What are the things that affect resume where you left off and suspend_data?

I've spent a significant amount of time trying to figure out what are the things that affect the suspend_data element in Articulate. 

I have a course in which the Resume where you left-off functionality doesn't work.

Once the course reaches a specific slide, it always comes back to that slide and never resumes past that point, even if I exit the course from another slide or a different scene. It always just saves progress up-to the same specific point.

I published the course with "On Restart: Always Resume" and "On Restart: Prompt to Resume" and tested both configurations both on SCORM Cloud and our LMS and get the exact same behaviour. So I know this is not a "restriction from our LMS"

I submitted a ticket with my source file, and the only options that I've been given so far are:

1) Publish to SCORM 2004 - Not an option (our LMS only supports SCORM 1.2)

2) Remove the functionality - Not a solution

3) Delete some slides - If it was just the number of slides that determined the length of the suspend_data element of the Storyline SCORM package, none of my courses would work. I have courses with more slides than this one, and none of them have these issue.  Deleting slides seems like an over-simplified non-realistic fix. 

I'd like to know if someone has an understanding of what are the things that affect the suspend_data element.

I was able to set up an LMS debug file and observed how the suspend_data element grows as I move through my slides - and my course does reach the SCORM 1.2 limit of 4096 and spits the intSCORMError = 405

https://community.articulate.com/discussions/articulate-storyline/scorm-1-2-suspend-data-seems-wonky-to-my-pea-brain

I tried to set many slides and layers to Reset to Initial State,  which seem to help a bit. It allows a bit more room for suspend_data to grow, but it simply makes another slide the one from which you have to resume later in the course, Still doesn't work, but at least "more" progress is saved.

It would be good to hear if anyone has found other things that have helped with the resume where you left off non working. 

Seems like there are several of the same issues without a solution.

18 Replies
Alyssa Gomez

Hey Rocio! You had the right idea to open a case. I see Gerald shared some really helpful information with you! I'll add his reply below for anyone else who encounters suspend data issues in the future.

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As a learner makes his way through a course, a compressed chunk of suspend data is sent to the LMS after each slide. This suspend data describes everything about the current state of the course, including the learner’s responses, his navigation history, object states, variable values, interaction results, and more. 

You can enable LMS debug mode to watch your suspend data flow back and forth between your content and your LMS. By doing so, you can verify that the data returned by your LMS upon resume is the same data that your content sent upon suspend—a common point of failure. Here's how enable debug mode in Storyline

You can more details here about suspend data and resume behavior here

Alyssa Gomez

Hey, Rocio! 

If you have a large course that exceeds suspend data limits, here are some suggestions for correcting it: 

  1. Disable the resume feature in Storyline. 
  2. Reduce the number of slides until the resume feature works as expected. The limit will vary, depending on a variety of factors. You'll need to test your content in your LMS to verify. 
  3. Republish your course for SCORM 2004 3rd Edition or 4th Edition, both of which support much longer suspend data.

Let us know if you need anything else! 

Rocio Saracho

1) Publish to SCORM 2004 - Not an option (our LMS only supports SCORM 1.2)

2) Remove the functionality - Not a solution

3) Delete some slides - If it was just the number of slides that determined the length of the suspend_data element of the Storyline SCORM package, none of my courses would work. I have courses with more slides than this one, and none of them have these issue. Deleting slides seems like an over-simplified non-realistic fix.

Peter Moore

Looks like you’ve tried the solution I’m about to recommend  Rocio and are not seeing complete success.   I had this problem some time ago, was publishing to SCORM 1.2, and solved it by setting all slide layers To “reset to initial state” .  I also do a run through of all slides and layers at the completion of a project to make sure they are all set this way.  I’ll only change this setting for a specific layer if the functionality I’ve created Requires it  (I rarely have to do this). I also delete any unused variables and unused master and feedback templates....these last two may not have anything to do with suspend data but are just good housekeeping to keep file size and complexity down to minimums. Hope you get breakthrough soon. Best wishes. 

