We would like to create programs that include more than 1 existing program .
Being able to have a program made up of various programs would be a great feature. In our organizations we have some certifications programs that require a learner to complete one or two offerings on various topics. I'd love to see a program that can be configured for a learner to complete 1 of 4, or 2 of 5 offerings in the program instead of all of the offerings in the program. Then having a program that consists of completing a group of other programs would be perfect.
Yikes. I hope this isn't in the cards for Bridge. That seems like it would allow people to make some really bad user experiences. Programs are already a little challenging to navigate between program and course. I worked with another LMS years ago that allowed a program in a program type feature and we quit doing it because it confused learners so badly.
I have confidence that Bridge can make Programs within Programs work seamlessly. I concur with Dave Hoffman that the "choices" of which courses can qualify for a certification is essential logic to build in to the Programs within Programs.
+1. Our use case is similar to Dave's and this would be a great feature. Our org currently struggles with having to force people to do more courses than they need just so the whole program can be completed.
Unfortunately, my experiences are similar to Joshua Pope with a couple other LMS solutions. In both instances learners had a difficult time navigating the layers of courses, which often resulted in lost administrative time. The learner couldn't figure it out, someone had to help them navigate it, or reporting showed it wasn't done so there needed to be follow up, etc., in some cases it resulted in technical problems, but in the end it came down to lost productivity and created a barrier to learning instead of a solution.
A better question may be can a Program within a Program be designed in a way to benefit a learner or to make it easier for a learner versus current set up? There are plenty of administrative benefits for folks like us, but unless it benefits a learner is it really adding value? Just some thoughts.
I can see how users might be confused with managing a program within a program. From our point of view here at Colorado State University these programs within a program would not be published but be put together for our administrative backend processes. For example: We require everyone in a supervisory role to complete a series of trainings and each would be setup as a program. Program A may be for the 4 core classes and a person would have to take all four. Programs B-E would each require a person to complete 2 or 2 of the 4-5 classes offered, and program F would require each person to complete 4 elective classes from a list of 12-15 choices (I also have entered a thread in the community to discuss a program that only requires some to take x of the y offerings). To complete the ‘certification’ a supervisor would need to complete all 6 programs. So a program within a program would provide our backend folks the information and tracking on how each person is doing as they work toward completion – or if they have completed. In our case, I don’t see that this program within a program would be published for our users to see.
Hi Dave Hoffman,
Yes, this is great feedback. I think stuff like prerequisites and more administrative management and reporting elements may serve this need better, but what I love about Bridge is the simplicity. I cringe a little over features like this because I remember how involved and complicated setting them up could be. One of the systems I've used in the past even had some of the functionality you mention of requiring 4 of 6 courses completed to move into the next program module, which was a sub-program of the main program, you could set up one program to then lead to another, etc.
In the instances I described before learners often couldn't figure out how to navigate from a main program to a sub-program. Even when courses were optional, I often saw learners complete all of them uncertain of what the system was requiring of them. In both situations the interface was extremely different, but not intuitive. Part of what makes eLearning great is the automation, empowerment, and the ability to learn asynchronously. Much of that is ruined if someone can't figure out where to click.
I could also see using the Checkpoints for some of this. We're currently reviewing our onboarding program. Right now learners complete three separate programs in Bridge, but there's no reason those programs couldn't be steps in the overall onboarding program similar to how a certification or a individual development plan might be managed. It's a design I've considered a few times and we're about to increase the live training aspect of the blended learning, so it's still an option on the table.
One of the ways I'm foreseeing using something like this is if you have a large / long curriculum like our onboarding program - it's content that a learner takes over the course of 100 days. We currently have 7 steps to this program broken out by certain milestone weeks of their onboarding - so there are 7 programs to complete for onboarding- this way the learner doesn't see so many steps in one program and become overwhelmed. I foresee using "Curriculums" as a way to organize programs like this - this also will reduce the amount of email notifications that a learner gets and often clicks the links to a program that they're not supposed to start taking yet- our onboarding needs to be taken in order but if you click a link from an email you can go into any step out of order - because Bridge doesn't have a way to tie programs together as pre-reqs. I've been searching for this idea in the Idea submission group, and I will create it if I continue to not be able to find it- but one of the best things about bridge is also this - if you don't like a feature, you don't have to use it - just because "requires approval" is available in checkpoints doesn't mean you have to use it --even programs - if you don't want to put courses in a program you don't have to -- you can just have courses out there in people's learning plans - Curriculums / or a higher level of program would be similar - I feel that if Bridge were to consider a change like this, they would make it something that you could use if you wanted to but wouldn't have to! curriculums prerequisite programs dynamic programs
I just wanted to share that Program Prerequisites has been suggested in Bridge Studio if you would like to go up/down vote and weigh in. Create Program Prerequisites
I'd be curious to hear from the folks who'd like a Program within a Program if they've used our new Program Sections feature.
You could create a realllllly long Program and use those sections to break it up; let learners know what expectations you have for them in terms of time to complete the training. I also wonder if we added more functionality to these sections (like locking a section until stuff above it is complete, or hiding a section until a specific date) would mitigate the need to have Programs within Programs?
cc Dave Hoffman Patricia Arenas Diane Fromme Vera Searcy
Blake McClary the Section Headers are a helpful addition! They definitely add clarity. They don't fully address the complication of program prerequisites. I see the suggested checkpoint workaround from Joshua Pope with checkpoints. We will try that while this is still in discussion.
How did that end up working for you, Diane Fromme?
@Joshua Pope, sorry for the delay. We are actually building a real program today, with Checkpoints, which will deploy this fall semester. I am in the training for which we are building it. I think this will give us better feedback than the test case...BUT in the test case it appears to be a useful workaround (just a very small sample size there!)
I am looking forward to hearing how this goes Diane!
Some great ideas have been brought up by Heidi Hess-Bynum and Jennifer Lortz. I'll add to their comments by saying that this conversation came up in the Utah Users' Group a short time ago and people had some similar, and really good ideas.
They suggested that at the end of each program, you have a checkpoint that notifies an admin that the program is complete so they can enroll the person in the next program.
Another idea that I fished out of my long-term memory (it was a struggle) was from a course I made a while back that took people through linear content, but then at the end had links they could click to take them back to specific pages in the content within the Bridge course.
Using that same idea, you could have a single course called something like "Onboarding" that talked about the process that people will go through for their onboarding. At whatever points you choose, you could have links to the enrollment pages for the programs that correspond with that part of the onboarding process. So, they have this one master course that won't be complete until they get to the end of it, but all throughout, it is leading them off to other courses and programs in a guided fashion. That could actually be a pretty cool solution, I think.
Totally happy to help you out! Call me at (801)669-6862 at your convenience and we can talk through it or jump on a Hangout or something.
Great - I'll be in touch probably on Monday, Joshua! THANKS!
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