A user is in the middle of a course. At some page or exercise in the course, it freezes. You can't move forward, and may not be able to move backwards.
We wish this were an LMS issue, but unfortunately, when you launch into the course, you leave the LMS. You are not in the LMS, you are in the course. At this point the user's experience is entirely defined by the technology used to develop the course, not the LMS. The course has responsibility to ask for data from the LMS. The course has responsibility to send data to the LMS. The LMS's only responsibility is to process the data. If in the middle of a course and it freezes, while it is possible the course is responding to bad data, the data we store in the LMS comes from the course. It's their data.
A programmatic problem such as a course freeze is a problem in the behavior of the course, not a problem in the behavior of the LMS. Whoever provides support for the course will need to offer an explanation / solution for why the course is freezing. MaxIT cannot support the user experience in the course. The only time we support courseware is if the courseware is part of one of our subscriptions. If you have developed your own courseware or are using a 3rd party, they are your first line of support for a problem in the courses they provided.
Many course vendors often will say a course works properly in their LMS or in SCORM Cloud. In a controlled environment, it will also always work in our platform too. When a course has to support users in a production environment you run into users with different browser configurations,different connectivity profiles and very different system configurations. This is an important point to make with the tool or courseware vendor, that this is a production environment not a controlled environment.
Course (and tool) vendors tend to respond better when they know the LMS vendor has a built-in log of all communication to and from the course and the LMS. The nature of the communication we log always occurs BEFORE the LMS ever handles the communication. Make sure the content vendor knows about this detail auditing as it removes an excuse not to support you. Bottom line is if a course is posting bad data, the LMS will store bad data. Sharing with them the log can help identify the fault in the course and eliminate finger pointing. It should be added that a freeze in the course is not a tracking problem, it is a functional problem the user is experiencing while in the course.
On launch, the course operates however the course operates and changes in technology (the browser, flash, security) can change the operating environment needed for the course (and the LMS) that can impact course behavior. MaxIT will always update the LMS if there is some change in browser behavior impacting the LMS, but we obviously cannot support use cases where a course no longer behaves the way it originally worked OR in cases where the course never worked properly and it is just now being discovered.
One other thing to be aware of is that in enough cases the course IS working properly and the LMS IS working properly, but the user environment IS NOT. The list is long and daunting from outdated browsers, outdated flash, security vulnerabilities, proxy and reverse proxy servers to name a few. Likewise, the user may have entirely too many browser tabs and other applications loaded that makes their workstation unstable. You do not need to be an expert in all these technologies, but you need to look for patterns.
When course support calls come in, see if it is from a certain type of user (all uses in location X) or if they are running the same browser, or the position in the course and even the time of day. Also in AbilityLMS look at the history tab for a problem course. If you see most user are finishing, chances are you have users with workstation or environmental problems. If you see only In-Progress statuses, you have a problem in the tracking to sort out and need to look at the logs and raise a support ticket with us if needed.
Bottom line is when in learning content you are not in the LMS, and the provider of the learning content is your first line of support and they have to be held accountable. If they suggest a course freeze is caused by the LMS, in addition to the key points raised here, ask them to put the course in debug mode and have them show you exactly how they have made that determination. If they can show we are doing something not in conformance to standards we will fix it. If their interpretation requires us to make modifications, we will strongly consider making the changes to deal with how they do things in standards conformance. On rare occasion we have even fixed the content vendors problems.
MaxIT will always participate in a call with you and the content vendor if needed to make progress on an issue. It is asked, the above points to have been explored and this data made available prior to the call.
Sometimes the bottom line is not good enough because the content vendor is long gone from any sort of support responsibility. MaxIT can always be engaged to perform a professional services to review the course behavior. Most courses have a debug mode we can enable and we can profile the content. We cannot fix courseware without the source code and the authoring tool but we can often tell you all sorts of useful things about the course. There is a minimal 4 hour professional service charge on any courseware support services in which we are engaged.