With the May 2014 (1405) release, we launched a preview release for a new Learning (LMS) tool feature: Programs.
Preview Release (1405)
- Programs can be extremely powerful for delivering training that suits various needs, while still being very simple to create. This preview release will allow you to start thinking of how you can utilize this exciting innovation in your organization and be ready when they are available for production use in our August (1408) release. To learn more details on how to use the Programs feature, the types of programs being offered, and to get a first peek, please visit this knowledge base article.
- As a part of this preview release, we invite you to share your feedback and use cases with us as we further enhance this offering by joining the private Programs Community group. Click the “Ask to Join Group” button to be added to this discussion group. We plan to open up this group to everyone after production release in August.
As part of our May update (1405), we announced the preview release of a major new Learning feature: Programs. Programs enable you to maximize the end user’s learning experience by combining a variety of learning elements and activities and structuring them in the manner and order that you intend them to be consumed.
The flexibility of Programs allows you to offer:
- Academic courses that span over an extended period of time
- Self-paced training for personal development, or
- Comprehensive new-hire / new-position orientation.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can utilize Programs.
- When creating a program, you’ll spend most of your time on the Agenda page. The right side of the Agenda page contains all the elements you can use to build your program, while the left side is a visual representation of your program’s structure.
- Get started by creating Sections. Sections are used to define the structure of your program and allow you to group activities either thematically or chronologically. Sections also enable you to apply restriction rules, which we will explain further below.
Next, you will select which activities to place in each Section. Activities are what users will need to complete in order to achieve the intended learning goal. You may select elements or resources from your Learning system, or point to resources in another system or an external site. For example, an activity could include:
- Any type of item that resides within the Learning system
- A link to a site or file
- Instruction on a task for the user to complete, or
- A document for the user to read
- There are some basic section restriction rules for you to utilize, which can be progress-based or schedule-based.
- A progress-based restriction requires users to complete one section before moving on to the next, making each section and its activities become the pre-requisites of subsequent sections and activities. By requiring users to follow a program’s structure, you ensure that the material of one section has been absorbed before moving on to the next.
- A schedule-based restriction requires users to wait until a section’s start time in order to access any of the activities within it. This setting is available for schedule-based programs, when the instructor wants to control the pace of a program and have all users consume material at the same rate, thus maximizing collaboration and “class” management.
Utilizing Programs to Deliver Training
- There are three different types of Programs, designed to suit your needs: scheduled, duration-based, and open-ended. Let’s take a look as to what each one entails.
- Scheduled Programs are calendar-based, with a specific start and end date. They are ideal for delivering training that requires the use of an instructor (physically or virtually) and that is offered during a specific time period. Each instructor-led session can be accompanied by preparation or post-session material. The ability to link to JAM enhances the learning experience, promotes collaboration, and allows the instructor to actively engage with user. Such programs would be offered either on a rolling basis (e.g. every quarter) or delivered on an ad-hoc basis to specific users, according to business needs.
- Duration-Based Programs are usually assigned as a result of a specific event. For example, these programs are especially useful for new hires, new position or promotion, succession nomination, or leadership development. Using a new hire as an example, program activities can include filling out information on Employee Profile, joining key JAM groups, reading department-specific documents, finding people using the Organization chart and, of course, completing training. Users would typically dictate their own pace but have a set amount of time during which to complete the program.
Open-Ended Programs as the name suggests, are completely open-ended and self-paced, which means that users dictate their own pace and there is no set due date. These would typically be offered as self-discoverable programs in a learning catalog or could be suggested by supervisors with the intent to promote personal development.
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