Tracking issues and random freezes

I wonder if anyone has had any experience with courses freezing at random points and not at the same time, not tracking correctly. We have a couple of support calls logged with Articulate and our internal IT team and LMS provider are also working on the problem. I'm holding off a full launch of one course that supports part of a major project within our business and have had to take the other off line, until we can solve the problem

Both courses seem to freeze randomly, most commonly when a text entry is require or a video plays, but not always on the same slides. Both courses have a number of both slide types. The page can sometimes be refreshed, or the course logged out of and resumed for the problem to clears. Most commonly the course needs to be restarted from the beginning.

The tracking problem occurs when the user complete the course fully but the LMS records an incomplete status, this is affecting about 20% of users. The two courses are tracked differently within the course one by tracking a quiz with the passing percentage set to zero and the other by slide count. I have run both courses in Scormcloud and they work ok. I have run both courses in Storyline debug mode and they seem run ok. I have only managed to repeat the issues with one of the courses and the log looks ok, but I'm waiting for this to be confirmed. When the fault does occur, it keeps reoccurring, until the browser cache is cleared or the browser is run in incognito mode.

We are running the courses in developer mode in Chrome and no issues are showing. All users access the courses from a training PC running windows 7 over the company network, the PC's are of similar similarly spec and build, some location are experiencing a higher level of fault than others. I have tried access the courses using different logins with different network profiles and different spec PC's, using windows 7 and 10 none of which has helped.

If anyone can point us in the direction of what else we can investigate it would be a great help.

Thanks

Jeremy

 

11 Replies
Crystal Horn

Hi John.  Thanks for checking in.  Jeremy and the support team concluded that some users were experiencing slow connection issues causing data loss.

From the technical standpoint, large courses that require more processing headroom may freeze on slow computers (And this is true even for other non-network related activities) which could result to disruption of data communication between the content and the LMS. The best way to isolate this issue is by viewing the course on two computers (Slow and Faster computers) that are connected on the same network. Then, monitor the network traffic between those machines and see if the slower computer renders more timeouts/suspend files. If this is the case, the only feasible workaround is to trim down the course to something more manageable (or even split it down to multiple modules) to cater slower computers with less processing power. 

We'd love to give you a hand, though, John.  Can you open a case with out support team so we can start troubleshooting the freezing you're experiencing?  Thanks!

Jeremy Usher

WE never managed to isolate a single cause of this problem, but making several small changes, did make a small improvements. 

Course tracking:

As Crystal suggested, we split the course into three modules.

The course also had several videos, these were converted to a lower bit rate and made smaller in the course to reduce the file sizes.

To further reduce the file size we used the following setting in the publishing setting for quality; video 1, Audio 56kbps, Image quality 30%. This seemed to give a good compromise between quality and usability.

Our LMS provider changed the parameters on the Suspend data field within their system, as Storyline was saving more than the SCORM standard allowed,  even when the course was split into three. They changed the setting to NVARCHAR if that means anything to you, it doesn't to me.

Undoubtedly a slow PC and a slow connection made this problem much worse. One failed asset or line of code showing in Developer tools would cause the course to mis-track. This would happen even on faster machines occasionally. I use a very powerful PC that is designed for video editing on a Gigabit connection and have experience this issue. We used the following Java script on the last slide to force the LMS to complete ( triggered it at the start of the timeline):

var lmsAPI = parent;
lmsAPI.SCORM_CallLMSSetValue("cmi.core.lesson_status", "completed");

This code alone reduced the mis-tracking rate from 15% to less that 5%.

Course freezing:

This seemed to be linked to one of two issues.

  1. Slow connection, the changes to the course to reduce the file size minimised this issue.
  2. Colleagues using Internet Explorer to view the course or any Storyline 360 course. We've created shortcuts to our LMS that open in Chrome.

Hope this helps.

Jeremy

Anouk van Dijk

I am having issues with tracking as well with an Articulate 360 course in our LMS (NetDimensions). I have a published course that performs well, so no issues there, but the LMS tracking does not work in I.E..Never had this issue in Storyline2 (same client,same LMS, same browser).

It does work in Chrome, Safari and Firefox. So it took us a while to discover where it went wrong. In internet Explorer, unfortunately the default browser of my client, the course does not resume where it was left if you pause in the middle and it does not reach the completed status.

I changed my publishing options from flash/HTML5 fallback to HTML5/Flash fallback but that is no solution. Looking through the community I find loads of stuff about the performing issues that were solved a few months ago but no new issues on tracking like this. Anyone any ideas?

Anouk

Crystal Horn

Hi there, Anouk.  Thanks for describing the differences you're seeing between IE and the other browsers when resuming and reporting your course.  I did a quick test in SCORM Cloud, and I was able to resume a course in IE several times and get the proper reporting.  I tested both HTML5 and Flash output.

Could you run your LMS output through SCORM Cloud as well, and test in IE to compare?  If it resumes and plays properly in SCORM Cloud, you'll be able to go to your LMS support team with concrete details about the course working in other environments.

Let me know if you need a hand with that!

Anouk van Dijk

Hi Chrystal,

Thanks for your reply. Yesterday, my supplier (of both LMS and Dutch agent for Articulate) did exactly that. In SCORM cloud there are no issues but in the used LMS they can reproduce the issue. So they are looking further into it. It seems an LMS issue after all rather than Articulate. Hopefully they find a solution.

OWEN HOLT

Anouk, I'm faced with this exact issue now. Fortunately, we are moving to a new LMS. Unfortunately, I have a big deliverable that needs to go out now that fails to update the transcript. (Works fine on scorm cloud and on the future LMS... just not the current one I need to publish to).

What did your team find? Did you try changing the JS code in the Configuration.js file?

 

Katie (Gokhshteyn) Riggio

Greetings, Owen!

I'm sorry to hear you're facing this issue on your current LMS. I'd love to help in any way I can!

First, just in case Anouk is no longer subscribed here, feel free to use the Contact Me button on their profile page to reach out!

It might be helpful to enable LMS Debug Mode to see the communication between Storyline and the current LMS. If you can share the resulting debug log with your LMS team, they should be able to track down the cause. If you're able to share the log with us here, we can help interpret it!

Good luck, and I hope some community members can weigh in!

Gerry Wasiluk

Another thing that sometimes helps if you have access to an IT resource who has Fiddler or something like HTTP Watch and knows how to use them and interpret them (it is a bit technical). 

With those, you can see the all the many pieces of content downloading to the PC.  Sometimes you might find an issue like something is not downloading or taking an awfully long time to download.