Recent News

6 things to keep in mind when publishing eLearning content

Posted November 13, 2017 by Kinda Nehlawi

Our customers often come to us with issues that arise when users engage with their learning content. Maybe a video animation isn’t working as expected or they’re not sure why they can’t see a student’s quiz responses in the LMS report. Whatever the issue, we find that it is usually related to how the content was published and which tool was used to author it. To help you avoid similar problems in the future, we decided to share some tips about what to keep in mind when you’re publishing your eLearning content. This should be helpful regardless of the authoring tool you’re using.

Publish for SCORM 2004

In order to get the most out of our LMS reporting and tracking capabilities, make sure you select to publish for SCORM 2004, 3rd edition. This option is found in the publish settings of the tool you’re using. There are several differences between SCORM 2004 and SCORM 1.2. The most important one is that SCORM 2004 allows you to track and report on student status and quiz data more efficiently.


Opt for HTML5-based Content

Make sure you’re selecting an HTML5 output option when you publish. All major browsers have completely phased out the Flash Player plugin by default and are instead opting for mobile-friendly HTML5. In fact, Adobe plans to stop distributing Flash Player by 2020. Using primarily flash-based content will risk your learners having to download additional plugins and make it a less pleasurable learning experience. Switching from Flash to HTML5 will allow your users to access their online learning from any mobile device.

Pay Close Attention to Data Reporting and Tracking

Always aim to identify the reporting and tracking options available for you in the tool and how they will translate into the LMS.

Reporting: Let’s say you want to track the learners quiz result. You would need to include a results slide and make sure that the results are being properly submitted to the LMS. Think about how you want the learner’s status to be reported. Do you want them to see that they’ve passed the course or simply completed it? Keep in mind that SCORM 2004 submits two statuses: success and completion.

Tracking: If you want to allow learners to exit your course and resume where they left off, make sure that’s also indicated within the settings. Always refer to your authoring tool guide to make sure you are publishing properly.

Regularly Check Version Updates

Keep the version of the tool you’re using to publish your content up to date. Version updates usually have bug fixes that will avoid future issues with your content. Check if the authoring tool version is compatible with major browser versions - if not, find out which one it works best with. Regularly check for updates to your authoring tool software and check the system requirements (usually found on the tool’s website). Add information about system requirements to the course description in the LMS to let students know about it prior to launching the content.

Be Mindful of Browsers

Identify the types of browsers your learners are using (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, etc…) Is there a specific browser you’ve noticed causing issues more frequently? Is the flash player enabled for flash-based courses? Perhaps the browser needs an update or the published content is simply not compatible with this browser. Again, checking system requirements for your authoring tool is helpful. You can find out the browsers your learners use by running a Login History report in the LMS.

Test Your Content

Test your content again and again until it behaves how it should behave. We make this task easy for you by giving you access to our demo site. This site is great for testing your content before it is made available to your learners on your live site. Load and launch your content there first to make sure it works as intended.

When testing your content, ask the following questions:

  • Is the content behaving as it should be? (e.g. animations, interactions etc.)
  • Is the audio playing? Is it clear enough?
  • Is the video playing seamlessly?
  • Are the buttons and triggers working as expected? (e.g. next, submit, exit)
  • Is the status being properly reported? i.e. is it displaying “completed” or “passed/failed” when it needs to?
  • If applicable, is interaction data being saved? To verify that, run an interaction data report in the LMS.
  • Are there any errors when launching, exiting, or navigating the content?

If you’re in the process of publishing or updating your eLearning, make sure you get in touch with us for more eLearning tips and best practices.


eLearning Communities

Posted November 6, 2017 by Josephine Huschmann


A great way to network with industry professionals

You might be new to the eLearning world or need help with your existing online courses. Each eLearning community member comes from a different background and has different skills to bring to the table. That is what makes it so special and resourceful. We decided to mention the 2 leading eLearning communities. Read blog posts, take part in discussions or follow them on Social Media. Get help, get inspired and connect with professionals from your industry.

