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COVID-19 Information for National Emergency Training Center Students

Note: effective July 28, 2021, all Federal employees, onsite contractors, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status or level of COVID transmission in your local area, are required to wear a mask inside all DHS workspaces and Federal buildings.

Extended Outage

We will be performing scheduled maintenance on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 8:00 AM EST. This is a planned three (3) day EXTENDED OUTAGE, ending Friday, October 15, 2021 at 10:00 PM EST. All EMI web services will be unavailable for this time period. Please contact us if you experience any issues outside of this maintenance window.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency continues to monitor the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as it relates to COVID-19. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the CDC is encouraging organizations to promote social distancing, hold meetings via videoconferencing, reduce non-essential travel, and adjust or postpone events and gatherings. We also continue to evaluate the local and national situation and will provide regular updates.

Students will be notified in advance concerning the status of their on-campus course offering.

We thank you for your understanding, and we invite you to visit our extensive catalog of Independent Study Courses as well as classroom courses available by virtual delivery.

Frequently Asked Questions for the EMI Learning Content Management System (LCMS)

The FAQs below are intended to be supplemental materials to the LCMS Procedures and therefore generally do not contain step by step instructions. Please refer to the procedures for more in-depth information.

Resident Course Questions and Answers

  1. I am developing and Instructor Led Training Course and would like to use different “cue” icons within my course. The icons that I am referring to include: Instructor Note, Student Manual, Discussion Question, Activity, etc.


    In order to maintain consistency across all courses, changes to icons are not authorized at this time. Use the “Message Box” textual element and change the “type” based upon the icon that you would like to use.

  2. How do I add an Instructor Note or Student note to a slide?


    Begin with the Discussion Point that includes all of your slide content. Add a “Message Box” textual element to that discussion point. Label the “Message Box” with the same label as the discussion point adding “Instructor Note” or “Student Note” to the end. Change the message box output to Print and the Instructor Guide, Student Guide, or both – depending on where it should be output to. In either the Source view or Design view, change the type to the appropriate type. Refer to “Create a Single Screen/PPT Slide (IS and ILT)” LCMS Procedures document.

  3. How do I add content that should show up only in the IG or SM to my course such as Objectives, Scope, Time Plan, Materials/Equipment, References, etc.?


    Refer to “Add Instructor Guide Specific Content(R)” from the LCMS Procedures document.

Independent Study Course Questions and Answers

  1. When creating a Hyperlink to an element I am unable to find it.


    In the link Dialog Box, ensure that you have selected the correct Type. For example, if you want to link to a Discussion Point ensure that is what you choose. Try simplifying your search or using quotes when searching. An example of a simplified search would be “Recovery” instead of “National Disaster Recovery Framework Document.” You may also choose to do the inverse. As a last resort, you can get the GUID of the element that you want to link to and search for that number.

  2. I need to update a course to a new version. Should I create a new course or change the version that is currently in the LCMS instead?


    Change the version that is in the LCMS. Do NOT create a new course. For example, if IS-9999 has some updates and needs to be changed to a “.a” version, modify the labels to include “IS-9999.a” and modify all of the existing content (adding/removing elements) as needed.

  3. What are the appropriate outputs for an Independent Study course?


    You should always at least choose “Web” and “CD” for this type of course. It is possible to choose some additional outputs as well if some of the course contents may be reused in alternative ways (Instructor Led Course).

General Questions and Answers

  1. How can I delete an object/element or remove a linked element from my course?


    Cut the element (Right click, Cut) from your course and Paste it into the _To_Be_Deleted course. Linked elements will not be deleted through the entire system. Only the one instance will be deleted.

  2. I am unable to modify a particular element or object within the LCMS.


    The object/element is likely locked by someone else and therefore you will not be able to make changes to it. If the element is a shared object that has incorrect information, send an email to with the name and GUID of the element and issue. If you would like to modify the element to better fit your course, consider adding another element before/after it or copy pasting instead of pasting as link. If the element belongs to you, but was locked by someone else, you may also send an email to the above address.

  3. I would like to provide review comments and/or suggestions to a course. Do I need to take the 2-day developer training?


    No. You may take the 30 minute “Reviewer” training instead. Please contact with names of potential reviewers.

  4. When creating a list, should I use the List element or should I use a Description element?


    You may use either; however, it may be easier to create sub-bullets with the Description element.

  5. I uploaded an image to the LCMS, but need to do one of the following:
    • Change the Name/Label
    • Change/Add Alt text
    • Change the whole image


    In the Web Authoring tool, use the Media Search section to search for your image. Double-click your image. You may change the name and alt text under the General tab or the image itself under the Files tab.

  6. I get the following error message when attempting to upload images: “Persist Failure HTTP Status: 500 Error: Data truncation Partition: general.” What does this mean?


    You likely entered a Description that is too long. Try the import again and keep your description length between 3-4 lines max.

  7. What is Alt text and what are the restrictions?


    Refer to EMI’s 508 Requirements. The basic requirement is:

    • Equivalent Description must be provided for all images
      • If image contains text, all text must be included in the alt text
      • All relevant information conveyed from the image must be included in the alt text
      • Alt Text must be under 250 characters – if more characters are required to fully explain the image (or include all text), the text may be included as an appendix, caption, or somewhere on the page/content.

  8. Once the course is in Reviewer mode can I continue working on the course?


    Yes, you can continue to work on the course by modifying the existing content and/or adding new content. If you add additional elements/objects to your course, they will default to “Development” status. If an element is in “Development” status, it will not be visible to Reviewers. You will need to contact the LCMS helpdesk and have them toggle the course periodically.

  9. The LCMS “times out” while I’m working or trying to upload data. Will I lose all the work I’ve done and have to re-input the data?


    Most often you can recover your data if LCMS “times-out.” To do this, do NOT close the Developer Web Authoring tool, but rather open the LCMS Learning Portal, click a link at the top and then log in again when prompted. After log in, go back to the Developer Web Authoring tool and click “OK” on the error message (you may need to click “OK” one or two times until the error message goes away). Once the error message(s) disappears, you should be able to save or continue your work without losing data.

  10. While in LCMS, the screen will “freeze” or lock up. What do I do?


    Close the Developer Web Authoring tool, then click on the “Web Authoring” button within the Learning Portal to re-open it. The “Web Authoring” button will take you to your previous position/frame in LCMS. You may have lost the last one or two changes prior to the screen locking up.

More Questions?

Contact the LCMS support team at

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