Content update in iSpring LMS

It is all too common that after producing a learning course and uploading it to an LMS we need to make some changes to keep the course up to date. A course that has been uploaded for some time may contain valuable data regarding completion and statistics information that we don’t want to lose.

Uploading the content with the same name to iSpring LMS will lead to two different scenarios:

  • The content is updated. Completion history is uninterrupted.
  • The content is replaced with a new version. History for the older version is archived.
    It’s crucial to know the difference between updating and replacing the content.

Usually subtle changes need to be made, like fixing a typo or swapping pictures. We call these minor or cosmetic changes. After updating the course and uploading it again, such changes will not interfere with the report history. It’s a feature of iSpring LMS.

However, sometimes we need to make serious changes that will create a new version of the content. In this case, new reports will be different and cannot be merged with older ones. Major structural changes that will cause content replacing with the new version of the reports are:

  • Presentation changes, such as changing the number of slides.
  • Adding quizzes to a presentation or moving them from one slide to another.
  • Quiz changes, such as adding questions or changing the correct answer of any question. Let’s do a close review of each of these items.

Presentation changes

A new version of the content item will be created if you add or delete one or more slides and then replace the existing course in iSpring LMS with the same name.

However, if you simply rearrange the order of slides or make cosmetic changes to them while still keeping the total number constant, then the content item will be updated, thus preserving the completion history.

Here is an example:

We are working on the Solar System Course and need to make important changes to it. If we add a text box (shown on the picture above) describing that Pluto now is a dwarf planet on the slide #10: Pluto, it will update the content item and preserve the report history.

If we delete this slide completely, because Pluto is not the planet anymore, the presentation will be replaced which will separate the reports into different versions.

Adding quizzes

Quizzes are just as important as the rest of the course, so they take special place in a course structure. Each quiz has its own unique ID, and the iSpring LMS will always check to see if this ID was changed or not.

When you add or remove a quiz, the content item will be replaced and split report history.

Moving a PowerPoint slide that contains a quiz will change the quiz ID and will also replace the content.

Quiz changes

Not only each quiz but also every question and answer has its own unique ID, no matter if it is a survey or a graded question type. When you make changes to the quiz, this will cause major structural changes to the course. These changes are:

  • Adding or deleting questions.
  • Changing the correct answer in any question.
  • Changing the score option at the bottom of the question editing window (Options tab → Score).

  • Importing questions from another iSpring quiz or Excel spreadsheet.

Updating the content

Open the PowerPoint presentation you have been working on and publish it with the same name and destination from the iSpring Learn tab. A dialog window will appear prompting you to overwrite the existing course.

Fortunately, now we know if the content will be updated or rewritten based on the changes we made.

Controlling the versions of the content items

The term "Version control" originated from software management. It refers to automatic systems that detect changes in any type of content: computer code, documents, etc.

iSpring LMS tracks changes in learning courses each time one is uploaded with the same name after major changes were made. These changes are usually identified by a number which is termed, the "version." For example, the initial state of the content item is "version 1." When the first major change is made and the course is updated, the resulting item will get the label "version 2," and so on. Each version is associated with a timestamp.

To check if the new version of the course was created after overwriting, run Activity Report for the content item that has been overwritten.

  • Go to the Reports tab of your iSpring LMS account.
  • Click Activity in the Content Reports group.

  • Then select a content item. You may search it by name.
  • It is important to check the Show archived items option where you select the content item. If major structural changes were made to the course, two or more versions will be shown. You will see version numbers and the date of rewrite.
    Note: it’s not necessary to change Date Range when showing version archives.
  • Click Run report.

Let’s review a report example:

The first version of the course was attempted 3 times by the same user. Version 2 was taken only once. Note that the total number of slides has changed in the 2nd version from 12 to 11 slides because the slide with Pluto has been deleted, causing a version update.

Now we know what course structure is and how it affects report generation. iSpring LMS includes functional for controlling the versions of your content items, which was also covered in this article. Version control is a vital part of any development cycle, no matter what you develop — be it a computer program or a learning course.