Over time we have had several queries come through to the helpdesk from various clients asking about the implications of unlocking activities, courses and accreditations. Therefore, in this update, we would like to provide some good practice guidance so that you are aware of the implications of unlocking these functions and when it's appropriate to do so and when it would not be.
Unlocking course completion settings:
If you try and change the course completion settings of a course after users have been through it, then you have to unlock it – there's a warning visible on screen. Unlocking the course means that all the course completions attained by users are reset and re-calculated based on the new course completion settings you make. Users course completion statuses may change from Completed to In progress or vice versa or may stay the same (depending upon how you change the completion settings). Even if the change you make still results in a completed status for users, the date of the course completion will be reset to the date that the unlock was done. If this course was also an accredited course, then the user's accreditation will be unaffected, i.e. an active accreditation will still be active for the original duration and an expired accreditation will still be expired.
Unlocking activity completion settings within a course:
If you try and change the completion settings of an activity (e.g. SCORM or Quiz) within a course after users have been through it, then you have to unlock it – there's a warning visible on screen. Unlocking the activity means that all of the activity completions attained by users are reset and re-calculated based on the new activity completion settings you set. Users activity completion settings may change from ticked (completed) to no tick (not completed) or vice versa. If the activity also forms part of the course completion settings, then a full course completion reset will also occur and users will have their overall course completion status recalculated as mentioned earlier.
If you're using accreditations for repeat access of courses by users, then please read this section. When you set a course as an accreditation, any unlocking of courses or activities has no effect on the accreditation status or accreditation durations of users. However, you can also unlock accreditations, for example, if you wanted to make a change to the accreditation settings. Below we've included two examples to explain how changing an accreditation duration will affect user records:
Example 1: You decided to reduce an accreditation duration from two years to just one year. Users' accreditations would be recalculated. Based on the shorter duration, some users who were Accredited would be recalculated as still Accredited but some would change to Expired or Requires re-accreditation. Any users who were Not started would remain with this status. Any users who already had a status of Expired or Requires re-accreditation would be changed to Not started, although their archive history of their previous completion and their previous accreditation would be retained. The reason it's recalculated to Not started is because when the recalculation occurs, the user doesn't have a current course completion (as it's already been reset), therefore, the calculation has no current course completion data to use and so it sets the accreditation status to Not started.
Example 2: You decided to extend an accreditation duration from one year to two years - users' accreditations would be recalculated. Based on the longer duration, all users who were Accredited would still be Accredited and their duration would be extended for an extra year. Any users who were Not started would remain with this status. Any users who were already in a status of Expired or Requires re-accreditation would be changed to Not started, although their archive history of their previous completion and their previous accreditation would be retained. The reason it's recalculated to Not started is because when the recalculation occurs, the user does not have a current course completion (as it has already been reset), therefore, the calculation has no current course completion data to use and so it sets the accreditation status to Not started.
Unlocking activities, courses and accreditations is classed as destructive, i.e. it alters user course completion data in the database both in terms of statuses and completion dates. On larger sites, if you unlock something that has several thousand user completion records, then the recalculations can take several minutes to run through to complete the recalculations for all users records and your reporting on that course will be inconsistent during this recalculation time. If you need to make substantial changes to courses and their completion criteria, then you could temporarily hide the course (to stop users accessing it), run a report and retain it for your records if you wish, unlock the course and make your changes, then show the course again to users. You need to be aware of the results of the unlocking as noted above. Alternatively, you may decide that the course changes are so substantial that you want all users to go through the new course regardless and you want to report out separately on this. In which case, it would be advised that you create an entirely new course for users to complete and archive the old course (hide it) in order to retain the original completion records for that version of the course. Hidden courses that were set as accreditations no longer send out reminder emails to users. Deleting a course (rather than just hiding it) deletes all user records associated with that course.
If you have any queries regarding this update, our helpdesk team are always happy to help. Contact us through our helpdesk channels.