In a perfect world, different configurations of smart groups can be created to meet all of our needs in training assignments. The reality might be a bit more complex than that—job classifications or titles often don’t have clear links to the required trainings that employees need, and this prompt us to look at a different direction—using the Learning Library for required trainings.
In the near future, we will launch first set of required trainings in the LL. Users will follow the instructions provided by the departments or supervisors, and take the trainings in the LL. Many of these trainings require due and expiration dates. This gives us two questions: 1) Can we set due and expiration dates for courses in the LL? And 2) What happens when the LL courses expire? Can users be auto re-enrolled?
The answer is: it’s complicated. I will try to describe my findings here, and I will break it down into a couple of different set up methods:
1) Let me start with a simple set up: putting a course in the LL, set the due, expiration date, and auto re-enroll. The result is, users do see the expiration date, but it doesn’t make a difference if a course is set as auto re-enroll or not. They both just sit in the completed course category.
2) This second setup is the interesting one: let’s put a program (called Cat) in the LL, set the due, expiration and auto re-enroll for the program. Then let’s put a course (called Sharma) in this program, but not set any due, expiration nor auto re-enroll for the course. Then we make the program available to learners in the LL, and don’t set any groups/learners for the course. Here is what happened:
Auto re-enroll program (Cat) in LL before expiration. I completed this on 5/21, the program expires on 5/23.
Course (Sharma) in Cat before expiration. As you can see, it was a self-enrollment.
Then, at 1:02am on 5/23, I received 2 notifications from Bridge. One says I was enrolled in a new course and one says I was enrolled in a new program. This tells me I was auto re-enrolled by the system at mid night.
Then I went to Bridge. The Cat program is showing in my "Required" area, although course Sharma is not listed as an individual course under "Required.'
Then I looked at Sharma's learner page. My enrollment status has changed from Optional to Required.
So, the conclusion seems to be auto re-enrollment does work in LL, only if we place courses in a program, and the program is set as auto re-enroll. My next step was to think what it means to us----should we use this feature for trainings that have expiration dates? The answer is, it depends. Let's look at the CSV exports:
Here is the CSV export from the Cat program. Due and expiration dates are recorded.
Here is the CSV export from the Sharma course. You can see it recorded my self-enrolled the first time, and the system enrolled me the second time. There is no due and expiration date for the first attempt (remember I didn't set this at the course level but only program level), but the course does talk to the program, and assigned me a due date for the second enrollment.
Putting these two sheets together, I can get a pretty good picture of what's happening here. I think whether to use this setup would depend on the reporting and data tracking requirement, and maybe how savvy/comfortable you are with handing data in Excel. The spreadsheet may get messy and confusing after a few cycles of auto re-enrollment. What's more important, is that some settings are grandfathered in, so if there needs to be a setting change, some users would have one setting and others would be different.
I do think this can be useful and valuable in some cases though, and I hope this post will help answer some questions if you are also trying to piece the puzzles together.