Creating Enrollment Rules

When configuring a course in the Portal you may select Specific Enrollment Rules. Enrollment Rules allow an Administrator to determine the exact Learners that will be able to interact with the course in question. An Enrollment is required for a Learner to interact with and engage in a course of any kind. This article discusses the logic of creating Enrollment Rules and the Operators the rules reference.


Creating an Enrollment Rule

When creating a course in Absorb you will be able to establish Enrollment Rules in a variety of configurations. It is possible to create rules to define Self EnrollmentAutomatic Enrollment as well as Manager Enrollment. The logic of the rules is the same regardless of the type of course using them. When defining Specific Enrollment Rules for a course it is possible to select targets for the rules:

  • Users may be selected from a unique drop-down menu. Learners selected this way will be identified as targets of the Enrollment Rules.
  • Groups may be selected from a unique drop-down menu. Learners that are members of the selected Groups will be identified as targets of the Enrollment Rules.
  • Departments includes the Add Department button. This setting allows you to open the Select Department modal frame and identify a Department for the Enrollment Rules. All Learners included in the Department(s) selected will be considered targets of the Enrollment Rules.

This article is focused on the more complex Self Enrollment Rule and Automatic Enrollment Rule settings.


Logical Operators

Absorb Enrollment Rules allow for the usage of Logical Operators such as AND & OR. A Logical Operator allows for comparison between statements.

Operator Description

The AND Operator is a comparison between components. Consider the example:

In the above Enrollment RuleLearner would need to have the Animals Custom Field = Dog, as well as the Job Title field = Dog Walker. If both statements are true, the Learner meets the requirement for this rule.

The AND Operator considers both sides of a comparison, and requires both to be true. In the above example if a Learner only has [Animals = Dog] they will not be considered a target of the Enrollment Rules. The same is true if the Learner only has [Job Title = Dog Walker].

AND requires all elements of a string to be considered true for the rule to be applied, even if there are multiple requirements.

In the rule above, a Learner would be required to meet all four of the requirements for the Enrollment Rule to apply to them.


The OR Operator allows for a comparison between rules to determine if one or the other matches a Learner. The OR Operator is used when more then one Enrollment Rule is configured. Consider the example:

There are two Enrollment Rules configured above. These rules should be considered separate entities, and can apply separately. The first rule only features Rule while the second includes the OR Operator at the start. This means that if a Learner does not have [Animals = Dog] they would still be considered a target of the Enrollment Rules if they did have [Animals = Kitten].

The OR Operator may be visualized as a hallway, with multiple doors. A Learner walks down this hallway and tries the first door [Animals = Dog]. If the Learner doesn't meet the requirements to open the door, they continue walking down the hallway and try to open the next door [Animals = Kitten]. The Learner will continue this process until they run out of doors, or one opens. The first door that opens the Learner will enter and stop walking down the hallway.

In the above example it is important to confirm that one rule does not have bearing on the other. Rule #1 includes a requirement for Date Hired before a certain date. This requirement is not considered at all for Rule #2. The OR Operator allows for a Learner to meet either (or both) of the Enrollment Rules.


Equality/Relational Operators

These Operators compare two values and determine if one operand is greater than, less than, equal to, or not equal to the other operand. Relational Operators are not case sensitive. Absorb implements the following Relational Operators for Enrollment Rules:

Operator Description
Starts With

The Starts With Operator will search for the first character in a string. As an example:

The above example as an Enrollment Rule will target Countries such as Canada or Cambodia.


The Contains Operator will search for any match in a given string. As an example:

The above example as an Enrollment Rule will include Learners with the First Name Joe, John, Joseph or similar.

Does Not Contain

The Does Not Contain Operator will produce results that do not match a given string. As an example:

The above example as an Enrollment Rule will include Learners with the First Name Cindy, Susan or Bruce but will exclude any First Name that includes the characters 'jo'. The string 'jo' could be anywhere in the First Name whether it is John or Lajoie.

Does Not Equal

The Does Not Equal Operator is a direct comparison between strings that strictly excludes matches. As an example:

The above example as an Enrollment Rule will include any Learner with a First Name that is not exactly the characters 'Jo'. A First Name such as Joe or John would be a target of the above Enrollment Rule. This Operator will produce the opposite result of the Equals Operator.

Ends With

The Ends With Operator will search for the last character in a string. As an example:

The above example as an Enrollment Rule will include any Learner with a First Name that ends in the character N such as John, Nathan or Nolan.


The Equals Operator is a direct comparison between strings that includes only matches. As an example: 

The above example as an Enrollment Rule will include any Learner with the First Name of John. Any string that is not a perfect match for John will not be a target of this Enrollment Rule. A Learner with the name of Johnathan will not be targeted by the above example.


Example Self Enrollment Rule

The following example creates a Self Enrollment Rule that targets a single Department, and Learners from a specific Country:

  1. Under the Enrollment section of a course, select Specific as the Self Enrollment configuration.
  2. Under Self Enrollment Rule click Add Rule. This will add a Enrollment Rule.
  3. The Enrollment Rule will default to the first field that can be included in the rule. In this example it is a Custom Field titled Animals. Clicking the first field of the Enrollment Rule opens a drop-down menu.
  4. From the drop-down menu, select Department. The second drop-down menu allows you to select whether the Enrollment Rule will target Sub-Departments or not. The field beside the Select Department button can be clicked to open the Select Department modal frame.
  5. Click Refine Rule to add another requirement for the Enrollment Rule. The AND Operator will appear above the new requirement. From the drop-down menu for the new requirement select Country.
  6. The second field in the requirement allows you to modify the Relational Operator. Select the Equals Operator. In the remaining field, type Canada.
  7. Click the Publish button to save the changes to the course.

The Enrollment Rule created in the above example will target Learners in the Department 'Test Department' that reside in the Country of Canada. As a Self Enrollment rule Learners targeted by the rule will be able to manually enroll themselves into the course (provided it is Active) from the Course Catalog.

The same Enrollment Rule could be created as an Automatic Enrollment Rule.

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