This article contains information applicable to the refreshed Admin Experience (AE) and previous versions of the Absorb LMS product.

Overview

An Instructor-Led Course (ILC) is a course type offering in the LMS used to facilitate and track synchronous, live training. The main difference between an Instructor-Led Course and an Online Course is the Sessions feature, which is the feature that allows an Instructor-Led Course to facilitate live training. An Instructor-Led Course can have multiple Sessions for Learners to select one and enroll themselves. Sessions can have recurring Classes within them.

If you would like a mix of synchronous and asynchronous training, we recommend creating a Curriculum and using a mix of Online Courses and ILCs.

This article will guide you through how to create and manage an Instructor-Led Course, and the various options available to tailor it to your organization's needs.

 

Important Notes

  • Automatic Enrollments are not an option for ILCs because the Learner must select the Session they wish to attend.
  • Learners can only be enrolled in one Session within an ILC. When their attendance is marked, then they will receive completion for the ILC. If the Learner re-enrolls into the ILC then they can enroll in another Session for that Course.
  • If Minimum Class Size is not met, the LMS will not cancel a Session automatically.
  • Add to Calendar will pull information placed in the Session Description field and not from the Session Enrollment email.
  • Learners viewing ILC Session dates and times will automatically see the date and time converted to their computer's time zone. 
  • Canceling an ILC Session will not unenroll Learners from the ILC itself. Learners will need to choose a new Session or be unenrolled from the ILC.
  • A Waitlist will expire 24 hours prior to a Session start time.  

 

Instructor-Led Courses (ILC)

The following steps will walk through setting up an ILC. These are the required steps for creating an ILC; for additional options and common settings in all Course types, please see the Course Settings article.

How to Create an ILC

Navigate to Add ILC.gif

Step 1: Navigate to Courses from the Courses tab on the left, then select Add Instructor-Led on the right. This will open the Add Instructor-Led Course menu. 

Step 2: Begin by expanding the General tab and entering information such as Course Name and Description.

Step 3: Next, move on to the Sessions tab. This section is where you will add upcoming Instructor-Led Sessions for Learners to enroll into. If you require further details on how to set up a Session, please see the Creating a Session section of this article. 

Step 4: Configure the Enrollment Rules and Course Administrators tabs to select which Users have access to this course.

 

 

 

 

Sessions

A Session is the ILC feature that allows you to facilitate asynchronous, live training in a physical or virtual location. When a Learner is enrolled in an ILC, they will then select the Session that they would like to attend. A Venue is not required for an ILC Session but is a valuable way to communicate where your live training will be held.

A Session can have a Class that occurs one time or several times. The cadence for Recurring Classes must be on a regular schedule, just like setting up an Outlook calendar invitation. Recurring Classes occur with the Time, Instructor(s), and Location fields remaining the same for each Class occurrence.

How to Create a Session

Follow these instructions to add a new Session to an ILC:

Navigate to Add Session.gif

Step 1:  Navigate to Courses from the Courses tab on the left, then select Add Instructor Led from the Actions on the right. This will open the Add Instructor Led Course menu. The following steps are the same when editing an existing ILC.

Step 2: Expand the Sessions tab, and select Add Session. This action will launch the Add Session pop-up modal.

Step 3: The Session modal is where you will configure Session settings. The settings are divided into three sections: Details, Enrollment, and Attributes. These sections are detailed below, with Required Fields marked by an * asterisk: 

 

Details Tab

Field Name Description
Title* The name of this Session.
Description

The description of this Session. This field is visible to Learners and is typically used to communicate information about the Session.

Note: The LMS includes this field in the ICS calendar invite file that is emailed to Users. Formatting is removed in order to avoid readability issues with programs such as Microsoft Outlook or Apple Calendar.

Change Log / Notes This field is used to share information with other Admin about adjustments made to the Session. It is not visible to Learners.
Instructors The Instructor that is facilitating the Session. Users in the LMS that have the Instructor Role toggled to ON in their User Account will display in this drop-down list. 

Note: The LMS will validate the Instructor’s schedule before allowing the Admin to assign that Instructor to the Session. This prevents them from being scheduled into more than one Session that occurs at the same time.

