Rise Suspend Data

Jan 24, 2018

When we export a new Rise build and upload it onto our LMS (which is our own LMS) and clear out previous old files and replace them with new files. When we go to launch the course we get a Gray screen and the course will not load. The only way we can get a course to load is to clear the suspend data. It seems that the suspend data from the old build and the new build are causing a conflict.  

Any suggestions on how might be able to get around this as of right now we have to go and clear the suspend data for that user so they can access the course every time. 


30 Replies
Louise Lindop

I have also experienced the same problem with Rise content in the LearnUpon LMS. I have never experienced this with Storyline content. This is causing some big issues as I manually need to unenroll and re-enroll users on courses. Not to mention the frustration for the user. I get the same gray screen as you describe Danielle.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Louise and Danielle, 

I'm sorry to hear about this odd issue you've run into! I wanted to check, are you overwriting the previous version of the course with a new upload or are you uploading a brand new course (would be a new link/access for learners)? 

When you update (overwrite) existing course files in your LMS or web server, learners who previously started the course won't be able to resume where they left off. They'll start over at the first slide in the updated course. It sounds like your scenario is that the resume data is still in the LMS and causing a conflict relaunching? 

Have you checked with your LMS admin if there is a setting you need to adjust? 

Lisha Barnes

Hi Ashley,

We are overwriting the previous course with a new upload. The resume data is causing a major conflict which is causing us to have to clear the suspend data for all users when we have a new upload. The problem also is since we have the courses navigation mode restricted every time a user goes back into the course after we clear there suspend data they have to go through the whole course in order to get there certificate. If we do not clear the suspend/resume data the users cannot get into the course and a gray screen appears. This seems to be a problem on the Rise end is it assigning new suspend data for every export?



Louise Lindop

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for taking a look at this. This occurs when I am overwriting content on an existing course in the LMS. I understand that user's won't be able to resume where they left off if the course has been updated, and that's no problem. The problem is that the course won't load at all. I have a lot of experience of uploading/overwriting SL2/3 content on the same LMS and the same thing doesn't occur, so there is something different happening with Rise. There are no settings in the LMS that are relevant to this.



Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Louise and Danielle, 

I tested this out in SCORM Cloud, which is a standard for LMS testing, and I uploaded a copy of the course, advanced through a few screens as a user and then closed it out. I went back and updated the same course with a newly exported version - and I did have to approve overwriting it as shown here.  After that, I attempted to log in as the same user and I again was able to access the course. 

So it does appear to be working normally there. If you'd like to test your own courses at SCORM Cloud, this article will walk you through it. You could use that as information to share with your LMS admins too. 

Perhaps your LMS team could help you spot what is occurring upon reloading the course? 

Louise Lindop

Hi Ashely. Thanks for looking at this. Yes, I tested it in SCORM Cloud too with the same results. There is however something different happening in the Rise SCORM content vs the Storyline SCORM content as we don't experience the issue with Storyline content. Is it possible for your team to take a look at this? I have asked the same of the development team at LearnUpon.

Louise Lindop

Hi again Ashley. The support team at LearnUpon say:

'We have heard back from our development team regarding the issue with replacing your Rise courses. They have determined the issue is with Rise and is linked to suspend data in the two courses being different. These elemets are beyond our control. We would recommend reviewing the two SCORM courses with Rise for any suspend data differences in the courses.'

I'm not sure what settings there are in Rise that effect suspend data?, but I'm pretty sure I didn't change any of them.

In the meantime I tested it on Talent LMS and Litmos. Litmos worked fine, like SCORM Cloud. Talent LMS has the same problem as LearnUpon.

Alyssa Gomez

Hi Andy,

Thanks for chiming in! I want to be sure I understand the issue you're facing.

Are you updating/overwriting existing course files in your LMS? If so, learners who previously started the course won't be able to resume where they left off. They'll start over at the first slide in the updated course.

Does that sound similar to what you're experiencing?

Digital Business School


We have experienced the same problem exposed by Andy and Louise. Not only us, but also the clients whom we recommended to use ARTICULATE  (we are a schools an also an elearning Consulting company).

The problem: When we edit a scorm and overwrite an existing course file, those students who already had started the scorm, can't open it any more. 

