eLearning Course

The Latitude Learning LMS allows for streamlined setup and deployment of SCORM-based eLearning courses. Watch our training videos or review the step-by-step information below to ensure successful definition and upload of course content to your learning center.

STEP ONE: Determine if Your eLearning Content is Compatible

Our Learning Management System is SCORM 1.2 and 2004 (3rd Revision) compliant. Hosting only SCORM-conformant content helps to ensure proper communication between the course and the LMS for launch and status tracking.

The LMS does not require use of a specific course authoring tool (e.g. Articulate, Captivate, Lectora), but instead relies on industry course development and communication standards. Latitude Learning does not provide eLearning content support. All questions and concerns regarding course behavior and transcript results should be directed to the course developer or the support staff for your authoring tool.

STEP TWO: Prepare SCORM-conformant content file for upload 

When you are ready to publish an eLearning course from your authoring tool, be sure to select the standard for LMS Output SCORM 1.2 or SCORM 2004. Important: As current browser versions, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer, begin to phase out support for Flash-based content and as Adobe has announced the end of Flash support in 2020, we strongly urge you to begin producing your SCORM content in pure HTML5 with no Flash content.

Here are a list of additional basic requirements to promote successful content deployment in the LMS:

  • There are several places which must not include any special characters (e.g. @, $, &, etc.) Note: Allowable characters are alphanumeric (A-Z and 0-9), hyphen (-), and underscore (_). 
    • The course code in the LMS
    • The filename of the SCORM output .ZIP file
    • On rarer occasions, some areas within the authored content itself, including the titles and identifiers that may be part of the publishing settings.  Depending on how the content is authored, it  could pose a potential problem if they exist in quiz titles, question titles, answer choices, or any place where interactional and navigational data in the SCORM/XML files could be suspect. 
  • The eLearning authoring tool you use for zipping content can impact the folder structure and therefore the location of the SCORM XML manifest file. After your content is zipped, ensure that the "imsmanifest.xml" file is located in the root of the zipped file, not within any of the file's folders. The figure below shows an example of correct and incorrect placement of the manifest file.
    Image showing proper placement of the SCORM Manifest XML file

  • There is a SCORM file size limit of 180 MB. For files exceeding that size, you can contact Latitude ClientCare for an cost estimate to  have a developer upload one or more oversized courses.

STEP THREE: Course Catalog Entry and Content Deployment

This document assumes an existing knowledge of LMS course creation basics. It will only reference those points relevant to adding eLearning courses and deploying content. If you need to review the common elements of the Add Course functionality, please read related document: Add a New Course to the LMS. If you are uploading new content to an existing eLearning course, skip to #6 in the instruction list below.

Begin by selecting, from the Administration left navigation menu, Courses > Add Course and populate the appropriate configuration settings. The specific points to consider in setting up an eLearning course are:

1.  Do NOT include any special characters (e.g. @, $, &, etc.) in the Course Code or Course Name fields. Use only alphanumeric, hyphen, or underscore characters.
2.  In the Delivery Method field, select eLearning.
3.  The Can Relaunch setting determines whether or not students can relaunch course content after achieving a completed status. 
4.  When the Add Course form is complete, click Add Course
5.  In the confirmation pop-up window, determine your next step from the following options:

  • Are Finished: Keeps you on the Details page of the new course and lets you continue editing. The “SCORM” tab will become available so that you can upload content.
  • Want to deploy content for this eLearning course: Directs you to the  “SCORM” tab.
  • Want to add another course: Directs you to a new Add Course form.

6.  Navigate to the SCORM tab when you are ready to deploy content.

7.  Click Choose File to upload the zipped SCORM file (size limit is 180 MB). 

  • Note: When uploading files, be sure that the path name of the source file is less than 255 characters. File names exceeding that will be truncated and will fail to launch properly. To shorten a filename and path, save it to a folder higher in your directory structure. For instance, place it on your C:\ drive root directory, or create a C:\UPLOAD directory to which you can move the file.

8.  Deployment Type

  • Select Full Package if deploying content for the first time. You should also use this option when uploading content revisions that have fundamentally changed the nature of the course (e.g. addition/deletion of slide/video content, navigation, user interactions, scoring).  Full Package is recommended even for updated content if there is any doubt about how the new information will overlay the old.
  • Select Partial Package only if you are re-deploying content with minor changes that do not alter the overall course structure (e.g. static texts, colors, images).  If after using Partial Package, you find that the course is not loading properly or is not behaving or scoring activities as expected, try reloading it as a Full Package.

9.  The Course Window Configuration settings allow you to adjust sizing and enhance presentation of the e-Learning course.