Rocio Saracho

Ironically, this course is replacing a much longer course we originally were planning on splitting in two. As far as number of slides and duration, this one is much shorter than it's predecessor. So I'm pretty sure suspend_data is affected by many more factors than number of slides. This new version of the course (although much shorter)  is media rich, so I'm guessing this is part of the problem.

I have changed most slides to "Reset to Initial State", seems to help to a certain extent. Just whish I knew what else to try.

Gerry Wasiluk

Do you have any custom interactions in the course?  From my testing, SOMETIMES they can really balloon resume data.

Can you share your .storyfile or is confidential?

If you are really set on one course, you may want to enable debug mode and after each slide, get a count of the resume data string length.  At least you may get a more definite idea of which individual slides are adding the most resume data.

For the longer haul, you might want to consider upgrading your LMS to a newer version (if there is one) or another one that supports SCORM 2004 3rd or 4th Edition and Tin Can/Experience (and in the way that you want it, too--but that's the subject of another discussion :) ).

Rocio Saracho

I did enable debug mode on Storyline and was able to watch how the suspend_data string was getting larger as I navigated through the course slides.

The course has about 30 minutes worth of content and then an assessment at the end.

I changed all slides within the course content (with the exception of 3) to Reset to Initial State. This is the one thing I found affects suspend_data the most. The suspend_data string stays at about a length of 2000, so that is really good. At least progress is saved to almost the end of the course, and users are not forced to watch the whole thing again.

The issue is that as soon as I get to the assessment, within the first two/three questions, the suspend_data string blows up over the SCORM 1.2 limit of 4096 and the debug file did flags the error right away.

I really don't want to change the assessment slides to “Reset to Initial State”. It’s just 12 Multiple choice questions, (T/F, single select and multi-select) nothing else; but nothing I’ve tried on those slides has worked.

 

Rocio Saracho

Thanks for all your help.

On to something now. Seems like is impossible to have Resume functionality AT ALL on any type of graded style questions.

I published the Assessment Scene as a standalone SCORM package and enabled debug mode.

The scene only contains the following:

   - An intro slide,

   - 12 questions

   - Results slide

The Intro slide is set to Reset to Initial State whereas the questions are set to Resume saved state.

STILL FAILS: suspend_data blows up right about question 5-6.  

None of my questions are text based. I only have T/F, single select, and multiple choice. They are all graded questions, no free-form.

I would think that something that simple would not fail and Resume Functionality would be able to work, but apparently it doesn't.

Either our set-up on the questions is completely wrong or Articulate is extremely inefficient when it comes to question and how it compresses suspend_data.

 

Peter Moore

Hi Rocio - I woudn't have expected to see this occur on a piece with only 12 questions!  Almost feels like something may be broken?...I looked back on the course I built a couple of years ago around the time I first saw this problem.  It's a completely assessment driven piece so there are frequent question slides scattered throughout. 11 scenes and 33 questions all up but they are all freeform questions with lots of feedback layers and triggers to present custom feedback and coaching for each choice the participant makes. All the question slides are set to 'reset to initial state'  but not all the other non-question slides or layers, (although I do make this setting now)  This published successfully with SCORM 1.2 and 'prompt to resume' set.

This would seem to support the comment that Phil made above re free form questions.  Unfortunately, none of this helps you directly with resolving the issue for the piece you are working on...wish I had some deeper wisdom to light this up a bit more for you.

Rocio Saracho

You were absolutely on track with your responses. Thanks a lot.

I turns out our template for the assessment questions was indeed using freeform questions, so I've changed most of them to the built-in graded questions.

From what I have observed just one freeform question is extremely problematic, even if setting that one question slide to Reset to Initial State. 

I'm testing other types of built-in graded questions, e.g. hot-spot or those from templates (drag-drop from Serenity). I'd like to be able to have more than just radio-buttons, but it may not be possible.

I'll keep you posted.