Why Personalization Matters;
People crave a personalized experience. The sight or sound of our own name will invariably catch our attention. We would like to believe that learners are champing at the bit to devour all the learning opportunities that result from untold hours of careful design and implementation but the truth is that Learners are usually busy people. Unfortunately, LMS Users or Learners are frequently distracted by various priorities, creating an environment where administrators must utilize every advantage to capture their attention.
The Accord LMS is a highly customizable learning platform which offers many features to personalize each Learner’s unique experience. These include personalized course assignments, focused social learning groups, curated course libraries, personalized news feeds and more. Many of these learning experiences can be greatly facilitated through the use of the Accord LMS 'Learning Roles' feature. This article will discuss using tokens for a personalized LMS experience through certificates, pages and messages.
If you are not yet an Accord Client, we encourage you to contact our sales department for a free, personalized LMS demo and 30-day free trial before delving into the following examples covered within this article. These examples will be understood more clearly once you have the Accord LMS portal available so that you may actively initiate some of the recommendations for personalizing a Leaner experience.
"Remember that a person's name is, to that person,
the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
- Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
What is a Token?
Both in the Accord LMS and it’s partner, the DNN Content Management System, a Token simply represents a placeholder or variable that may be applied to customize specific web pages or documents available to an individual Learner.
For a brief example, please compare the following two team messages;
Image 1 - Team Message before and after personalization
Both messages above contain the same essential information, but the second message is more likely to engage a given User or Learner. By using Tokens, the CEO’s designee was able to address the message directly to a specific recipient and provides an email address tied to the team leader that sent the message. The tone of the message, to include the touch of the signature graphic, adds a distinctly personal feel to the message.
Three Examples of Using Tokens;
The Accord LMS offers the ability to use Tokens so that you may personalize each Learner’s unique experience. While not exhaustive, the following list covers most of the areas where administrators can apply Tokens. In most areas where Tokens can be used, you’ll find an ‘Available Tokens View’ link that will display a list of available Tokens able to be used in that context.
Image 2 - Available Tokens View link
Example 1: Certificates;
In the Accord LMS, Certificates are treated as Learning Elements (LE). The content for the Certificate LE is a PDF form document where Tokens can be inserted as form field names.
In the Accord Academy certificate below, you’ll see that we use Tokens to represent three variable fields on the certificate. These Tokens are; [User:FirstName], [User:LastName] and [REF:CompletionDate].
Image 3 - Single Course Certificate personalized for the learner
A Certificate LE can point to a Reference LE [REF:]. The Reference LE is normally the content for which the certificate is being awarded. Certificates typically use [REF:] Tokens. In this case; [REF:CompletionDate] represents when the course was completed and [LE:CompletionDate] represents when the certificate itself was completed. Most certificates should display the date when the course was completed so please take care to choose the correct Token.
Like other Learning Elements (LE), specific Certificates can be used over and over again through various Courses and Learning Paths. Although one could choose to create custom certificates for each course, the use of Tokens allows you to create a generic Certificate which can be utilized for many different courses. The following example demonstrates how the use of a single Certificate may be personalized and awarded for different courses. This Certificate uses the following Tokens; [Learner:FullName], [REF:Title], [REF:CompletionDate] and [REF:EAPoints:EAName].
Image 4 - Multiple use certificate customized for the course and Learner
For more information regarding the ability to create Certificates, please review the Accord LMS Guides at https://support.accordlms.com.
Example 2: Email Templates for Automated Notifications;
Accord currently offers 25 different email templates utilized by the LMS to send automated notices to Learners. The use of Tokens provides a flexible design that supports various uses. Please check available Tokens when working on email templates. Email Tokens are different than Tokens available for other features within the Accord LMS.
To edit a particular email template; select ‘Configuration’ from the LMS Admin menu, choose ‘Notifications’ and expand the ‘Email Templates’ section.
Select a Template which you would like to edit from the Type field and then check box for ‘Customize Template’. Should you make any edits which don’t seem to illicit the desired behavior, click the blue ‘Reset to Default’ link in order to restore the original message format. It is highly recommended to personalize these messages to reflect your specific organization’s preferred communication style.
LMS Admin > Configuration > Notifications > Email Templates.
Image 5 - Due Date Email Template Example
Example 3: HTML Modules on Page;
The Accord LMS comes installed with a fully integrated ‘Content Management System’. One of the many advantages of our CMS design is the available ‘on-page’ customization. You can use Tokens to customize HTML content on any page. The following basic example places a Learner’s name on their home page.
Image 6 - Personalized HTML on the Learner Home Page
Placing the Token in the HTML block requires editing the page through the DNN CMS but this is done easily. Please review this short video tutorial for a demonstration using Tokens for page HTML Modules.
In addition to placing the Learner’s name on the page, this particular home page has been customized for Sarah in several different ways. For a complete list of the customizations incorporated into this page, please see our previous post; Customizing Your LMS: The Power of Learning Roles.
The above examples will serve to demonstrate the concept of using Tokens in order to personalize your LMS. In addition to the examples above, you can apply Tokens to your Rich Text Learning Elements, Team Messages and Learning Element Descriptions. Through the use of Tokens, Learning Roles and DNN Content Management features, your Accord LMS can be customized to provide each Learner with a personalized and unique learning experience.
For More Information;
If you are not yet an Accord LMS client, we hope that you will contact our sales team to arrange a free demonstration and 30 day trial. We wish for you to see for yourself how a customizable LMS will provide a more engaging Learner experience.
If you are a current Accord LMS client and would like more information on how to use Tokens to further personalize your LMS Learner experience, please contact our helpful support department.