Why Aren't Courses Being Marked As Complete?


Applies to: Starter, Pro, Plus, & Enterprise Plans

Course Completion

Course completion is a complex issue so before we dive into possible causes and solutions, let's first take a look at how course completion normally works. This is a somewhat generic explanation so it may not be applicable for all course configurations. Also note that we will actually be looking at lesson completion, as course completion is simply the sum of all of its lessons (i.e. if all lessons in a course are marked complete, the course will also be marked complete).

  1. A learner starts by opening a course and then a lesson. They proceed through the lesson, whether it's a simple video or an exam, and reach the final slide. 
  2. Here the learner is typically shown their overall grade, or maybe a quick message indicating they've completed the lesson. In the background, lesson information has been saved to the learner's computer regarding their progress and score(if there is one).
  3. The learner is prompted to exit the lesson, either by closing the window or by selecting an exit button on the slide itself. At this point, all the information saved on the learner's computer is sent to our LMS. This is the information that allows for completion, scoring, etc. so if for any reason this doesn't make it to our LMS we don't have any record for the learner's attempt.


So now that we know how course completion is supposed to be recorded let's take a look at some of the scenarios that can stop that information from making it to our LMS and how they can be avoided. Some of the scenarios below are related to the course design while some are related to specific learner variables. When trying to troubleshoot your courses always confirm whether the issue is affecting everyone who takes the course or just a few. If it's the former, then the issue is likely related to course design. If it's the latter, you should investigate the specific learner's variables.

  • Scenario: Premature closing of the background LMS window (if using SCORM Pop-up).
    Solution: Move away from using popup courses with one of our newer UIs. However, if you are planning to stick with Pop-up courses make sure your learners are aware that they should not close the background window. 
  • Scenario: The learner loses their internet connection.
    Solution: Always confirm that the learner has a stable connection, especially if taking a longer course/exam. If learners are taking the courses in a controlled environment having a fallback internet connection (e.g. wired if on wireless, or vice versa) would be a good idea.
  • Scenario:The learner remains logged in to the LMS for an extended period of time.
  • Solution: Each learner is granted a 4 hour session from when they initially login to the LMS. After 4 hours has elapsed their connection to the LMS is terminated and any course progress that has not yet been saved is lost. The best way to avoid this is to ensure that learners are aware of this time limit and to plan accordingly.
  • Scenario: The course does not send the required completion information, or it sends the wrong information.
    Solution: Ensure that your course implements an appropriate reporting method (e.g. results slide, slide view %, etc.) and that it adheres to our course authoring guidelines for your UI.
  • Scenario: The learner does not meet the completion requirements for the lesson.
  • Solution: When authoring a course with a completion requirement such as "90% of slides must be viewed" you must ensure that your course design supports that. That means either disabling the ability for learners to skip through slides/videos or letting them know that if they do they won't receive completion for the course.
  • Scenario: The learner uses an unsupported browser to access the LMS.
    Solution: Have the learner upgrade to a modern browser. We personally recommend using Google Chrome however later versions of IE (9,10) are still a significant improvement.
  • Scenario: The learner completes all of the lessons in a course, but does not complete a mandatory course evaluation.
  • Solution: If you are using mandatory course evaluations the first thing you should check when a learner reports an incomplete course is the status of the evaluation. Alternatively, if you accidentally selected mandatory for the course evaluation you can change the setting from the Course Details > Settings page.

This is probably not an exhaustive list of all the possible scenarios but it does cover the most common ones. If you feel that your particular course completion issue is not covered above then please submit a request for help.

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