Recent News

New: Improved Content Loader

Posted May 29, 2018 by Josephine Huschmann

The move from Flash to HTML5 and constant browser updates make regular content updates a crucial part of LMS administration. We want to make this process as easy as possible so that you can focus on what you do best - being an expert and selling your great content.

Background

When we built our platform we put a lot of weight on SCORM compliance to allow launching any compliant content. With this in mind, we used the manifest identifier to match updated content files to existing content. But not all industry players were following SCORM specifications as strictly as we were. Lately, we had clients run into issues when updating content that was published with certain authoring tools.

For example, iSpring started creating a new manifest identifier value each time a package was published. Articulate Rise, on the other hand, is publishing each SCORM package with the exact same manifest identifier. Unlike other authoring tools, iSpring and Articulate Rise do not allow to set manifest identifiers in publish settings. A workaround was required which lead to users unzipping published SCORM packages to edit the imsmanifest.xml file. Editing this file takes some technical know-how and is rather tedious when dealing with many course files.

What’s new?

To solve this issue, we decided to concentrate less on the manifest identifier and more on course titles. Now, LMS administers can pick and choose which file gets updated right from the new loader interface.

The loader offers two alternatives: loading a file as new content and loading a file to update existing content. In case of an update, the LMS will match the file with existing content by use of the file’s title. However, the file can be changed by navigating to the correct course folder and learning item. 

Voilà! We have taken manifest identifiers out of the equation. No more workarounds required and the loader interface is more user-friendly. Updating course files is now a simple and easy process.


ezgif-1-0c9cf99b26.gif


We hope this new feature will save you time and effort when administering your LMS. 


Please reach out to us with any questions or suggestions.


Related Post:

6 things to keep in mind when publishing eLearning content



Let’s talk GDPR 🇪🇺

Posted February 21, 2018 by Josephine Huschmann
 

Firmwater is getting ready for the GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is quite a mouthful and is also a fair bit of work for many businesses that deal with the personal information of EU residents.

You wonder what the buzz is all about? The EU has decided to strengthen and regulate the privacy policy across the European Union. Take a look at this animated infographic by the European Commission which explains the GDPR and all the necessary changes in layman’s terms.

European businesses or any business that deals with the personal information of EU citizens will have to comply with the regulation. May 25th, 2018 has been circled on many calendars as the deadline for the GDPR which is considered the strictest regulation of its kind in the world. Policies need to be adjusted and business processes changed to comply with this new standard.

As a cloud-based LMS provider with clients and users from all around the world, Firmwater has been busy to get ready for the May 25th.


Let’s get serious. How is Firmwater preparing for the GDPR?

Firmwater hired TrustArc to assess and evaluate Firmwater’s fitness level when it comes to data protection. With the results, we have put together an action plan that will put us on the path to GDPR compliance.

Our team has been and is working hard to implement the following measures:

  • Updating our privacy policy
  • Implementing a process that allows clients or users of our application to have access to their data if requested.
  • Reviewing our website and learning platform to ensure we manage and process personal data to GDPR standards.
  • Keeping data protection in mind when developing new functionality in Firmwater LMS (privacy by design framework).
  • Preparing records of processing activities as both a Controller and a Processor of client data (GDPR requirement).
  • Updating contractual terms (data protection addendum) with our service providers.
  • Enhancing our company policies for data portability and data management.
  • Training all Firmwater staff on GDPR privacy legislation and new company policies.

In short, we respect the privacy and security of our clients and users. We will stay privacy aware and will make our clients conscious of any privacy concerns if necessary.

In order to stay current, we encourage you to check for our regular updates in our newsletters and review our new privacy policy.

 

Please contact our team if you have any questions or concerns regarding GDPR compliance.



3 Tips for Organizing your Content Library in Firmwater LMS

Posted December 14, 2017 by Kinda Nehlawi

If you’re an eLearning provider, chances are your online content list can get quite messy making it difficult for you to search through. With Firmwater LMS, you can always take actions to ensure your content is well-organized. Here are our top three tips to help you save time when navigating your online content:

Books.png

1. Establish a naming convention.

This makes it a lot easier for you to navigate your content library when you need to perform an action such as grant a course down to a client or make changes to the content settings. The naming can include information such as:

  • Course/Learning Activity Name or Acronym
  • Date
  • Version of the course, if applicable
  • Language, if applicable e.g. FR, EN, ES

Keeping it in the same sequence consistently will help organize it as the LMS will list activities in alphabetical order.

2. Ensure that you are specifying the type of learning content.

When loading new content or when editing existing content, it’s best to ensure that the type field is populated. Content type can be anything like a Course, Module, Lesson, Test, Video etc. Specifying the type helps makes it easy for you to filter your search in the activities list and it helps edit settings in bulk e.g. enable/disable idle timer.

To do this in Firmwater LMS, go to Content > Activities and select the learning item you’d like to edit. Once in the item summary page, click on ‘Edit’. This will open up a page that allows you to edit various settings. You’ll find the ‘type’ field listed there with a drop-down menu for options.

3. Archive unused and unneeded content.

Archiving content does not mean the content will be deleted. It’s actually good practice to archive course items or course components that are part of larger items. Archiving courses or course versions no longer in use helps you find courses that are actively being used and makes the activity list look cleaner. In the activities list, archived items can be accessed by switching either to ‘All’ or ‘Archived’ view near the search bar.

We hope that these tips help you organize your learning activities. If you need assistance with any steps, please reach out to us.

2017 a Year in Review

Posted December 5, 2017 by Josephine Huschmann
 birthday_present.png

Today we are celebrating our 16th birthday and on such an occasion, we would like to take a second to show appreciation to our great clients and revisit our accomplishments.

Thank you for using Firmwater LMS for your business. It has been a pleasure and we hope you enjoy our company as much as we enjoy having you on board!

This past year has been amazing and in case you missed some of our new features - we have summarized them for you below.


Firmwater LMS - Top New Features 2017

 
jan.png

Course Library

We added the Card View for the course library

may.png

 

Automatic Redirect

We support automatic redirect to Firmwater LMS from the Shopify check-out process. The user no longer needs to wait for an email to access courses purchased.
 

Product Bundles

We support purchases of multiple courses as a single product bundle. Seats for courses in a bundle get assigned as a single action.
 

june.png
 

Rollup Rules

We added new ‘Attempts and Scoring’ settings. Decide whether an item is included as part of its parent’s score and whether the item is required for completion of the parent item.
 

Idle Timeout

We now display a prompt if no user activity is detected in the LMS for a specified amount of time. Without any response, the session is terminated. We added the appropriate presentation setting to specify an idle timeout value.
 

Prerequisites

We added a new ‘Prerequisites’ page for items in a course. Specify the items that must be completed before the current item becomes available. We also added item prerequisites that let you set a certain amount of time that has been spent in the course before you allow access to another item.
 

Auto-Sequencing

We added an action to auto-sequence a course. It makes each item in the course a prerequisite for the next item - we like to compare this to a daisy chain.


august.png

Video Player

We now show MP4 videos in a consistent player across all browsers. Of course, we also track progress and completion.


Visit our Release Notes or follow us on Social Media to learn more about exciting changes at Firmwater.