E-Learning Heroes


The Articulate user community site has been around since 2011 and is a great spot to meet professionals alike. The site offers lots of posts about E-Learning in general and about the Articulate line of products. Running into an issue while building your course? This site has all the answers you are looking for. You can ask questions or share your ideas with the community in the discussion forum. The site also offers lots of free resources to jazz up your content. Whether you need templates or course assets, this site is the right spot to find what you are looking for.

eLearning Industry


The eLearning Industry has a vast network of eLearning sites. Weekly newsletters, blog posts, video tutorials, infographics and more are available for free. The company was founded in 2012 and has grown to be a great resource for industry professionals. To catch up on the latest eLearning news, technologies and to look for your next freelance project or job opportunity - eLearning Industry is the place to be.



How to Convert One-Time Customers into Lifetime Learners

Posted August 31, 2017 by Josephine Huschmann

Do you want to encourage your learners to come back for more? Repeat customers can help you build a business that is strong and robust. We want to present you with tips and tricks to encourage your learners to return for more eLearning content.

1. Completion Certificates

The sense of pride when completing an online course can be elevated by offering a beautifully designed completion certificate. Your learners are able to showcase their newly attained skills to potential employers or highlight them on their LinkedIn page. Completion certificates add value to your course offerings and give learners the opportunities to distinguish themselves in a competitive job market.


2. Microlearning

You can adapt to your learner’s busy lifestyle by offering a library of effective Microlearning courses. One learning objective can be presented in short videos or interactive learning modules that can be completed on the go. Your learners can access their online learning at their own pace and advance their career without committing to a set timeframe. You can offer access through memberships and use Firmwater’s attractive course library to showcase your courses. Be flexible so that you can accommodate your learners’ busy schedule and they will come back for more!


3. Connect with your Learners

Build great customer relationships by connecting with your learners on Social Media or by Email. Let your current users know about all you have to offer. You can introduce them to new products and offer them special discounts. Use Social Media and the power of Buy Buttons to reach out and establish a customer base.


4. System Emails

Firmwater LMS offers system-generated Emails that are fully customizable. Use these Emails to your advantage and tailor them to fit your business. A ‘Welcome Email’ can include a Social Media follow button to encourage your learners to connect with you. A ‘Course Completion’ Email may introduce a new course to your learner or offer a repeat purchase discount. Make the most out of this LMS feature and turn your one-time customers into lifetime learners.

If you have any questions or comments, pleaseĀ contact us.


Sell Your Products Anywhere with Shopify Buy Buttons

Posted August 15, 2017 by Josephine Huschmann

Buy Buttons

 Sample Button

The Shopify Buy Button is a great tool that allows you to sell your products anywhere. You are able to target a specific audience and expand your reach by adding this sales channel to your online business. Simply embed a Buy Button on your website, newsletter, blog or your preferred platform so that you can offer your products in any setting. The tremendous benefit that Buy Buttons offer is a seamless shopping experience for your customers. No need to visit another site to purchase a product; just one simple click of a button.

The Buy Button product page consists of an image, title, price and of course a button. You are able to customize the style of the product page, so it adapts to the format of your existing theme. The Buy Button also includes an embedded shopping cart (so that customers can add several products) and a secure checkout page. Naturally, the Buy Button is fully responsive which means your customers are able to purchase your products from any device.

Sell Products on Your Website or Blog

There are several ways you can incorporate Buy Buttons into your site. You can create your own Shop within your website by adding several Buy Buttons on one page. You can also add your products to the sidebar of your website. This is a great way to draw attention to a new product or to highlight your best-seller to your site visitors. Add Buy Buttons directly to your blog or news post, so that your readers have easy access to your product offerings. We are a creature of habit and like to stay within our familiar boundaries. Buy Buttons allow your customers to access all your products without leaving your site, but with all the features of a full Shopify store. You can still reap the benefits of a shopping cart and Shopify’s secure checkout process.

How do I take advantage of Buy Buttons?

If you already have a Shopify store and want to add Buy Buttons as an additional sales channel, you can simply create the button and generate the code from your store’s admin site.

If you are thinking of simply adding a few products to your website or blog, but do not want to open a full Shopify store, you can sign up for a Shopify Lite plan.

Visit Shopify to learn more about Buy Buttons.