this using SCORM 1.2.  It's really on the LMS administrative side of things where these settings are set.  

The only thing that you really need to make sure you do when publishing from Articulate is use the Passed/Failed or Completed/Failed reporting status.

Brian Allen

I haven't used Mzinga, but with SumTotal there is a setting for SCORM content that tells the LMS to either write over the last set of results for a SCORM course or to create a new set of results.  We have this set to always create a new set rather than write over the last, because like your client we want to have the option available to see the results from every attempt should we need to.

This setting is definitely on the LMS side, not the content side.  If it were me, I would see if the LMS administrators could consult with the LMS vendor and see if there is a similar setting in their system that they are missing.

Sherry Sesler

Thank you for the information Brian. I'm working as the LMS administrator for this and I do know there is not an on/off option for writing over the results.

Since I'm pretty sure they are not going to "fix" the issue on their side, is there a way to only allow the users to go through the course once, even though they fail, and still track the score?

Brian Allen

Hopefully it gets you to where you need to be.  Again, even the once through a course setting is something that I generally prefer to set on the LMS side.  In SumTotal we have the ability to limit the number of course attempts.

This is preferable in my opinion because if the learner is not going to be allowed to complete the course again, I want them to know *before* they launch the course, rather than launch the course and then get a message from the course content that they cannot complete it again.

Sherry Sesler

Since I only want the person to take the quiz once (versus multiple times), I have just set the course to "Never Resume", which when they relaunch it they see the failed screen and cannont attempt the course. I still need it to pass "completed" to the LMS. I don't think this option does that. It just limits the amount of times the user can take the quiz by disabling the Retry Quiz button after an assigned number of attempts.

Brian Allen

From my experience, tracking each attempt is something that you're going to have to work with the LMS vendor to accomplish.  There are no changes that you're going to be able to make to your content (that I'm aware of) that will change how the LMS tracks multiple attempts of the same course/quiz.  Does Mzinga have a user forum or user group that you could pose this question to?

Bob S

I'm with you, Brian.  We've always handled tracking multiple attempts on the LMS side. Never had a need to use 2004 for this as it's a function most LMS's have... albeit hidden on some of them.

Typical LMS settings include things like...

  • Report best attempt
  • Report last attempt
  • Report all attempts

That kinda thing.

Every time a learner goes through the course and submits a quiz, the LMS should record it. Now... what the LMS chooses to do with that info is another matter. My advice is same as Brian... work with them to see if you can't extract the results they are most certainly recieving.

Hope this helps,


Sherry Sesler

So this is what I'm getting from the tech...

"Admittedly there is a little bit of difference between the way LMS's will handle the SCORM spec.  Ours does not roll SCORM 1.2 courses up on a fail, while others (including the one they mention) do.  Unfortunately there is nothing we can do to change this now.

As for the SCORM 2004 part of that there are a few things here:

1.  Our report doesn't allow you to dig down into each individual attempt.  I believe we have a report that may show more detail in the newer reports or in development, but I believe it would require future upgrades to access those.  Even then I'm not 100% sure it would drill down that far.

2.  The real reason the SCORM 2004 version will not work with the current report functionality is that the course won't ROLL UP.  This appears to be because the course, when in a Fail/Incomplete status, always passes a CMI.EXIT value of "Suspend".  In our SCORM implimentation, we don't allow that to roll up because it states in the SCORM documentation:

If the SCO set the cmi.exit to “suspend”, then the LMS should set the
cmi.entry to “resume”. By setting the cmi.exit to “suspend”, the SCO is
indicating that the learner has exited the SCO with the intent of returning to
the SCO at a later time. Since the learner attempt was suspended, once the
learner attempt is resumed, the SCO shall have the same set of data that was
acquired during the previously suspended learner attempt.

Unfortunately everyone interprets things like this slightly different, and there are a myriad of rules that go along with all of this that are sometimes missed or not interpreted correctly.
See the "SCORM 1.2" issue that I mention above.  We pass the SCORM conformance tests for both of our implementations, but that does not mean that it's correct, and neither would a course that passes as well. 

My thought is that we may want to ask them why the course always sends a "Suspend" on a failed attempt. Perhaps we can get more info on that."

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Brian Allen

If the vendor is saying that Articulate is passing incorrect values on exit, I would suggest opening a case with Articulate customer support so they can validate these findings.

I went to an elearning guild conference a couple of years ago, and there was a vendor there giving away tshirts that read "I hate my LMS".  Sometimes I can TOTALLY relate to that, lol

Sherry, hope you're able to find a quick resolution, and I would definitely be interested in knowing what you ultimately find out!


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