RISE Course Wont Load Problem and Solution

I have a client who has developed content on Rise looking to run the course in our AbilityLMS platform. The course would import fine as SCORM or AICC or in Generic On-Line type for free standing course types but would just hang on launching. When the client reached out for support, they got the typical Articulate response to load the course in SCORM Cloud and if it worked there it is not Articulate's problem. 

Well our LMS has profiling that rivals SCORM Cloud and we have never had any problems of this nature with any of the Articulate products so the issue got escalated to my team and ultimately to me. My profiling showed the course as importing and hand shaking to the LMS, but the course just hanging on the course loading message. 

The course was republished to a web page completely outside of the LMS and when trying to a direct URL, the user experience was the same Course Loading message and nothing loaded. 

The course was then tried on entirely different servers and the same effect repeated on other servers. 

The course was then tried to run locally on the (Windows) desktop and sure enough it worked. 

We set about building a simple course in the RISE tool to eliminate some problem in the course, and experienced the same effect with a simple "Hello World" course. 

Clearly the problem was not in AbilityLMS and the problem had to do with some fault in the course running on the web server. 

So we set about reverse engineering the course and to cut to the chase, we found the course is trying to load a certain kind of font, the course was freezing when it could not find the font, but the fonts were included in the course. Finally we determined the fonts need the X-WOFF mime type added for the course to work. Once the MIME type was added, Rise content now loaded. 

In addition to the X-WOFF mime type, the course needs the JSON mime type.

The "Hello World" built in RISE was using everything default / out of the box, so one would expect that the WOFF mime type requirement would be documented. I did not see anything in the community nor does a google search on RISE web server configuration for Microsoft IIS offer any guidance. 

Depending on the Windows Operating System, Version of IIS and security review, it can be hit or miss as to whether the WOFF and JSON mime types are installed. If there is a guide to Web Server requirements that covers system requirements, that would be a terrific resource to publish, link to this post. 

If you are looking to use the AICC publishing option with loading RISE courses to your LMS and run into problems, take a look at the AU and DES file created when the course is packaged for AICC.  I am told the AU file is not conformant as the comma separated values in line two is not delimited with double quotes on the score fields, eg ...,100,,... should be ...,"100","",....

The DES file has some hidden character at the end of the line as well. Open the file in notepad, and go to the end of the file and delete the hidden line so the cursor is to the last visible character of the last line of the file. Neither of these problems occur in Articulate presenter or 360, so perhaps the RISE time could investigate their code in how these files are generated. 


5 Replies
Stuart Ryan

i would also take a look at suspend data -> we are currently seeing a similar issue. Suspend data is what goes into the back end of your LMS when you leave the course. When you launch the module and complete it, if an update is made to the course we get the same white screen. If someone hasn't completed the module and launches it after it was updated, they are able to progress through the module without problem.

Our learning portal provider has been looking into how to erase the suspend data and initial testing suggests this is the root cause for our particular scenario.

Phil Baruch

Hi Stuart, if you head down that road, you should assess the implication for users who finished the training. If your course design mandate they follow a certain order and they go back in for a review and see they have to do the entire course users will not happy. If the content has material changes and the review works showing different content, you might have a compliance issue. Competed training may not be a big deal, but if the training has a bunch of people in-progress, you might want to send them an email blast if the LMS supports identification. 

I cannot speak for other LMS systems, but in AbilityLMS there is a well implemented version control sub-system where users can be trained to versions. A version can be minor (no retraining) or major (retraining needed). If we know the version of the course is going to change, we can alert the user they need to retrain or have a deadline approaching. We can link the history record to a particular version of the course and have different versions of the course loaded to the system. 

While this is too much sophistication for many types of tracking needs, in highly regulated industries like life-sciences, nuclear and many DOD environments, these are hard requirements. The FDA will shut the business down if you training records are a mess. Likewise in manufacturing and ISO certified environments inadequate version control  can lead to production runs having to be entirely redone (with a labor & material cost) as well as putting your ISO designation at risk.