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.

New: External LMS integration

June 19, 2018General, New Releases

We added a new external LMS integration feature that solves the challenges that come with distributing content as a training vendor. You are now able to host your training courses and share them externally with your clients’ LMS. Handing over any of your source files is out of the question.

Sounds great! Can you give an example?

Sure. Bruce Wayne is the owner of Wayne Enterprises, a medium size training vendor that specializes in compliance training. He has managed and delivered his Health and Safety courses with Firmwater LMS for a few years. Bruce recently met with a prospective client that already uses an LMS. They are not interested in creating yet another account for each of their employees to take the training. Bruce and his team would really like to work with this new client, however, he is not willing to hand over any of his in-house designed course files.

Solution: External LMS integration allows you to load and manage your training courses in Firmwater LMS and provide a zip package to your client to load to their own LMS. This zip file is a SCORM 1.2 package that simply points to the content that is loaded in Firmwater LMS. A learner can launch and access the course from within the external LMS. Meanwhile, you stay in control and can manage access from your Firmwater LMS account.

What about reporting?

A local administrator is able to see all learner data pushed to Firmwater LMS reports as usual. The external LMS will be able to display:

  • Status
  • Score
  • Duration

What are the benefits for me as a training vendor?

  • Updating made simple: Looking to make an update to your online course? Update your files in Firmwater LMS and your client will automatically launch the updated version. No need to provide them with a new file to load to their system, as the integration has already been established. Your instructional designer will be happy to hear that course updates only needs to be applied to one site.
  • Sales, sales, sales: Expand into new markets by selling licenses to businesses that already use their own LMS. This opens up a wider playing field for your business development or sales team.
  • Share access – keep control: The customer has access to your courses on your terms and under your control.
  • Keep ownership of your content: Your e-learning courses are your intellectual property – keep it safe!

How do I get started?

  1. Enable Content as a Service 
    Configurations > Integrations > Edit: External LMS > Yes, allow content to be launched > SCORM 1.2 > Save Changes
  2. Download a package to provide to your client
    Content > Activities > click Activity > More actions > External LMS package
    You can download several course packages at once (provided as a compressed zip file)
  3. Manage your external LMS integration
    To manage SCORM 1.2 packages: Content > Edit: External LMS
    To manage external host domains: Configuration > Integrations > External LMS
External LMS Integration

The external integration feature is available for our Growth, Premium and Tailor Made pricing packages.

Contact our support team if you have any further questions about external LMS integration.

New: Improved Content Loader

May 29, 2018General, New Releases

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.


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 🇪🇺

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.

eLearning Communities

November 6, 2017General

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

August 31, 2017General

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, please contact us.