Troubleshooting SCORM issues

This page has been modified via its code, to support its specialised view. Please do not make any changes directly to the timeline without consulting jasons@worldmanager.com.

If you are running into problems with using SCORM modules on the World Manager platform, this article can help you understand and diagnose the issue, and offer potential solutions that you can try to resolve the problem you're having.

For most issues, the problem will likely be occurring at some point that is described on the timeline below. Compare the user's experience with the events on this timeline, and you should be able to identify where they are having a problem. You can then go onto the specific sections of this article, that address your problem.

Timeline

This timeline describes the general flow that all properly functioning SCORM packages will go through, on the World Manager platform.




Beginning

The user browses to the Take Test page for the module.

Once the user presses Begin, the platform then shows the user the SCORM package.

Interacting

The user interacts with the package by reading its contents, clicking its buttons, answering questions, and so on. 

Typically, while this is happening, the SCORM package is storing data onto the platform, using the SCORM API. This might be something like "This user is now up to this slide"or "This user's score is now X%".

The SCORM package stores this so that, if the user chooses to exit the package half way through, the next time they open the package, it will be able to see where they were up to, and resume.







Passing or Failing

For the most part, the platform isn't very interested in what the SCORM package is storing. However, there are two things that the platform is very interested in, and waits to hear from the SCORM package. The first one is: 

"This user has passed, failed, or completed the package".

Issues with Passing or Failing

Finishing

The next thing the platform waits to hear is:

"We're done now, please take the user back to the platform".

When the platform hears this, it does two things: it updates the package status using the lesson status, and then it closes the SCORM package.







Ending Logic

What happens next depends on the result of the SCORM, and the type of E-Learning module (Standalone or Training Template). 

The result will either be to take the user to the Take Test page which shows their result, or the questionnaire (if it is a Training Template module). If it is a Standalone module, this step also updates the overall module's status.

As mentioned in the previous part, this all takes place on a page that the platform redirects to after the SCORM. This page is completely blank, and usually only takes a few seconds before proceeding to the next page. Because of this, the end user usually doesn't notice it at all!

Upload Errors

Error message when the uploaded file is not compliant with SCORM 1.2

The most likely cause of this error is that the package doesn't comply with the SCORM 1.2 standard. Check your authoring tool to see if SCORM 1.2 was chosen during publishing.

Finish button not appearing

The Finish button is designed to appear to the user once the SCORM package tells the platform that the user has passed, failed, or completed the package. In Storyline and Captivate, this depends on the Completion Criteria setting, which lets you choose what must happen in the package for it to tell the platform that the user has passed.

If the Finish button is not appearing, please check the criteria and ensure that users are able to meet it.

Most commonly, the Completion Criteria has been set so that the user needs to view every slide in the package, but the user has found some way to get to the end without viewing every slide. You will want to check how the slides are connected, and whether or not there are navigational tools in the package that will let the user skip to the end (for example, table of contents, or a sliding progress bar).

Note: The Finish button should only be used in particular circumstances where the module, for some reason, cannot make the LMSFinish() API call itself. If at all possible, it is recommended to include the finishing functionality within the SCORM package itself.

Status problems

Before diagnosing issues with statuses, it is important to distinguish which status is having the problem. 

There is the E-Learning status, and the package status.

E-Learning status, as seen on the My Training page

The E-Learning status is the one seen on the My Training page. This status is used in statistical tools like Performance Monitor and Stats and Reports, to determine whether or not the user has successfully finished the training. In Standalone modules, this status is set in stage 4 of the timeline (Platform Logic). In Training Template modules, this status is determined by the questionnaire part, and is not concerned by the attached SCORM. 

Package status, as seen on the Take Test page. It is displayed slightly differently, depending on whether it is a Standalone SCORM module (left) or a Training Template module (right)

The package status is only seen on the Take Test page. It corresponds closely to the status reported by the SCORM package, and is used by the platform (in stage 5 of the timeline) to decide whether or not to let the user continue onto the questionnaire (in a Training Template module), and whether or not to set the E-Learning status as passed (in a Standalone module). 