Venue

The location where the Session will be held. The Venue displays as the Location on the Session Details when a user is enrolling or has enrolled in the Session. The Venue can also be included in the Enrollment Email and the Session Enrollment Email. For more information regarding Venues, please see the Creating a Venue section of this guide. 

Note: The Hide ILC Location URL feature can be used to remove the URL from the Catalog view and will only allow Learners enrolled in the ILC to see the URL. This feature is found in Manage Templates > Courses.

Class Start Date and Time*

The time that the Session will begin.

Note: Learners viewing ILC Session dates and times will automatically see the date and time converted to their computer's time zone. 

Class End Date and Time*

The time that the Session will finish.

Note: Learners viewing ILC Session dates and times will automatically see the date and time converted to their computer's time zone.

Time Zone*

The Time Zone that this Session will be held in. The Default Time Zone selected in Portal Settings > Default will default in this field.

Add Recurring Classes*

This field allows you to schedule a class to have more than one recurring Session. The default selection is None, which means that the Session will only occur one time.

Note:

  • Sessions can have recurring Classes. In this case, Learners will have to attend more than one Class to complete the Session.
  • Recurring Classes occur with the Time, Instructor(s), and Location fields remaining the same for each occurrence. The cadence must be on a regular schedule, just like setting up an Outlook calendar invitation.

 

Enrollment Tab

Field Name Description 
Allow Self Enrollment

This field is used to determine which Learners, if any, can enroll themselves in a Session. The available options are as follows:

  • Off: Learners are unable to self-enroll in or see the Session.
  • Specific: Only the Learners who meet the Self Enrollment Rule conditions can enroll in the Session. Select the Add Rule button to create Enrollment Rules.
  • All Learners: All Learners can self-enroll in the Session.  If E-Commerce is enabled, the Session will also be publicly available.

Note: Learners must be enrolled in the ILC or be able to self-enroll in the ILC to enroll in a Session.

Approval

This field is used to determine which Admin, if any, will be required to approve a Session enrollment before a Learner is successfully enrolled into the Session. The Learner will select which Session they would like to enroll in, and then an approval request will be sent to the Admin identified by the following options:

  • None: No approval is required for Learners to enroll. When a Learner Self Enrolls in a Session, it will automatically be successful (assuming max capacity has not been reached).
  • Instructor: The Session Instructor approves requests.
  • Supervisor: The Admin whose name is assigned to the Supervisor field of the Learner who enrolled in the Session approves requests.
  • Administrator: All Admins who are assigned to the Learner's Department can approve requests.
  • Other: You will manually identify the Admins who are responsible for approving enrollment requests.
Enrollment Start Date The date when Learners can begin to enroll in the Session.
Enrollment End Date

The last day that Learners can enroll in the Session.

If no date is entered, the End Date will automatically be the date and time that the Session begins.

If you prefer to allow Learners to enroll in the Session after it has begun, set the Enrollment End Date to the date and time that the Session ends. This is useful if you allow walk-in Learners to join.

Note: Learners will not be able to cancel or change their Session if:

  1. An Enrollment End Date has been used, AND
  2. The Session date has passed.
Min Class Size*

The minimum number of Learners desired for a Session.

Note: If Min Class Size is not met, the LMS will not cancel a Session automatically.

Max Class Size

The maximum number of Learners that can enroll in a Session. If Maximum Class Size is met, the Learner will either not be able to enroll in the Session or they will have the option to be added to a Waitlist (if enabled).

If Self Enrollment is Enabled, each Session available for a Learner to enroll in will display the number of available remaining seats based on the Maximum Class Size for the Session.

Enable Waitlist

When toggled ON, this field allows Learners to be added to a Session Waitlist if the Session has reached maximum capacity. When a seat opens, the LMS will automatically enroll Learners from the Waitlist into the Session on a first come first serve basis. You can override max capacity by manually enrolling a Learner into the Session.

Note: Please navigate to the Configuring Session Waitlists section of this article for more information on Waitlists including E-Commerce considerations.

 

Attributes Tab

Field Name Description
External Id This field allows you to manually enter a unique identifier for this Session. An External ID is helpful when using RestFUL API or file Imports. This value is only visible in the Admin Interface and is not visible to Learners.

