As part of yearly compliance, I have to go through some sort of training on sexual harassment. (Yes, even though I work at home and can’t really harass anyone.) I don’t particularly mind, it’s not that onerous. What I do mind, however, is having to redo sections of the training that I’ve already done.

The Brightline courses use a flash application that walks you through the various modules. You listen to dialog, training, and such, and answer questions. It keeps track of which modules you’ve completed…kind of. That problem arises when the application can’t connect to its server. Instead of retrying, it pops up a message saying “You seem to have lost connectivity. Instead of using the wireless connection, connect to the LAN using a wired connection before restarting the course.” It then simply closes out the flash application. Which wouldn’t be so bad, I suppose, but it doesn’t always save your progress, so I am now in the process of redoing a 20 minute module that I’ve already done.

I’m not having any other bandwidth or connectivity issues today, so it would seem to be their servers, not my connection.

So, two suggestions for those doing online courses:

  • Save state often! Every page of a module, or more
  • When connectivity to the server seems to be lost, try again, several times, instead of just dumping the student out of the application, and forcing them to login again. At least consider the possibility that the problem may be on your end, and not the student’s.
Edit: Then, after completing the entire course, and exiting as instructed, it logged me out. Upon logging back in, it told my I had not completed the last three modules. Sigh.


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