We’re now approaching the mid-point in this series. So far, we’ve examined the following:
- Part 1: The importance of a structured approach to setting up a learning management system. Also: “Consider Your Learners”
- Part 2: “Perform a Content Inventory Audit”
- Part 3: “Establish Who Needs What Content”
- Part 4: “Define Administrative Roles and Create Admin Accounts”
STEP 5: Create Learner Groups and Placeholders for Identifiers
The day you tackle this step, you’ll be going home from work feeling smug and productive. Even if you have a large number of user groups, creating departments or groups for them in your LMS should be fairly fast and straightforward. Once again, you’re benefiting from the planning you did outside of the LMS in Step 1 and Step 3. Your learner groups are already identified and named. You just need to make this a reality within the system. So go ahead and create the learner groups you’ll need.
Just one thing, though:
In `STEP 3: Establish Who Needs What Content,’ you identified which learners will have access to what content. If your spreadsheet or database indicates that only some people within certain groups will have access to that content:
- You’ll need to make sure their learner data contains those differentiating characteristics
- You’ll need to have a way to capture those characteristics in the LMS.
For instance, if you have a course that is intended for only the managers in your sales department, you’ll need to ensure that there’s a way in the system to differentiate sales managers from non-managers.
So at this point, you’ll need to consider:
- How learner accounts will be created in the system
- Imported into the LMS through an integration with an HR system or other enterprise application
- Created through learner self-registration
- Imported into the LMS from data contained in spreadsheets
- Through the creation of individual learner accounts, almost always a bad idea due to the time and effort required
- Whether the source of these accounts contains the differentiating characteristics that will allow you to provide these learners with the correct content
- How to capture those characteristics in the LMS
Your LMS may provide you with a way to add additional learner record fields for these unique differentiating characteristics:
Regardless of how it’s done in your system, you’ll possibly need to establish how to differentiate your learners beyond groups before you import their records into the LMS. You’ll of course need to ensure that the source data for the learner records contains the required differentiating data. You’ll never be able to provide specific learning content to sales managers if you can’t identify who your sales managers are in the system.