We regularly review the questions being submitted to our support group. Each year at this time, the same question rises to the top of the list. The issue, as stated by typical users, is that Respondus or StudyMate has suddenly stopped working with their learning management system. Specifically, they report that the “Publish Wizard” won’t connect with their online course — and that everything was working fine just a few days earlier.
If Respondus or StudyMate are suddenly unable to publish content to an online course, it often means that changes were made to the server that hosts the online course. Universities and schools typically perform major upgrades for their learning management systems during the summer or holiday months (June, July, December, January). For example, we’ve seen hundreds of customers upgrade from Blackboard CE or Vista to Blackboard Learn. When a major server upgrade occurs, it sometimes requires that Respondus and StudyMate users update a few of their own settings.
Here are some tips that we provide users who report that the Publish Wizard in Respondus or StudyMate has suddenly stopped working.
1) Be sure you are running the latest version of Respondus or StudyMate.
When a vendor releases a major update for their learning management system, it sometimes requires that we too release an update for our Respondus and StudyMate applications. So it’s recommended that users regularly check to see if an update is available. This is easy to do in Respondus or StudyMate: select “Help” from the menu bar and then select “Check for Update”.
As of this writing, Respondus 4.0.5 and StudyMate 2.5.1 are the most current versions of the software. To see what version you’re running, start Respondus (or StudyMate), select “Help” from the menu, and then select “About Respondus” (or “About StudyMate”).
2) Make sure the correct learning management system is selected from the “Start” menu in Respondus. For StudyMate users, be sure to select the correct learning management system during the “Publish Wizard”.
Respondus offers distinct user “personalities” for each learning management system that it supports. It’s essential that the correct LMS personality be selected on the Start menu in Respondus. Likewise, StudyMate users must select the correct learning management system (and version) when using the Publish Wizard. So, for example, if your institution recently upgraded from Blackboard Vista to Blackboard Learn, you must now select the Blackboard 7.x-9.x setting in Respondus or StudyMate.
3) Update the “server settings” in the Publish Wizard.
Respondus and StudyMate use a “Publish Wizard” to upload quizzes or learning activities directly to an online course. The Publish Wizard requires users to enter the URL for the login page of their learning system. from which other server settings are obtained by Respondus and StudyMate. However, when a learning management system is upgraded, the server information saved from an earlier session may become outdated. For example, a school my change their authentication scheme from a standard “http” login to a secure “https” login. Perhaps the login passwords themselves have changed between terms. Maybe the port number being used by the LMS has been modified. In short, there are many reasons that it becomes necessary to update the server settings shown in the Publish Wizard. To do this, simply “delete” the earlier settings for the server and supply the updated information, such as the new login URL.
4) Confirm that a security setting isn’t blocking access to the Internet.
Respondus and StudyMate need to have access to the Internet in order to publish content to an online course. This may sound obvious, but security settings are often the reason that the Publish Wizard fails to connect with an online course. Each security product works a bit differently, but you essentially need to make sure that “respond.exe” (for Respondus) and “studymate.exe” (for StudyMate) have access to the Internet.
Also, keep in mind that there may be more than one security product running on a computer, such as Norton Internet Security and the firewall that’s built into the Windows operating system.