Package status doesn't update

As seen in stage 4 of the timeline (Finishing), the package status is updated after the SCORM package tells the platform that the user is done (more technically, the package calls the LMSFinish() function in the SCORM API). If the package status isn't being updated, it is most likely because the package hasn't yet told the platform that it's done. This is usually done by some kind of 'exit' action within the package, or by using the platform's Finish button.

If the package status is not updating to the correct status (for example, the user is failing even though they should be passing), please check the completion criteria to ensure that the user is passing according to the package's completion criteria.

E-Learning status doesn't update

If your Standalone module's E-Learning status isn't updating, then something is going wrong in stage 5 of the timeline (Ending Logic), as that stage is responsible for updating this status. The most common reason for this is that the package (or user) is closing the window or tab once they reach the end of the package. If this happens, the platform cannot redirect to stage 5, and the E-Learning status remains as 'In Progress' (even if the package status is set to 'passed').

Please ensure that the SCORM or user does not close the tab or window.

SCORM repeats after finishing

This can happen if the E-Learning module has been set up as Standalone, and has a SCORM attached to it also. In this scenario, the first time the user goes through the SCORM, they are completing it as the attached content, and then they are immediately shown it again, but this time as the Standalone content. To fix this, simply turn the attached content setting to 'None'.

Standalone module with no attached content

This kind of issue has also been known to be caused by closing of the window or tab at the end of the package, making it unable to progress to stage 5. If this happens, the user may also have status discrepancies. Please ensure that the SCORM does not try to close the tab or window.

Blank screens and permanent loading

Package needs Flash

A possible reason for this is that the SCORM package needs Flash to run, and the user's browser doesn't have Flash enabled. This would be particularly likely if it is an older SCORM package, as Flash was widely used for multimedia content such as training slides, but browsers have been removing their support for it in recent times. This means that packages that appeared to be working for a long time, may no longer work.

In these cases, the recommended course of action is to republish the package, with the output set to HTML5 instead of Flash.

If you don't have the original project files to republish the package, users will have to ensure that they have Flash installed and enabled on their system to view the course. However, you should consider recreating these packages with HTML5 as soon as you can, as Adobe has announced plans to end-of-life Flash by the end of 2020, and browsers may increasingly drop their support for it in the lead up to that time.

Note: Packages that require Flash will not work on mobile devices.

Package is unable to read saved data

When a SCORM package starts, it often will check with the platform to see if the user has any in progress attempts for it, and if so, it will get any saved data and read it so that the user can return to where they left off.

This saved data will usually only make sense for the very same SCORM package that created it. If it's an entirely different package and it tries to read old saved data, it may behave unexpectedly, and will often simply freeze during loading, or show nothing at all.

For this reason, if you have updated a package with non-trivial changes and would like to put it on the platform, we recommend creating a new item in the Content Library and uploading it there, instead of overwriting the existing one. A non-trivial change would include any changes to the slide structure, questions, variables, among other things.

Once you have uploaded it to a new item in the Content Library, you can then safely point the existing E-Learning modules to the new packages.

If the user is stuck because the package is unable to read saved data, please contact support@worldmanager.com for further assistance.

Buggy interactions and cosmetic issues

This is a fairly broad range of issues, and may include things such as drop downs not opening, drag and drop questions not registering, objects misaligning, etc.

SCORM as a standard relies on the LMS to let the SCORM package function without interference, and we do our best to provide such an environment for the package. As such, we have found that these kinds of issues generally stem from the SCORM package itself.

Storyline 360 pending updates

The first thing to try would be to update to the latest version of your SCORM authoring software. The creators of these tools frequently push out version updates that address various bugs and issues, as well as changes to accomodate newer technologies, and account for older, unsupported technologies.

Articulate and Adobe also make available a history of their release notes, detailing the specific issues that were addressed in each update.

Still having problems?

If you can't find the help that you need here, please feel free to contact us at support@worldmanager.com. Please include as much information as you can, including:

  • Name of the SCORM package affected
  • Screenshots or videos showing the problem
  • Names of users experiencing the issue
  • The project files for the SCORM

Note: The project files are not the same files that are uploaded to the platform. For Articulate Storyline projects, the project files end with .story, and for Adobe Captivate projects, they end with .cptx. Files ending in .zip are not the project files. 

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