Suspend Data Issues Using SCORM 1.2 and Storyline

Mar 19, 2015

I'm mainly wondering if anyone is experiencing any similar problems with Storyline when publishing for SCORM 1.2.


When I publish as SCORM 1.2 and load it into an LMS that requires SCORM 1.2, my co-workers and I have found that we run into bookmarking issues. Mainly we see these issues in the Test at the end. If you exit the course after finishing the test and then re-run the course, the bookmarking will place you back in the test.


After many hours of testing, we discovered that it appeared to be a suspend data cap issue. SCORM 1.2 allows for only 4k characters in the suspend data where as SCORM 2004 4th Edition allows for 64k characters.


We then started to experiment with Storyline files to see where the bloat of the Suspend Data was coming from. The bloat comes from the test (if you are basing completion off of a score, not off slides viewed). How much bloat you ask? Here are our findings.


We created a test file that contains 3 slides and uses the default Storyline interface. 

-Slide 01 is a "content slide." All it contains is text.

-Slide 02 is the question bank. The question bank contains 30 questions but only gives the user 25 to answer. This is also in the default Storyline question template.

-Slide 03 is the results slide. The results slide tracks the question bank on slide 02.

-Published as SCORM 1.2, Reporting: Passed/Failed, Tracking: Using quiz results (Results Slide).

*All Suspend Data will be referenced by character count. (e.g. Suspend Data = 100 means Suspend Data = 100 Characters)

*Data was gathered using Google Chrome's developer tools.


Slide 01 Suspend Data Generated = 18

Slide 02 Suspend Data Generated (25 Questions) = 2,819

Slide 03 Suspend Data Generated (Results Slide) = 108

Average Suspend Data per question = 112.8

Total Suspend Data for the Course = 2,945


As you can see, the Test generates the bloat of the suspend data. Also, remember our suspend data cap of 4k? This means that a default Storyline Test with 25 questions generates over half the allotted Suspend Data cap for SCORM 1.2.


Which brings me to my question. Has anyone else experienced any issues publishing SCORM 1.2 using Storyline? Problems with bookmarking or with scores being recorded incorrectly?



34 Replies
Rebecca Carter

is that it? Woohoo! I tried really hard to strip it back and set 'return to initial state' on 95% of my slides to reduce the data so it must have worked.

Would you mind explaining to me what you did so I can do this myself in future? I looked for the line you mentioned above and I saw many of them with that 'LMSSetValue('cmi.suspend_data', at the front of them, do I have to literally copy and paste each line into Word and let it count the characters?

Leslie McKerchie

Hello Jaime and welcome to E-Learning Heroes :)

You are experiencing an issue with your course resuming at a specific place?

The suspend_data element for a Storyline SCORM course tells the learning management system (LMS) where you leave off when you exit the course and lets you resume the course later in the same place without having to start over. It isn't likely you'll exceed the suspend data limits imposed by some LMSs. However, if you do, this article will help you resolve it.

You mention only being able to publish to SCORM 1.2 and as you can see in that article, the limit is 4,096 characters in the SCORM Standard. That is not determined by Storyline.

Mateusz Szuter

I'd like to review the thread, as I was struggling past few days with bookmarking problem on SABA.

First of all, my Storyline 360 put an enter inside variable text value (there wasn't an enter originally).  Which caused my client LMS to not properly save or read the data and bookmarking didn't work. I've used SCORM1.2 and my suspend data length was about 3900. After few hours I found that little annoyance and everything started to work.

Phil posted his bit of data and I've noticed that in mine too - I've got hella lot of "default" inside the susepnd data. Like 30-40? It's 5% of available SCORM1.2 limit. What is that 'default' and maybe Storyline staff, you should encode that too, so we can save some additional space?

Vincent Scoma

Hi Mateusz,

Depending on the size of the course, you may be running into a suspend data limitation. For SCORM 1.2, the limit is 4,096 characters. To overcome the limits imposed by earlier versions of SCORM, Storyline compresses the suspend data and doesn't impose limitations on suspend data. If you are hitting a snag with the suspend data limits, this help guide provides some solutions to help resolve it!

Mateusz Szuter

Vincent, as I wrote - "my suspend data length was about 3900". I've double checked if it fits the boundaries of scorm 1.2.

What you didn't answer is why there are so many 'default' in suspend data. It takes so much valuable space in scorm 1.2. I know it's old and I would love to see it gone, but fact is, that many platforms works only with scorm 1.2. By compressing default to one symbol instead of 7, you can save much suspend data quota.

Second thing is - Storyline put, without asking :) or any necessity, an 'end line' character in my variable. That caused the failure of sending suspend data to SABA platform (however moodle or scormcloud didn't have any problems with that). It could be some random bug but people should know about it when searching for possible fix.

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