We can't affor lose or delete the data of the time students expends on Scorms cause it's part of the final grade they get.

The only solution we have found (not a good one) is create a copy of that scorm: then the old one keeps the students Data and the new one is for them to continue studying.

We contacted the supplier that provided us Articulate and they offered us the same solution Ashley Terwilliger explains above,  but  it's a solution that doesn't work properly, only sometimes.

Could you give us a solution? If we can't edit the Scorms we'll have to change the software we use (and recommend)

Thank you!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Danielle,

Thanks for checking in on this.

Our team has looked into a few specific instances where the Rise course was no longer opening or showing a black screen, and we'd like to investigate additional examples as it does appear LMS specific. Even if that is the case, we think there is a tweak we can make to how we'll reload the Rise content to help with the playback, although it will still reset the learner's progress (which is to be expected). 

If you can share access to your LMS and one of these Rise courses, please let me know. I can start a Support case for you or you can open one here. 

Louise Lindop

Hi Ashley. I don't think anyone has a problem with the progress being reset when a new version of the SCORM content is loaded into the LMS. As you say, this is to be expected. I can provide you with access to my LMS. Do you want Admin access so that you can load, reload content etc? Or what were you thinking? Can you advise how I give you access details privately, rather than posting. Thanks for your work on this. It is a serious issue this on some LMSs is causing major issues. Louise

Andrew Smith

Hi there, this occurs for me when updating a course that was published quite some time ago with a recent one.  I don't have enough of a sample size to confirm exact dates, but Rise courses pre at least August 2017 (but possibly more recently) had a suspend data format that was very verbose. In particular the progress attribute contained JSON records with very long page/lesson ids like this (the exact format was different depending on the page type and its content): {"id":"hNRX5TzS8DvmdtMrEAS6cnPIj03N5itG","items":[{"id":30}]}.

On a side note, the side effect of this is that it would cause Rise to exceed suspend data only after four or five lessons/pages, so any course larger than this would fail to bookmark and resume successfully in a SCORM 1.2 compliant LMS (i.e. one that limited suspend_data to 4096 characters).

At some point since then, Rise has moved to a more concise format: {"c":1,"i":{"0":{"c":1}}}

From my experience, the grey screen of death occurs when you are trying to update a course that used the old suspend_data format with one that uses the new suspend_data format. Before this change you could update your courses in situ and incomplete users could pick up where they left off, the same if I update new format courses, it's just when you replace an old format course with a new format one.

I understand that Rise is a rapidly evolving application and no one likes to retain and maintain code debt, but would it be possible to ensure that breaking changes like this are handled in the player such as to minimise impact to users?  For example, I don't imagine it would be too hard to include a routine that recognised the old format when it was read in and have it put through a conversion routine to the new format?

Many of my clients have large numbers of users conducting courses continually (induction training for example), so there's never a point in time where everyone is complete, there will always be some people in progress, but as policies change and copy needs to be updated, we need to be able to update a course and still allow users with suspended sessions to resume.



Louise Lindop

Hi Andrew

Thanks for your input on this one. Hoping it will all add to the issue being sorted.

I'm not sure it's always related to when the suspend data format has changed. I can reproduce this by:

1. Publishing a course and uploading it to the LMS and enrolling user
2. Logging on as the user and partially completing the course
3. Making a change to the course, republishing and overwriting content in the LMS (on same day as initial publish)
4. Logging on as the user again and getting the grey screen.

This said, if I make a very small change it doesn't always happen. If I make a bigger change, such as a new section, it is easy to reproduce.

I'm hoping Ashley and the team at Articulate are making progress to resolve.


Andrew Smith

Hi Louise, I must admit I've found it really quite resilient in my testing today (as long as all packages use the latest export format), even when adding and removing lessons (even if I've suspended a session on a page that was removed in the new version), but I imagine it would be possible to make a structural change that breaks things.

I guess in the scenario where suspended state is simply irreconcilable with the current state, there's nothing for it but for Rise to clean the slate and take the person back to the beginning (clearly it shouldn't just crash as you are experiencing), but in my experience the vast majority of changes client's need to make to existing courses are relatively simple content changes that don't change the structure.

