Setting Visibility and Access for a Published Course

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by Macz Norton
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You can choose to make a course visible or hidden from a certain student group(s) on your training site’s course catalog page. You can also choose to enforce access to a course based on the visibility you choose.

 

In this article:

 

Note: Before using the “Group Visibility & Access” setting, you must first create a student group(s).  Learn more: Creating Groups

 

Understand the difference between the visibility of and access to a published course

Visibility refers to students’ ability to see or not see the course details, curriculum, and registration options for a published course on your course catalog.

  • If a course is visible to a select group, students in this group can see the course details, curriculum, and registration options for this published course on the course catalog of your training site.
  • If a course is hidden from a select group, students in this group cannot see the course details, curriculum, and registration options for this published course on the course catalog of your training site.

For example, students in the Company A group can see the “Product Updates 2019” course, as it is visible to them on the course catalog. Students in the Company B group cannot see the “Product Updates 2019” course on the Skilljar Academy course catalog, as it is hidden from them on the course catalog.

Company A group

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Company B group

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Access refers to students' ability to gain access or not gain access to the course details, curriculum, and registration options of a published course if they have a direct link to the course.

  • If the “Enforce Access Based on Visibility” setting is not enabled, when students are provided a direct link to the course, they can gain access to the course details, curriculum, and registration options of a course that is hidden from them on your training sites' course catalog.
  • If the “Enforce Access Based on Visibility” setting is enabled, when students are provided a direct link to the course, they cannot gain access to the course details, curriculum, and registration options of a course that is hidden from them on your training sites' course catalog.

For example, the “Product Updates 2019” course is hidden from both the Company X group and the Company Y group. The “Enforce Access Based on Visibility” setting is not enabled for students in the Company X group, so if they are provided a direct link to the course, they can see it. The “Enforce Access Based on Visibility” setting is enabled for students in the Company Y group, so if they are provided a direct link to the course, they will see a “Page Not Found” message.

Company X group

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Company Y group

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Set course visibility and access

You can manage course visibility and access within the “Published Course” settings page. You can then verify that the course visibility settings are appropriate at the group level.

 

Set group visibility and access for a published course

You can choose the default course catalog visibility for a course published to your training domain. Once you choose whether the published course is visible or hidden by default on the course catalog page, then you can choose to whitelist or blacklist the course on the course catalog for a specific group(s), if any.

You can also strictly enforce the ability for a  group(s) of students to gain access to a course based on the visibility settings for that group. 

Tip: Your choice of the default visibility for the course as either “Visible to all students” or “Hidden from all students” should be informed by the subset of students who should see this course. For example:

  • To make this course visible to the majority of your students and hidden from a specific group(s) on the course catalog, start with "Visible to all students" and choose the group(s) who should not see this course. 
  • Conversely, to hide this course for the majority of your students and visible for a specific group(s) on the course catalog, start with "Hidden from all students" and choose which group(s) should see this course.

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  1. From the “Domains & Publishing” dropdown in the Dashboard left navigation bar, click “Domains.”
  2. In the “Your published courses” section on the “Domains” page, click the plus (+) sign next to the domain with the course you want to edit.
  3. Click the pen icon in the “Edit” column for the course you want to edit.
  4. On the “Edit Published Course” page, scroll down to the “Group Visibility & Access” section.
  5. Select the “Default Visibility For This Course” as either:
    1. “Visible to all students,” or
    2. “Hidden from all students.”
  6. Find the group that you want to review and/or update their visibility.
    1. If you have selected “Visible to all students,” the published course is visible by default on your training site’s course catalog.
    2. If you have selected “Hidden from all students,” the published course is hidden by default on your training site’s course catalog.
  7. Click the group in the left column you want to either:
    1. Blacklist the published course, if you selected “Visible to all students” as the default, or
    2. Whitelist the published course, if you selected “Hidden from all students as the default.
  8. Click the arrow icon. The course moves to the right column.
  9. Select “Enforce Access Based On Visibility” to limit those students who can gain access to the course to those who are able to see the course on the training site course catalog.
  10. Click Save.
    1. When you set the “Default Visibility For This Course” to “Visible to all students,” the column on the right highlights the courses, if any, that you blacklisted. 
    2. When you set the “Default Visibility For This Course” to “Hidden from all students,” the column on the right highlights the courses, if any, that you whitelisted.

