Departments & User Segregation


In Absorb LMS, there are a variety of ways in which Users can be segregated and Departments are frequently used to achieve this. As discussed in our Department Branding article, Users in the Learner UI can have very different experiences when it comes to how the portal looks visually.

When setting up Courses and Users, it may be helpful to consider the ways that your Users and the learning content can be segregated in Absorb LMS. Below are the main methods of segregating Users from each other, and from the learning content.


Availability Rules

One method of ensuring that Courses, and other content, is kept separate is through the Availability Rules. These rules allow Admins to control how the content within the portal is distributed and which User permission is granted access to 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.


Locked Departments 

The Locked Department feature allows Admins to set Courses to lock to Departments automatically, preventing the leak of Course visibility and organizational information outside of the target Department. 

If this has been enabled in your Portal, all Courses will include a Locked Department Availability option. Locked Department restricts all Department-based accessibility rules on all Course types to target only those Departments that are at or lower than the Locked Department in the client's Department hierarchy. Review this article to learn more about Locked Departments. 


Admin User Management

Admin User Management provides System Admins a way to define which Users can manage other Learners and Admins in their portal. The options for User management are All, Department, or Group. These Roles will also determine what areas of the Admin UI they can access. 


Course Editing & Visibility

While User Roles 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. It is also possible to select a Department and then, the Admins who manage it can also Edit the Course.

System Admins can also elect to have specific Courses be visible to select Departments. This will ensure that any Admins that fall outside of the chosen Department(s) will not be able to see the Course.



Message Templates

Though many areas of the LMS can be customized to be set at a Department-specific level, Message Templates cannot be segregated this way.

There are only two methods of customizing Message Templates. First, Global Message Templates, found in the Settings menu, can be used to customize a message for the whole portal.   Admins can also customize the Message Template within the  Course settings. This will override the global settings and allow customization on a Course-by-Course basis. 


eCommerce 2.0

If your portal has been set up with eCommerce 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 eCommerce 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 available. 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.


Absorb Engage

This optional add-on module can be used to provide custom content to segregated groups or departments.  The Absorb Engage module features, such as Polls, Billboards, Articles, and Leaderboards, can all have availability rules applied to them.  This ensures that learners will only see the Absorb Engage content relevant to them.  For example, learners in a specific department can have Billboards, Polls, and Articles that are only accessible to them and this creates a defined experience for them within the LMS.


Absorb Inform

This optional add-on module allows Admins to create and access custom reports created that will display in accordance with the particular Admin's permissions. As part of a department,  an Admin will only see report information related to the Learners they oversee in their department which means they will never see custom reports unrelated to their department.

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