The problem I'm facing is that even if I make no changes and simply republish an old course exactly as it was back in November (I found a more recent example since my last post) I'm getting an incompatible export, which doesn't just break some of the time, but all of the time.  Every course that I've tested which was last exported before November that I try to replace with a new export breaks and they all break trying to process the previous suspend_data format.

BTW for the Articulate engineers who might be looking at this, it makes no difference what the LMS is, it's settings (unless you have it set to reset all incomplete attempts whenever a course is updated), the browser, cookies or cache.

While I don't want to perpetuate the idea that SCORM Cloud is in any way canonical or a standard reference implementation for SCORM, because it's referenced to earlier in this thread, I also tested this issue on SCORM Cloud and every time I update an old suspend_data format course with a new one, it breaks if the user is returning from a suspended session.


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for that additional detail and the insight you spotted in terms of older vs. new Rise courses. I'm going to share that with my teammates who are looking into the issues described here. 

We do expect that the content would restart as detailed here. 

As for SCORM Cloud, we do recommend it as it's a leading standard for SCORM standards and it's a free tool to use which means users and our team can test as much as they want! The LMS market is ever changing and growing, so identifying SCORM Cloud as a benchmark and testing platform, keeps consistency between our tests. Our team can also test content in a few other environments such as Moodle, SuccessFactors, etc, but those not always available for everyone to test in. 

The behavior of a black screen or the course not loading at all isn't something our team hasn't seen or replicated at SCORM Cloud. That's one of the reasons it's led us to look further into other LMS's and their specifications about resuming and overwriting a course. I'd love if you could share both of those examples with us for testing. If you need to share privately, let me know and I'll reach out to you directly. Otherwise, feel free to upload the Rise exports here by using the Add Attachment button. 

Let me know if you have any other questions! 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

A quick update for the folks who are subscribed to this conversation:

  • A few months ago, we introduced a change to Rise that could cause content to lock up and display a blank page if two things were true:
  1. You had replaced a Rise course inside your LMS with a different Rise course (or even a duplicated copy of your original Rise course), and...
  2. A learner attempted to resume a course that had been suspended before replacing the course content.

We won't go into too much detail, but the crux of the problem was a suspend_data incompatibility between the two courses, and the result was a lock-up upon resume.

  • We’ve fixed this problem, and today one of two things will happen:
  1. If you replace a Rise course inside your LMS with a revised version of the same Rise course, bookmarking will work as expected.  Learners can suspend the course before the course is revised, and those same learners can resume the course after the revision.
  2. If you replace a Rise course inside your LMS with a different Rise course (or even a duplicated copy of your original Rise course), learners will not be able to resume the course where they suspended it before the revision.  In this scenario, learners will return to the beginning of the course, but the content should never lock up.

Please let us know if you have any other trouble with this, and have a great day!

Mauricio Ventresca

Hi everyone,

I came across this post because I am having the same issue even though its been ten months since the last post says this bug has been fixed.  Here are the details of my particular case:

1. Created course on RISE and uploaded content to TalentLMS

-FYI: Restricted navigation and break Blocks to 'complete lessons above' before moving forward.

2. Updated two sections of the course in RISE, exported content, uploaded to Talent LMS, and selected "Suspend User Data" to avoid resetting all the learner's progress.

Here is what happened:

Similar to comments from older posts, existing learners would see a blank page, and the course would not load. I've manually reset the progress of the first group users who reported this issue, and they had to start the updated version of the course from the beginning - needless to say, this is not good.

As more cases opened up, I ended up removing the updated version, and I am hoping the old version will still work with the LMS by tracking their progress. 

Hoping things work is not good for business guys, the negative impacts of a bug like this are huge. Not no mention the manual work that comes when you're talking about 100's of users.

Allison LaMotte

Hi Mauricio,

I'm sorry to hear you're still having this issue. It sounds like on our end we thought it was resolved.

Did you try uploading your course to SCORM Cloud to see if you experience the same behavior?

That's what we generally recommend doing to determine whether the problem stems from the course or the LMS. Here's an article that walks you through how to do that.

If it works correctly on SCORM Cloud, then the problem is coming from the LMS and you'll need to talk to your provider.

If you see the same issue on SCORM Cloud, then the problem is likely coming from the course itself. If that's the case, please reach out to our support team.

In the meantime, if there's anything else I can do to help, please let me know!

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