We’ve talked a little bit about planning the implementation of new functionality, how to organise your ideas and map out the user experience when comes to new designs; you’ll notice that most of the ideas carry over when introducing new user groups and new functionality so with the ground work laid already we can start off going over the introduction of new user groups.

If you’re looking to introduce new user groups into the LMS then your first step will be to determine what variations from the existing user groups will need to be setup before adding them. Will the users require their own set of courses, learn tracks and resources or will the audience for existing configuration be updated to include the new group? Will the same administration team be responsible for the new users or will additional Cohorts, Curriculum Groups and Business Units need to be setup to restrict access from the other groups? With proper planning you can have multiple user groups using the LMS with little to no overlap so if that’s the direction you plan to go then be sure to plan ahead so only the required people have access to each group.

It’s also pretty standard to provide the new group with their own “Community” as this will let you customise their user experience and branding as well as differentiate them for security and reporting purposes. Figure out if the users are going to have their own theme and welcome pages as the existing groups or if you’d like a custom setup built for them. Almost any branding on the user side can be configured by community so it’s just a matter of planning if you want to have multiple communities with completely different feel and layout and also terminology/language and access to different features and functionality. This feature is extremely useful if you have very distinct external customers/users.

One of our clients, Apparel Group, a leader in the Australian fashion industry use multiple communities for their labels (Sportscraft, Saba, Willow & JAG). Each label represents a ‘Community’ in LearnFlex. Here are screenshots from each community branded differently, but still using only one instance of LearnFlex.  Management can report across the whole business or by label. This is an ideal solution for franchising businesses too.

A number of our clients have multiple communities for groups of users who require different user experiences, such as internal employees verses external contractors. The external contractor may just require the bare minimum in regards to functionality, such as the outstanding courses and their achievements, while internal users have the ability to self register into the organisation’s learning catalogue. Here is Defence Housing Australia as an example.

Defence Housing Australia

Once the look and user experience have been fleshed out a bit you can start thinking about importing the users into the system. It’s not a problem to have multiple user imports setup in LearnFlex so if you’re looking to automate the import process of the new group and want to keep them separate from any existing imports then we can facilitate that request.

The final step will be to import any legacy data that might accompany the user group and leads back to one of the main points from part one; know your data. Review any documentation you need to in order to ensure that the formatting for your imports is correct before you start compiling the data and if you have any questions or you’re not sure the consult support before continuing to far ahead. It’s better to take a small delay while they review the document and get back to you than to have to rework the data once it’s been assembled.

Brad Morin About Brad Morin
Bradley is a LearnFlex Business Analyst with B Online Learning and has been working with the Learning Management System for over 6 years in a variety of different capacities. He recently moved from Canada to join our Sydney team. During his previous role as a Database Administrator for LearnFlex he developed an interest in database architecture, data mining and the analysis and optimization of business processes with regards to the integration of new technologies.