I created a SCORM 1.2 file from an Adobe Captivate with mostly videos and then a couple quiz questions at the end. I uploaded it to Absorb LMS with no problems. And was able to go through it myself, no problems.
But after I launched it to all our users, I got a few people with issues, it freezes during a video or right before going to the quiz. I spent a little while with Absorb support and this is what they shared back for information.
“It appears as this point in time that the content associated with this issue is launching from a .html file. In regards to third party course content this is a dispatch file; as it reaches out to a third party server to retrieve portions of the course content. To remedy this issue, you’ll want to publish course content files that launch from an XML manifest, or similar offline index.”
I have little idea how, why, or how to fix the html file from reaching out to third parties. And I thought the SCORM file had an xml manifest.
All SCORM files published from Captivate DO have an imsmanifest.xml file. That part of their message is rubbish. The LMS dude obviously didn't look at your SCORM file too hard or else he would have seen the manifest file sitting there at the root level inside the zip file.
The LMS rep is saying that they think the issue is that your SCORM doesn't actually have any content, just an HTML file that pulls content from somewhere else, a "third party server". Their LMS seems to be objecting to there being any calls outside the SCORM package itself.
You mentioned that you have some videos in your content. Are these videos encapsulated inside the SCORM zip itself, or are they located on YouTube or Vimeo or some other server?
Thank you for comfirming that I wasn't going crazy about the location of files.
All of the videos are packaged with the content, none are outside of the zip file.
Yes, that outside call is something they don't like or support at this time. They mentioned this might possibly be a solution, that I could put my files on the public side, which would allow people outside of the logged in LMS to have access if we provide it.
I just don't understand why the freezing is happening a couple times out of every 100 or so attempts, and with only a couple of the 8 scorm files I used in this project. Is there a setting in Captivate that would allow me to "lock it down"? What would the SCORM file be calling out for?
If the video files are all MP4s that are packaged inside the SCORM then there must be something else that is calling outside the SCORM for data. Do you have any widgets or other third-party components in your project that might be "phoning home" and upsetting the LMS?
Another possibility is that you could be usiing some unusual font that is pulled from online. Have you made sure all fonts are web-safe and would be present in any browser?
My usual advice still stands: Upload these problematic SCORMs to SCORM Cloud and get people to test them from there. I still think you will find that the issue is with your LMS. The freezing could just be due to the LMS finding itself under heavy load and not responding quickly to allow the playback to continue.
You mention that the freezing happens sometimes during playback of a video. That could be due to the LMS server not being able to cope with the bandwidth demands of too many people trying to play video content. The video just sits there buffering. This is because most LMSs are just web servers, not multimedia servers. So they tend to treat an MP4 video file as if it was just another file that needs to be served. Media servers (think Youtube or Vimeo) handle videos differently and serve different versions of the same video to the end user according to their actual bandwidth.
The other circumstance you mentioned was that the stalling happens around quizzing. That's usually due to something called 'server latency' where the LMS is handling too many requests at the same time and they start piling up in a queue. I've watched the CPU Task Manager readout on LMS servers when this happens and the % of CPU usage can gradually climb to the point where the server just crashes. If server latency is the issue, your problem is just that the LMS is underpowered for the task of servicing your user base and finds itself 'snowed under' at times with requests. Take a look at this blog post about it: http://www.infosemantics.com.au/adobe-captivate/understanding-lms-server-latency
I doubt very much whether the LMS people would give you any accurate data on whether or not their LMS server experiences a lot of latency because doing so would likely expose a 'dirty little secret'. I.E that their LMS is not as good as they want you to believe.
Thank you so much for that information. Really helps me understand. I will go back and check on the 3rd party files. I am not aware of any, but will go through my file library to make sure as well. Used Arial through the entire project, so should be good for font.