Best practices | Avoid loss of tracking on SCORM and xAPI content

Sometimes, it can happen that the student of sCORM or xAPI content loses data of their follow-up (the score obtained in a questionnaire, their last position, the degree of progress...).

This can be due to a number of situations:

Situation 1. The user closes the training platform before the content.

Typically, on most training platforms (LMS or LRS), when SCORM content is loaded, it opens in a new browser tab. Thus the user will have two tabs open (on some platforms will open an additional intermediate tab, so you will have three tabs, as in the case of learningCentral).

If the user closes the platform tab (or I inject the middle tab), nothing of the trace will be stored because, when closing the platform, communication between the content and the LMS has been closed. The correct closing order is to close the content first (which will send the data to the platform for storage) and then the platform.

In other cases, the content "inside" the platform opens, rather than opening it in a new browser window (such as in learningCloud if the activity is published "full screen"). In this case, the same thing will happen: If the student closes the platform window directly, the tracking data may not be saved. The user must close the content before closing the platform.

Situation 2. The user queries the content from a mobile phone.

For the trace to be sent and saved to the training platform, the user must close the content. As long as it remains open, data will not always be sent for storage.

What usually happens on mobile terminals is that the user DOES NOT close the browser tab of the content since the tab's close button is hidden. The most common action is to minimize the browser to access another application (so that the browser is still open in the background, without sending tracking data) or directly close the entire application (thus closing the content and platform at the same time and not tracking).

To solve these cases it is recommended to:

a. Publish the contents in SCORM 1.2. or in xAPI. On most platforms, with SCORM 1.2 publications. and xAPI, changes that happen in content are stored as they occur, without waiting for the student to close the content. It is sufficient for the content to issue a "commit" message that asks the platform to store the information it sends it (note from a questionnaire, progress...). Content created with contentCloud automatically sends these "commit" message when an important event occurs (when there is a score change and when a goalis reached). This prevents the user from closing the content window even if the content window is not stored. In SCORM 2004 content not all platforms support these messages and only save data with content closure. In any case, it is recommended that you test the LMS/LRS platform to be used to verify that the information is saved correctly.

b. Add an Exit/Close button in the content itself. Because the browser's close button on mobile phones is usually hidden, it is recommended to add a custom-created button within the content that performs the tracking closing and sending function to the platform. All content creation templates in contentCloud allow you to add this button to close. Check the properties of each template to verify how to turn it on.

It will be even more important to urge students to use this button to complete the training button, ensuring that their progress is properly submitted. In case they don't use it, it's left to the browser that commands these progresses, and not all browsers have to match their behaviors when the "close" button is pressed, as in the case of Chrome 80 (see situation 3).

NOTE: If you add xAPI content in learningCloud that opens "on the card" or "full screen" you won't need to add this button. It will only be necessary if the activity is configured to open in "a new window" (see here how to configure it). In the case of contents SCORM 1.2 or SCORM 2004 will always open in "a new window", so it will be necessary to add the button to close.

Situation 3. The user uses Chrome browser 80 or higher.

As noted, for the trace to be sent and saved on the training platform, the user must close the content. Until now, when you close the window with the content in any browser, this data submission was executed. But currently in Chrome, starting with version 80 or higher, released in February 2020, this no longer happens. In order to improve its performance, Chrome has limited the data it emits with certain features.

Therefore, if a student closes the browser tab with the content, presses the browser button to "Go back to the previous page" or presses the "Reload Page" button, the tracking will be lost.

See more informationhere.

In Netex training platforms, in both learningCentral and learningCloud we have implemented in our SCORM Engine developments that minimize this problem.

When using other training platforms, it is recommended to use those whose SCORM player is adapted to the new Chrome 80 behavior.

In addition, it is recommended, as in the previous situation:

a. Publish the contents in SCORM 1.2. or in xAPI.

b. Add a Exit/Close button on the content itself and insist on students using it. In Chrome it will be especially relevant that they already use it if they close the browser tab, the tracking will not be saved.

c. Cambiate Chrome behavior from version 80 so that the trace is saved by closing the browser tab. To do this, the user must change the flag value chrome://flags/