 

 

 

Waitlists

The Waitlist feature allows Learners to be added to a Session Waitlist if the Session has reached maximum capacity. When a seat opens, the LMS will automatically enroll Learners from the Waitlist into the Session on a first come first serve basis. You can override max capacity by manually enrolling a Learner into the Session. Considerations for E-Commerce ILC can be found below.

How to Configure Session Waitlists

Follow these steps to create a Waitlist for a Session:

Enable Waitlist on Session.gif

Step 1: Navigate to Courses from the Courses tab on the left, then select Add Instructor-Led from the Actions on the right. This will open the Add Instructor-Led Course menu. The following steps are the same when editing an existing ILC.

Step 2: Expand the Session tab and select Add Session. This action will open the Add Session pop-up modal. 

Step 3: In the Add Session modal, expand the Enrollment tab and toggle ON Enable Waitlist.

Note: Learners will receive the Session Full email when the Enrollment End Time is reached or when the session starts, whichever is sooner. The Learners will still remain enrolled in the ILC and see upcoming available Sessions to select from. 

Waitlist Expiration 

A Waitlist will expire 24-hours prior to a Session start time. Please consider the following: 

1. In the 24 - hours prior to a Session start time, no new learners will be added to the Waitlist, nor will existing Waitlist Learners be moved to the session if another Learner cancels their Session. 

2. The list of Learners who were on the Waitlist will disappear as it expires. 

Note: We can not retrieve the Waitlist after it expires. A best practice would be to have an Admin or Instructor export the Waitlist prior to the Waitlist expiring. This can not be automated. 

 

Waitlist User Experience

When a Learner has enrolled into an ILC Session and been placed on a Waitlist, they will receive a System Message and Email indicating that they are on the Waitlist (this assumes that your Waitlist email is in the Message Templates menu is enabled to be sent to Learners).

When the Learner navigates to the ILC while on the Waitlist, they will see the following banner:

Waitlist Learner Experience.png

 

 

Waitlists with E-Commerce 

It is important to configure a Waitlist if you are selling an ILC with a Venue that has a max capacity. Physical meeting rooms are a good example of a Venue that you do not want to oversell past capacity. In order to configure Waitlists for E-Commerce, follow these steps:

E-Commerce Best Practices for ILC.gif

Step 1:  Navigate to Courses from the Courses tab on the left, then select Add Instructor-Led from the Actions on the right. This will open the Add Instructor-Led Course menu. The following steps are the same when editing an existing ILC.

Step 2: Expand the Enrollment Rules tab, and toggle ON Enable E-Commerce.

Step 3: Toggle ON Require Learner to Choose Session. When this toggle is enabled, the LMS will ask the Learner to select an available Session before they are able to complete their purchase. If there are no available Sessions, they will be unable to select that ILC for purchase.

 

Instructor Schedules

Instructors are able to check their teaching schedule in the Admin Interface. They can do so by following these steps:

How to View Instructor Schedules

Navigate to ILC Sessions Report.gif

Step 1: Navigate to the Reports tab on the left of the Admin Interface, and select ILC Sessions

Step 2: Filter the Instructor column for their name, this will filter for the Sessions that they are teaching. Additional filters can be applied to streamline the information further. For example, if the Instructor only wants to view upcoming Sessions they can add a filter using the field Start Date.

 

Tip:

It is recommended that Instructors save their ILC Session Report Layout and set it as their default layout so that their preferred filters will automatically be applied in the future. Additionally, the Instructor could schedule this saved report layout to be emailed to themselves on a recurring schedule.

 

How to Mark Attendance

Session Attendance

Manually Marking Attendance 

When ILC sessions do not leverage our virtual meeting integrations, instructors will be required to manually enter the attendance on the Mark Attendance page.

Instructors can follow these steps to mark attendance and score:

Step 1: Navigate to the Reports icon on the left-hand side menu bar of the Admin Interface and select ILC Sessions.

Step 2: From the ILC Sessions Report, the Instructor must select the session that they would like to mark attendance for, then on the right-hand action menu, select the Mark Attendance action button.

