Accord 4.6 ships with four new Folder Types: Learning Path; Collection; Course; and Chapter. Each Folder Type has configurable rules to help catalog course designers lay out a more cohesive and intuitive learning structure for programs you run through the Accord LMS. The names, icons and rules for Folder Types can be edited to suit your business requirements. In addition, new Folder Types can be created as needed.
Back in the Days
Prior to version 4.6 training structures were based on learning Folders. Folders could group other Folders and Learning Elements (LE). Extensive hierarchies could be built with any number of parent and child Folders. However all Folders were created equal and there was no inherent structure other than parent and child relationships. Complex training catalogs, with folders inside of folders, would often require several clicks before reaching the actual content. In addition, the ‘roll up’ of LE scores to the folder and parent folder levels was very basic.
LMS Admin > Configuration > Folder Types
The Folder Types administrative UI can be accessed from the LMS Admin > Configuration tab.
Five Folder Types come preconfigured. They can be edited if needed and new Folder Types can be created for custom organizational requirements.
Each Folder Type provides Icon selection; Learner Presentation and Scoring Process options; and which Child Types are allowed. From the Catalog > Folder Details UI, custom Icons can be uploaded replace the defaults specified here.
Default Folder Types
A Learning Path can be used for organizing a set of Courses together. It is useful for job training programs, development plans and/or certification programs that require completion of several Courses. Learning Paths can have Collections and Courses as children.
A Collection is an optional Folder Type that allows you to bundle Courses together. This is ideal for large Learning Paths that contain many Courses. Collections can be used to group the Courses together in more manageable chunks. Collections appear as section headings, along with all of their Courses, within a Learning Path list view. This removes the need to drill down a level. Collections can only have Courses as children.
A Course is the traditional way to group Learning Elements. Once the LE are completed, the Course is considered complete. Courses can have Chapters and LE as children.
A Chapter is an optional Folder Type that allows you to bundle LE together. This is ideal for large Courses that contain many LE. Chapters can be used to group the LE together in more manageable chunks. Chapters appear as section headings along with all of their LE within a Course list view. This removes the need to drill down a level. Chapters can only have LE as children.
The original ‘Folder’ Folder Type is still supported. It is very flexible, but is not a formal member of the Learning Path / Course paradigm. Folders can have Folders, Learning Paths, Courses and LE as children.
LMS Admin > Catalog
Example content catalog utilizing the new Folder Types:
- Implementing Accord LMS is a Learning Path which contains three Collections.
- Before You Begin is a Collection which contains three Courses.
- Accord LMS Overview is a Course which contains two Chapters.
- Chapter 1 – LMS Learner Training is a Chapter which contains 4 Learning Elements.
The context menu for each Folder Type will only allow the creation of new child Folder Types or LE as specified in the associated Folder Type rules configured in the Configuration > Folder Types UI. In this example, the Learning Path context menu only allows New Collections or Courses as children. Rules such as these help create ‘design patterns’ for best practices when building your content catalog.
LMS Admin > Catalog > Folder > Folder Details > Scoring
Folder Types can have their Scoring Process set to Roll Up or Pass Through. This is done from the Folder Type Detail UI described above.
At the individual Folder level, Pass Through has no settings. All scores from child folders or LE are simply passed through to the parent folder without any processing at this level.
Roll Up scoring has the following options:
- Equal – all scorable LE are weighted the same
- Custom – all scorable LE can be weighted individually. The total weight must = 100%
- None – no score will be storeds on the Folder level
Learner > My Plan
From the Learner’s perspective, Drill Down Folder Types are presented in a list with an ‘Open’ button that in turn drills down to another list showing the folder’s content. Expanded Folder Types do not require an additional drill down to display their content. Instead the folder name is presented in the list as a section heading followed by all of their content.
A Learning Path with Collections of Courses
In this example, the Collections are expanded to show their Courses. The Courses are drill down with an Open button.
A Course with Chapters of Learning Elements
In this example, the Chapters are expanded to show their LE. The LE can be launched.
Powerful yet Flexible
The Accord Folder Types are a great way to create company wide ‘design patterns’ for best practices when building your content catalog. Most of the Folder Types you need come preconfigured and others can be created to address even the most demanding content catalog architectures.