Within Absorb, there are a variety of ways in which Users can be segregated - of which Departments are frequently used to achieve this. As discussed in our Department Branding article, Users in the Learner UI can expect to have a very different experience when it comes to how the portal looks visually. It is worth noting however, that if your portal does not have the Mercury module, certain elements are shared on the portal between Department skins. Four of these elements are:
- Dashboard tile selection
- Dashboard tile labels/messages
- E-Commerce enabled/disabled
- All terminology with translations
When setting up Courses and Users, it may take some forethought in determining how Users and learning content need to be segregated. Below are the main methods of segregating Users from each other, and from learning content.
One method of ensuring that Courses, and other content, is kept properly separate is through Availability Rules. These rules allow Admins to keep control of how content within the portal is distributed, and to which Users permission is granted to access it.
Availability Rules can be added, and dependent on a number of variables like Name, email address, and/or Department. Once applied, only those Users that meet the criteria will be able to access the content. For more information, we recommend reading our article on Availability Rules.
Admin User Management
Admin User Management allows System Admins a way to determine which other Users can manage other Learners and Admins in their portal. The options for User management is between All, Department, or Group. The Roles added to each admin will also determine what areas of the Admin UI they can access. Our knowledge base articles on Admin User Management and Department & Groups Set-up cover this in detail, and we recommend reading through them if you would like to learn more.
Course Editing & Visibility
While User Roles will determine what areas of the LMS Admins can access, it is possible to further designate which Admins can edit a Course on an individual-by-individual basis. As an alternative, or in addition, it’s also possible to select a Department of which the Admins who manage it can also Edit the Course.
Beyond this, System Admins can also elect to have specific Courses be visible to select Departments. This will ensure that the that any Admins that fall outside of the chosen Department(s) will not be able to see the Course.
You can read more about this in our knowledge base article called How Do I Hide Courses from Certain Admins.
While many areas of the LMS can be customized to be Department-specific, Message Templates cannot be updated based on how Users are segregated. There are only two methods of customizing them at this time. The first is to do so at the Global Message Template level found in the Settings menu. The second is by customizing the Message Template within the Online Course settings. The latter will override the global settings, allowing customization on a Course-by-Course basis. You can read more in our Message Templates article.
If your portal has been set up with E-Commerce 2.0, organizations have the option of applying their branding to match that of the main portal. Due to functionality limitations, it isn’t possible to have Department-specific styles applied to E-Commerce 2.0 as it is for the main portal. This may need to be considered, depending on your needs and branding requirements.
The flexibility of Groups, and the available Automatic Filters that can be applied to them, can help provide further User segregation. Unlike Departments, where Users need to be manually assigned to them, Groups can be created using automatic rules. These can include email-, name-, and/or Department-based rules, and can be refined as needed. While Groups certainly add flexibility, it’s important to remember that while many of Absorb’s reports can use Departments as a filter, Groups are not as widely used. Depending on your reporting requirements, you will want to take this into account, and confirm that your use of Departments and Groups will provide an acceptable workflow.