In the Absorb LMS, there are two ways to divide Users -by Departments and by Groups. Departments and Groups can be combined to allow greater flexibility when managing your learners, deploying training activities, documentation and reporting. There are some significant differences between these two structures and we have noted the differences below.
Departments are defined by the rigid structure of your LMS, with clear rules so you know what to expect. In the Departments report, you can view each Department, the parent and a child department if one has been created. Careful thought when deciding on the Department structure is highly recommended before any other decision is made. If you have specific reporting needs for particular bodies of Users, you will likely want to set them up into Departments in order to utilize the granularity provided by Absorb reports when it comes to the ability to report by Department.
Admins can be assigned to one or more Departments. To assign an Admin a department, go to Users-Edit Users-Account and then check Department and select a Department name from the dropdown list.
Additional Departments as required can be added by clicking this blue Add Department button here.
Please note: It is very important to keep in mind that an Admin can only be assigned to either Departments or a Group, but not both at the same time.
A consideration to make when determining whether an Admin will be assigned to a Department or Group is in what kind of access they need to be provided with regards to an Online Courses, Curricula, and ILC’s. In the Availability tab, Editors can be determined specifically by Department from the drop-down menu here. Only Admins assigned to the Departments chosen here will be able to edit this particular Course. Department Visibility works similarly where only those Admins assigned to the Departments selected here will be able to see the Course. This provides some manner of automation to allow multiple Admins to edit and see the Course, However if you want to manually select additional Admins from your Users to also edit the course, you will need to create a Group and define them as the Admin of that Group.
Finally, using Departments will allow you to customize the Learner UI. One of the benefits of using Departments in Absorb is that you can create custom themes and templates for individual Departments. This can provide a unique and tailored user experience for Departments as specified by a System Admin. You can even have the department templates assigned to a route URL. Having a route assigned to a department means that any user that accesses your portal via that specified URL will see the public dashboard or static login page as defined in the settings of the theme. In order to have a department added to a URL, you will have to contact our Support Team.
Unlike Departments, Groups are primarily used for performing bulk actions on otherwise unrelated Users via Absorb’s availability rules. What this means is that you could manually take Users from 7 different Departments, and add them to a Group.
Groups offer automatic filtering rules as an Admin can set up rules for your Users to be automatically added to Groups. For example, a filter could be set up to look for all Users that have a job title of Assistant Manager, and pull them into the Group.
In the Groups report, there are no child or parent Groups and the report instead displays an overview of the number of Users in each, how the Users are added, as well as created and edited dates
Once your Group is set up, you can utilize it in a number of ways to produce more efficient workflows. For example, you could make several Courses available to a Group for self-enrollment.
Admins can be assigned to a Group and this allows a flexible way to manage your Users, and assign content.
Please note: Admins can only be assigned to a single Group. Also, Admins can only be assigned to view and manage either a single Group OR one or more assigned Departments or All Users.
You may want to review the additional resources below before you begin to design your Departments and Groups: