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Updating existing SCORM files

Overview

Content will likely at some point need to be updated due to changes in legislation or issues found within the current content itself, this can present a problem due to working out how best to replace a existing SCORM file that is currently active on your system with learner data existing within the original activity. Hopefully you will be able to use the existing activity and change the SCORM zip file from within the current activity and retain all previous learner history to have users continue to use the activity and the course without ever noticing the change having taken place.

When a SCORM file is added to the system it takes the SCO ID that is present within the file from when the activity is created using SCORM authoring software and generates a table on the sites database for the learner history to be stored when it is accessed by a learner. This means that if the activity is removed from the system the table is also removed from the database along with all of the learner history that was added, this happens due to the link being severed that holds the table to the database using the SCO ID that exists within the SCORM activity. Without the file itself existing on the site the database has no link to an activity and then ceases to exist and have reason to hold the linked learner data.

If you need to update a current active SCORM activity module on your site by editing the file within your SCORM authoring software then it is recommended that the SCO ID remain intact and is not changed as this will need to be the same to ensure that the ID is matched to the currently existing file held on the system and linked to data within the database using the same ID. If the file does not having a matching SCO Id then it will remove all old original data from the original SCORM file and create a new table within the database matching the new SCO ID.


How to update your SCORM file on the system

You can update a existing SCORM activity module on a existing course by accessing the activity settings and options area, this can be accessed by either:

Turn Editing on within the course and then click on the "Edit" next to the activity itself and then enter the "Edit Settings" for the SCORM activity.

Click on the activity and then on the "Enter" page you will be able to click on the Cog in the top-right of the screen and then click on the "Edit Settings".

Once you are on the Edit Settings and options area you will be able to scroll down and find a Zip file located within the "Package" area of the settings. The file will show information for when the original activity was created and if the file has been modified following on from the original activity creation, most of the time these will be the same date if the file has never been changed. The Zip file can be clicked on and then "Deleted" and swapped with the updated version if you are happy that the new updated version has the same SCO ID and will not erase all of the learner history. If you are unsure if the new updated file has the same SCO ID then you can continue reading this solutions article to find out how to test the file on the system to be absolutely sure you will not lose any data.


How to check if your new SCORM file has the same SCO ID

To check that your new updated file you wish to replace within your activity has the same SCO ID and will not remove the learner data you will need to first of all duplicate your current activity on the course. This can be done by ensuring the "Turn Editing On" has been enabled and then click on the "Edit" next to the activity and select the "Duplicate" option. This will create a new "Copy" version of the original activity but it will have no learner history within the activity itself. The next thing you will need to do is to create some learner history within the "Copy" version by accessing as a Admin and starting the activity to generate a attempt within the activity for your account, you will need to ensure you are enrolled into the course to have your attempt show up within the activity history. 

Once you have created your attempt within the activity you can exit and double check this if you wish b y clicking into the activity and on the "Enter screen you will see a "Reports" tab in the top-left area of the screen that is only available to a Admin user that will allow you to view current attempts within the activity, you should see "1 Attempts out of ??? Users" at the top for the list of names, this is your attempt and we will be able to proceed to the next step in the testing process. The next step will now require swapping the file itself within the "Copy" version following the previous step of the solutions article, this will mean changing the Package file within the settings of the "Copy" activity and then heading back into the reports area to see if the "1 Attempts out of ??? Users" is still being displayed at the top. If the 1 attempt still exists after the file swap then the new updated SCORM Zip is compatible for being swapped in the main activity and it will not remove the learner data due to it matching with the SCO ID. If this has removed the 1 Attempts text then this will mean the file is not compatible and it would then remove all learner history if this was updated into the original activity.


What to do if your file is not compatible

If your SCORM file is erasing the user data from the "Copy" version then you unfortunately only have 2 options:

1. You can try to match the original SCO ID with the new updated version, double check to see if you have a older version when created on the SCORM authoring software.

2. Sometimes if the module has been dramatically altered then it will not work with the original due to the completion conditions changing or other fundamental parts altered, this means it may only be possible to add this as a brand new activity file on the system. This would be recommended to be added as a new Course due to the old course having course completion settings active and in order to swap this within a existing course it would mean resetting all of the course completion data due to having to alter the requirements for completing the course by removing the old and including the new. This method would be best having a new course created to house this module as the last resort to not affect any other data already existing on the system.


J
James is the author of this solution article.

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