Your course uses legacy activities and assessment? Check out Editing and republishing a course with legacy activities instead.
As an author, you can make edits to a course, republish and get those changes out to learners. This is great to be able to update information, add more content, or fix any mistakes that were not picked up before publishing (we're all human, after all!).
The short story is:
You can easily make small changes and fixes to content within pages of courses. Then, when you republish, those changes will flow out to all current, past and scheduled activations based on that course.
Changes to course attributes (overview, study plan, trailer video etc.) rather than content within pages, don't flow out to activations. This is because they can be changed when you set up an activation, and we don't want to override that. To update these sections check out how to update an active activation.
Remember any changes you make will immediately be visible to learners and could impact their learning experience. Therefore you should be careful and think through implications when making larger changes e.g.
- changes to assessed tasks
- removing in-page discussions
- removing an entire element (text, task, video)
- removing an entire page.
There's a lot more detail needed to really explain this process, so authors can make informed decisions. The rest of this article covers the above in greater detail.
Some clarification of terms...
Course - The content. This includes the pages of your course but also extra data like the overview, glossary, cover photo etc.
Activation - Essentially a live class of learners. The same course can have multiple activations (only published courses can have activations).
Published course - At some point, your course will be ready for learners. Publishing a course makes it visible to the people in iQualify who manage activations (managers), you'll see a new contentId created.
Under construction course - When you first create a course, it's under construction, a draft. Then at some point, you publish. If you go back into a published course, it immediately goes back under construction, and you'll see a new draftId on the card.
rootContentId - Is the Id that sticks with this course card even as the course is republished. The rootContentId is what automated things will use. It allows us (or your integration team) to point to the same "root" course, even as authors are making changes and creating new published contentIds.
Which activations see changes when you republish?
On the course card of published courses, you can see how many current, past, and scheduled activations there are for that course.
Current, scheduled and past activations all see the changes
When you make changes to a published course and republish it, those changes are made to all the current activations, as well as the scheduled and past activations.
What changes do not flow through to activations?
Certain course attributes are set up to give managers control over details that may change from activation to activation, though the body of the course may not change.
Course attributes can be edited in Create by an author, but will not be updated in any activations. These include:
Course trailer video
Course cover photo
Study plan file
These sections are identified in Create when editing a published course.
If you're wanting to update any of these sections for an existing offering see How to update an active activation.
What happens to tasks and learner responses to tasks?
When a task is changed in a course with current classes the author gets to choose whether to replace the task for ALL learners OR only those who have not yet seen or started the current task.
If you choose to replace it only for learners who have not yet seen or started the current task then any existing submission will be saved for current learners.
If you choose to replace it for all, any existing submissions for learners will be removed.
What happens to learners' comments and notes?
Making changes to the text of an in-page discussion won't remove any of the comments. But if you delete/disable an in-page discussion and publish, it won't be visible for activations.
Note: the conversation isn't lost as such, just hidden. So, if you reenable the discussion and publish again, the conversation will reappear.
Private study notes and social notes
Notes are "attached" to an element within a page (textbox, video, task etc.). If you delete the element notes were attached to, the notes disappear (and cannot be brought back). So, where possible, instead of deleting the entire element, try to change the stuff within the element.
Changes on pages within a course, will flow through to current and scheduled activations when a course is republished. Course attributes (overview etc.) are not updated in activations. Be careful when making larger changes (assessed tasks, removing entire elements etc as it may impact learners who are currently studying the course, especially those online when you hit publish!). If the changes are larger, you can make them and not republish until the current activations move to past.
Courses in iQualify are complex, with assessments, tasks, and user-generated content, which means that republishing courses has complex implications. We've thought carefully and tested thoroughly to ensure that republishing such complex content is as stable as possible and provides everyone involved with the best experience it can. We'll be continuing to work hard and make refinements in this area to improve it even more.
Other articles you may find useful
How to activate a course or update a current activation
Managing extensions and re-submits