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 and scheduled activations based on that course.

  • The changes you can make to assessment is restricted.

  • 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.

  • You should be careful and think through implications when making larger changes e.g.
    - changes to assessment
    - removing in-page discussions
    - removing an entire element (text, activity, 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 and scheduled activations 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 activations.

Past activations do not see the changes

Past activations are not affected by republishing a course. At iQualify, we support learners to be able to have life long access to their past courses, which means those courses need to be preserved as they were when the learners took them. This also means that your organisation and your learners can see exactly what they studied, and what assessments they sat at that point in time.

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 sections are identified in Create when editing a published course.

These include:

  • Course name

  • Course trailer video

  • Course cover photo

  • Course overview

  • Study plan file

  • Assessment overview content (for legacy activity and assessment courses)

What happens to activities and learner responses to activities?

When activities are changed and a course is republished, learners will see the updated activities. Activity responses are all stored against the activity, so changing the text of a question, or the activity instructions, will not remove any responses already given by learners before the changes are published. Again this is great for making small changes. However, if the activity was completely wrong or you are making a substantial change and it is important to have an accurate record of learners responses, we would recommend duplicating the course to make the change.

What should I do if I need to change assessments or quizzes?

You cannot edit assessments or quizzes after the course has been published. If you need to change an assessment you have two main options:

  1. See if the changes can be made through the activation rather than the course.

  2. Duplicate the course, make the changes, publish, add learners to the new course.

What happens to learners' comments and notes?

Discussions

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, activity 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.

Summary

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 (assessments, removing entire elements etc.). 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, activities, 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 create a class activation - tasks

How to update an activation - tasks
Managing extensions and re-submits

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