Updated: Help Documentation

June 7, 2019Firmwater, General, New Releases

Take a look at our new help documentation!

You can also access it by clicking the Help Link in your LMS account. Students are directed to the learner guide and administrators to their appropriate guide.

Read about Firmwater LMS and all its features. Search for the information that you need to administer your LMS site and find step-by-step instructions that will help you make the most of Firmwater. You can also read about all our integrations and check on our newest releases.

Let us know if you have any questions or suggestions for improvements.

A Full White-Label Solution

June 4, 2019Firmwater, General

Firmwater LMS was built with the needs of training providers in mind. You can sell online courses to individuals or businesses and provide them with a solid delivery platform at the same time. Give each of your clients their own branded site and provide value beyond your training courses.

Branding

Brand and customize each LMS site to the needs of your customers.

➡️ Logo
➡️ Custom domain
➡️ Custom email sender address
➡️ Custom email templates
➡️ Custom completion certificate
➡️ Custom designed login page

Make the LMS your own

Make the LMS look and feel like your brand or match it to your client’s branding. However, that’s not all – you can customize the functionality available for each LMS site so that it works for your specific use case or the needs of your client.

Work with us to make the most of Firmwater LMS and create a platform that works for your clients, learners, and your business.


Contact us to discuss your LMS needs and to see how Firmwater can help.

2018 a Year in Review

December 5, 2018Firmwater, General, New Releases

birthday cake

Firmwater is celebrating its 17th birthday today! Each year we like to sit down, eat some fantastic cake, and look back at our accomplishments.

First and foremost, we want to Thank You for choosing Firmwater LMS. We are grateful for all the fantastic clients we are able to partner with.

2018 has been a great year here at Firmwater. We were able to dish out some amazing new features – in case you missed any of our announcement, we have added them below.

Firmwater LMS – Top New Features 2018


February

 

External LMS Integration

You are now able to share your courses externally with your clients’ LMS while they are hosted in Firmwater. You can download a SCORM 1.2 pointer package that acts as a gateway between the two systems. There is no need to hand over any of your source files — keep your intellectual property safe.

March

 

Group Manager Role

The Group Manager role is now supported within location hierarchies. This means orders can be added at any level of the hierarchy and Group Managers at higher levels can oversee the orders at the lower levels.

Cache-busting

Each time learning content is updates are applied it is now cache-busted. Your browser will not remember and display the assets from the previous version of the course. It won’t be necessary anymore to clear your cache after updates.

April

 

Reports

Firmwater reports have been updated to make them more useful. Later in June, the report viewer controls were also updated – they now have a new fresh look that is easier to navigate.

Concurrent Sessions

Concurrent sessions are no longer allowed by the same user. That means when a user is already logged into their account, they can no longer log in again (e.g. in another browser tab).

May

 

Improved Content Loader

Updating existing e-learning course files is now much easier with the improved content loader. The LMS used to recognize file updates by matching the manifest ID’s. The new loader interface takes manifest ID’s out of the equation. The LMS now matches files by title or allows you to navigate to the exact file in your activity list.

July

 

Certificate Verification Service

This great new feature is especially interesting for training vendors providing compliance training. This is a brand new way to verify certificates by use of a QR code. Each certificate generated includes a code that can be scanned to view a snapshot of the learners’ name, course title, date, and score at the time of completion.

September

 

Add Participants Page

This update introduces the new ‘Add participants’ page that allows you to add users in one of three ways. A Group Manager can now send invitations to existing LMS users, invite new users by email, or generate and print a PDF document that includes a unique code for users where the email address is unknown.

Shopify Order Processing

This update improved the overall Shopify experience for both learners and administrators. It includes better handling of payment by invoice or PO, duplicate LMS accounts, and automatic course assignments.

October

 

Single Sign-On (SSO)

You can now enable Single Sign-On for your user community with SAML. SSO allows end-users (most often company employees) to access multiple services while providing only one set of credentials.

November

 

Set and Merge Locations

We have added two new actions that make working with locations easier and save you a lot of time.

Thanks for making us your trusted partner.

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

Do you have any feature requests? Contact us and let us know.

Let’s talk GDPR 🇪🇺

February 21, 2018Firmwater, General

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.

2017 a Year in Review

December 5, 2017Firmwater, General, New Releases

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


January

 

Course Library

We added the Card View for the course library.

May

 

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

 

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

 

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.

New: Group Manager Role

March 10, 2017Firmwater, New Releases

In an effort to make managing your online courses easier than ever, we have added a new user role, the Group Manager, tailored for those who sell courses online in mind.

How it works:

Once a purchase for multiple seats is made in Shopify, the purchaser automatically gets assigned the Group Manager role in the LMS.

As a Group Manager, you can:
  • Assign seats to participants via a new Home page.
  • Assign seats to yourself – select assign seat to me.
  • View available participants and remaining seats.
  • Manage users in each course using the Users tab.
  • Run and export reports on these specific users using the Reports.
  • View invitations sent, the date they were sent, e-mail address they were sent to and their status. Simply click on View Invitations Sent.
  • Revoke or resend invitations. Simply check-off the invitation and select an action, then click on Go.