  • Width and Height: These values determine launch window dimensions, in pixels. Default values are Width 1024 x Height 768. The dimensions of your source file in the authoring tool are a good place to start. Some tools, like Articulate Storyline, recommend adding extra pixels horizontally or vertically depending on which “player” or “launch window” features you use (e.g. side menu, slide bars, and navigation buttons. Contact your authoring tool’s Support page or staff to learn more about calculating the correct dimensions. Note: If you are using a shell_config.xml file to make other adjustments to the look and feel of your course content, you must still enter values in these fields. These settings will override any size values within your shell_config.xml, so it is best to make them match exactly or provide a few extra pixels as buffer. 
  • Enable Navigation: Determines whether or not users will be provided a navigation menu for SCO Modules at the left side of launch window. Note: We strongly recommend leaving this unchecked, as it is by default. It is only relevant for some clients and most eLearning designers now build side navigation menus directly in the course.
  • Validate Sequencing: This field is provided for use when there are issues with course launch caused by lack of or incomplete sequencing produced in some authoring tools. By default, you do do not need to check this box. If you load the course and find that it launches with a blank course window, you can reload the SCORM package for the course and check this box, then see if it makes a difference. If there are still issues after validating sequencing, you can then contact Latitude ClientCare for further assistance.

10.  Click Deploy and wait for the on-page notification that your content has been queued for deployment. This means that your file was successfully loaded to the LMS SCORM content server.

If the file fails to upload, it is usually because a) the ZIP file was larger than the allowed 180 MB size limit or b) special characters, as noted above, interfered with a proper upload. Try loading a file at least twice before contacting Latitude Support with questions. 

11.  Once this activity is confirmed, you can monitor the status of your deployment process via email or from your LMS “Mail Center” on the Home page. A notification is sent once the content deployment process is complete, informing whether the attempt succeeded or failed. 

If your SCORM package fails to deploy, it usually means that the content is invalid or incompatible with the LMS in some way. You may need to make changes to how you created the SCORM package and try uploading it again. You can start by testing the validity of your SCORM content on third party websites such as SCORM Cloud or Articulate Test Suite. For further assistance, please contact your authoring tool’s Support page or staff (i.e. Articulate, Captivate, Camtasia, etc.).

STEP FOUR: Test Launch the Course and Debug Issues

Once eLearning content has been deployed, return to the course SCORM tab to view the SCO list, which indicates contents and manifest information of the SCORM content currently deployed.

Click Test Launch to preview your content and better understand how it will present to LMS users. 

If you are able to upload/deploy content to the LMS successfully, but still encounter issues launching, navigating, scoring, or completing the course, we also provide a debugging tool on the SCORM tab. Test launch again with the Show Debug Info box checked, and try troubleshooting errors with your course content support team before submitting a request to Latitude Support.

Note: If you have re-deployed a SCORM package, overwriting old content with a Full Package or Partial Package, you must clear your browser cache and cookies before test launching to see new course content. Failure to do so may cause cached content from the old version’s browser cookies to display old information, even though new content is deployed.

Similarly, if you have ever launched a previous version of the same course, the system will have stored CMI data that may affect the launch experience. Click Clear My Local Data to ensure that all of your CMI data related to the old SCORM file is cleared from the database. Then test launch the new content.

THE USER EXPERIENCE: Uploading New Content to an Existing Course

The LMS allows Portal Administrators to upload new content to an existing eLearning course at any time. However, before doing so, please consider the impact on your student users. Students who have launched a course but not completed it, or have completed it but are allowed to relaunch for review, may experience issues when trying to relaunch content that has since been replaced with a new SCORM file. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you coordinate content updates carefully and instruct your users of course completion deadlines (prior to updates) and when the course will again be open for enrollment/launch (after updates are complete).

Otherwise, please consider creating a new course with version number and retiring the old course. This would allow you to use Course Visibility and Open Enrollment Dates to drive student behavior and retain course version information in student training history records.

CONTENT SUPPORT: When to contact Latitude Learning

Latitude Learning does not provide extensive eLearning content support. If you have tried troubleshooting issues but cannot determine why content will not launch properly in the Latitude LMS, please contact the Support Team only after you have:
  • Thoroughly reviewed Latitude’s training materials
  • Reached out to your authoring tool’s Support team for guidance
  • Verified that your course is behaving correctly in SCORM Cloud or Articulate Test Suite. Success there does not always ensure success in the LMS but it can help identify major issues that are in the course before getting it to the LMS.

If your course launches correctly in the LMS but all or some users are having difficulty getting a successful completion, these are common issues:

  • The LMS window and the course content "launch" window/tab must be open concurrently. If a student closes the LMS window, the SCORM engine cannot properly update score and status.
  • Any interruption in network connectivity while a student is taking the course can interrupt or disconnect communication of status between the LMS and the course.
  • Course configuration in the authoring tool may be problematic: 
    1) Success/completion factors are not being fully met by the student. Making them aware of the success factors or helping create navigation and workflows that guide them toward full completion can help.
    2) The student does not navigate or exit the course in a way that triggers submission of final status or score to the LMS. For instance, if a final "Finish" button submits scores to the LMS but the user simply closes the course window.
    3) Publishing settings such as "Report status to LMS as" can cause issues with the LMS and may need to be altered if initial attempts fail. These are the settings that tell the system to report as "Passed/Incomplete", "Passed/Failed", "Complete/Incomplete", etc. Using "Passed/Incomplete" is usually successful.