Note: An Instructor can use the filter icon on the instructor column to search their name, this will filter for all Sessions that they are the instructor for. It is best practice to save this Layout and set it as a default layout so that the filtered results will automatically be applied in the future.

Step 3: Now, you will be prompted to the Mark Attendance page as seen below. 

Picture1.png

Here, you will see all the classes associated with the ILC arranged by session.

  • The columns display the Class Date & Time, controls to mark a Learner’s Session attendance as present or absent, an Overall Grade, Score, and Credits. Vertically, on the left side is a list of all enrolled Learners.
  • On this page, the Instructor can mark a Learner as present or absent. All learners will display an unset control box as an indication to the Instructor that action is required.
  • Instructors can mark all Learners as present or absent by using the controls in the header row. Learners marked present will have a green check marked. Learners marked absent will have a red x marked.
  • A Mass Action feature is available in the header row to set Session Attendance, Overall Grade, Score, and Credits.

Note: When a Learner’s attendance is marked as present the LMS will automatically fill in a score of 100%. If the Absent control box is marked, Absorb will instead set the score to 0%. The score can be updated at any time in this Mark Attendance menu. If the Learner is marked as present or absent, the Learner will be marked as Complete for the Session.

Step 4: Once the instructor has completed their attendance tracking, they must save the Mark Attendance page on the right-hand action menu.

Marking Attendance with Autofill

If an ILC Venue utilizes a virtual integration with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or WebEx, Absorb now offers a new feature called, Autofill. This option is available to Instructors to reduce manual administration tasks and allows attendance to be quickly and accurately marked for virtual sessions.

If a virtual integration is set as a venue upon course build, when an Instructor goes to the Mark Attendance page, an Autofill button will appear at the top of the page.

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When the Autofill feature is used, a call is made back to the virtual meeting provider for a list of session attendees. From this request, Absorb receives the screen name and email address of the attendees. The page will then try to match the screen name to the list of enrolled Learners via Full Name or Email Address. If either of these fields matches, then the learner will be considered to have attended the session and the learner will be marked present.

When there isn’t a match, the instructor will be informed and provided with some data to be able to manually reconcile the results of the autofill with the enrolled learners.

Picture3.png

Following the attempt to autofill, the instructor will be shown how many learners matched, and how many could not be matched. Clicking the ‘View unmatched attendees’ link in the warning message will open the following view:  

Picture4.png

On this window, instructors can see the screen names and email addresses of the unmatched attendees, as well as an option to download this list as a .csv file. With this information, they may be able to manually mark learners present.

Important Note

Clients who currently utilize Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or WebEx virtual integrations will need to reauthorize the integration to be able to take advantage of the Autofill functionality. Additional permissions are required for Absorb to be able to securely request attendance from these systems.

The WebEx integration has a limitation where autofill can only request the most recent 100 attendances from the WebEx API. When using WebEx, it’s recommended that Instructors attempt to mark their attendance following each class in a session for best results, then manually complete their attendance tracking.

Microsoft Teams and Zoom do not have a limitation on the number of attendances returned and will return all attendees for all classes within a session.

 

Tip:

It is good practice to enable the Mark Attendance Reminder Email at the Course level to remind Instructors if there are outstanding attendance records to be marked. You can enable this by navigating to Edit Instructor-Led Course, expanding the Messages tab, and toggling ON Send Mark Attendance Reminder Email. The default template for this email includes a link to the LMS for the Instructors to follow.

Enable Mark Attendance Reminder Email.gif

Roles and Permissions

Below are the Required Role Permissions Admins will need to Add and/or Modify Users within the LMS and the Suggested Role Permissions Admins may want to have in a combination with what is required.

Please note that your environment may use customized Role(s), Permissions, or a combination of both to perform these activities. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact your local System Administrator to review your current permissions. 

Roles and Permissions List

Required Role Permissions

Role: Section Access Permission(s) Needed
Courses > Sessions AddModify (Details, Enrollments, Metrics), Delete and/or Duplicate permission

 

Suggested Role Permissions

Role: Section Access Permission(s) Needed
Courses > Instructor-Led Courses ViewModify and/or Delete permission
Courses > Venues View or Modify permission
Users View or Modify permission
Reports ILC Sessions
Reports ILC Activity
Reports ILC Grades
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