Please note: once an invitation is accepted, you can no longer revoke or re-send the invitation. You will notice that it will appear greyed out.

We sincerely hope this makes your purchased seat management easier. If you have any questions or comments about this new feature, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Firmwater: 13th Most User Friendly LMS

January 23, 2017Firmwater

We are thrilled to announce that Capterra has named Firmwater LMS one of the Top 20 Most User-Friendly LMS Software. Firmwater earned the 13th spot among almost 500 LMS solutions evaluated. As part of a series of Top 20 reports, this report evaluated the user-friendliness of various LMS software.

Scores were based on the following key considerations:

Usability: Is it intuitive to use? How easy is it to upload content,
manage users, and generate reports? Task completion times were also taken 
into account and Firmwater came in as the second fastest software with a post-training task completion time of 37 seconds.  

Customer Service: Training and support resources available. Firmwater earned a five star rating with respect to customer service.  

Customer Reviews: Customers shared their personal experience with
our LMS and support team.

At Firmwater, we pride ourselves on providing customers with a simple, easy to use LMS and offer full support to ensure that they make the most out of their experience. We are always working towards creating a more efficient and effective
LMS for our customers. 

Firmwater Joins GetApp’s Top 25 LMS List for the Second Time

January 19, 2017Firmwater

At Firmwater Inc, our priority is to ensure that our clients’ goals are being met by working hard to improve our product. In October 2016, we were excited to learn that Firmwater LMS was named a category leader by Gartner’s GetApp, a prominent IT research and advisory company.

Joining the list for the second time with a total of 43 ratings, 100% of reviewers would recommend us to a friend or colleague. As mentioned by GetApp’s researcher:

“Firmwater LMS has done a great job of making it into GetApp’s Category Leader ranking of the top 25 LMS solutions, in large part thanks to its user reviews. An average rating of 4.85/5 for its reviews has contributed 18 points to its overall score of 34, as well as a notable 11 points for its security features, helping place Firmwater LMS firmly in the 21st spot.”

Out of GetApp’s 120+ listed LMS systems, 25 of them are chosen and ranked based on calculations of four major data points, as highlighted by the report:

  • Integrations
  • Mobile app availability
  • Market presence (social media presence)
  • Security features

These data points were determined by previous industry research results as well as trends to highlight different category leaders.

We are immensely grateful for the support we’ve received as we start the new year and we look forward to continuing to equip our clients with the tools they need in order to succeed.

Built-in Vs. Third Party Course Authoring Tools

June 16, 2016Firmwater, General

The average LMS shopper spends approximately 2.5 months searching for the right LMS, with companies spending $1,870 per vendor evaluation. It makes sense trying to make your LMS search more efficient, and less costly. However, you should ensure that you are not cutting corners that will end up costing you more in the long run.

One such short cut may be the decision to select a built-in authoring tool rather than buying both an LMS, and third-party authoring tool. Built-in authoring tools allow you to create e-learning content directly within an LMS. Third-party authoring tools are standalone software, such as Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate, with which you can create interactive e-learning content.

Having built-in authoring software may seem less complex than taking the time to choose a suitable authoring software to pair with your LMS. It’s important to know the impact of this decision ahead of time. Using these types of authoring software has both advantages and disadvantages. This article aims to outline these, to help you make an informed decision.

Advantages of a built-in authoring tool

Built-in authoring tools offer limited course authoring functionality, which means they are easy to learn.

Using a built-in authoring tool allows you to build and publish directly within your LMS, usually via drag and drop functionality, so you can quickly build a basic course.

A built-in authoring tool allows you to avoid purchasing software licenses that require specialized training and expertise to use. There may also be an extra charge for inclusion of this feature in an LMS.

Most third-party authoring tools have a development team working on continuously improving the tool, which means they are regularly updated with new releases and patches. Certain tools will even accept feature requests if it is missing a function you need.

Advantages of a third-party authoring tool

Third-party authoring tools allow you to create SCORM compliant courseware. SCORM makes your courseware portable, and having copies of your SCORM files means you can load your courseware to another SCORM compliant LMS. Not having a copy of your project files ties your courseware to the vendor.

Third-party authoring tools offer a host of features and powerful interaction functionality that allow you to create beautiful and engaging e-learning courses.

Most major authoring tool providers have online forums to exchange knowledge with other users, as well as local user groups and conventions to help with your course development.

Conclusion

  • In some cases, using a packaged LMS/authoring tool solution can work out, e.g. if you want a quick and basic solution.
  • Using a built-in authoring software can result in you missing out on the benefits of using a third party authoring tool.
  • The general consensus of the e-learning community is that courses developed in a built-in authoring tool are unattractive and difficult to use, compared to those created in a third party authoring tool.
  • When using a built-in authoring tool, always make sure you retain your project files so that the continuity of your e-learning course does not rely on that of your LMS vendor.
  • Based on the above points, we would recommend using a third party authoring tool if you need to develop e-learning that is rich in interactivity.

If you have any questions about the topics discussed, or want to find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact us, or tweet us @Firmwater.