Notes:

  • To un-whitelist or un-blacklist a group, follow the same steps except instead move the group from the right column to the left column.
  • By default on the “Edit Published Course” page, the  “Default Visibility For This Course” setting for newly created courses is set to “Visible to all students.” 
  • By default on the “Edit Published Course” page, the “Enforce Access Based On Visibility” setting for newly created courses is not enabled.
  • When you switch between the “Default Visibility For This Course” options, the dropdown will reset the groups so that they are all following the default behavior that you selected in the dropdown.  

Tip: To select more than one group to move in one direction between the columns, you can:

  • Click Select all under the group table, or
  • Click and hold Ctrl or Cmd on your keyboard and click the groups you want to select.


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Review and/or set course visibility for a specific group

Reviewing the course visibility for a specific group gives you a snapshot of the default visibility for all of the published courses on all of your training domains, as well as the specific courses for which the group has been whitelisted or blacklisted.

  1. Click “Groups” in the Dashboard left navigation bar.
  2. In the “Edit Courses” column in the “Groups” table, click the edit course icon for the Group you want to edit. The “Groups: Course” page will open. There are two sections on the “Groups: Course” page to change visibility:
    1. “Courses made visible to this group.”
    2. “Courses hidden from this group.”
  3. Find the course that you want to review and/or update the visibility.
    1. If the course is in the “Courses made visible to this group” section, the published course is hidden by default on your training site’s course catalog.
    2. If the course is in the “Courses hidden from this group” section, the published course is visible by default on your training site’s course catalog.
  4. In the section you want to update, click the course in the left column you want to either:
    1. Whitelist for the group, if the course is in the “Courses made visible to this group” section, or
    2. Blacklist for the group, if the course is in the “Courses hidden from this group.”
  5. Click the arrow icon. The course moves to the right column.
  6. Click Save.
    1. In the “Courses made visible to this group,” section, the course is now whitelisted.
    2. In the “Courses made visible to this group” section, the course is now blacklisted.

Notes: 

  • You are unable to change the default visibility (either visible by default or hidden by default) and/or access for a published course on this page. To change the course default visibility and/or access, update the “Group Visibility & Access” settings from the domain-specific published course in “Domains.”
  • To un-whitelist or un-blacklist a group, follow the same steps except instead move the group from the right column to the left column.


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Frequently asked questions

What happens when I publish the same course on two different training site domains?

If you have more than one training domain, you can publish the course to multiple domains. The “Course Visibility & Access” settings are specific to the domain to which you published the course. You can update the “Course Visibility & Access” settings on the “Edit Published Course” page for the respective domain.

 

If a student is a member of multiple groups, which “Group Visibility & Access” settings do they experience for a course?

A course can only have one default visibility setting on a specific domain - either visible by default or hidden by default. 

  • If both groups are set to follow the default visibility, they will follow the default visibility.
  • If one group is set to have the default visibility and the other group has the exception visibility (either blacklisted or whitelisted), the student’s will have the exception visibility.
  • If both groups are set to follow the exception visibility (either blacklisted or whitelisted), the student’s will have the exception visibility.

Tip: Regardless of the default visibility of a course, if the student is in two groups with different visibility, look to the right-hand column in the “Course Visibility & Access” to see the visibility that the student will follow. 

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How do I set the course visibility and access for a course series?

If you want an entire course series to be hidden from your course catalog, you need to hide each course in the course series individually, either by default or for specific groups. Once all courses in the series are hidden, the course series tile will no longer be visible on the course catalog page.

At this time, you are unable to set the course visibility and access at the course series level.

 

Could you provide an example of a customer use case using the “Group Visibility & Access” setting?

Company A has 10 general courses, one customer-specific custom course, and 50+ groups on a single domain. They want to set-up the course catalog so that:

  1. The customer-specific custom course is visible to the Company Z group only.
  2. General course #3 is hidden from the Company Z group only.
  3. All 10 general courses are visible to all other groups.

 

To accomplish their desired set-up, they will complete three main steps:

Step 1: Make the customer-specific custom course visible to the Company Z group.

  1. From the “Domains & Publishing” dropdown in the Dashboard left navigation bar, click “Domains.”
  2. In the “Your published courses” section on the “Domains” page, click the plus (+) sign next to the domain with the course you want to edit.
  3. Click the pen icon in the “Edit” column for the course you want to edit.
  4. On the “Edit Published Course” page, scroll down to the “Group Visibility & Access” section.
  5. Set the “Default Visibility For This Course” to be “Hidden from all students.”
  6. Move “Company Z” to the “Selected Groups” column so that this course is now visible to the “Company Z” group.
  7. Select “Enforce Access Based on Visibility”
  8. Click Save or Save and continue editing.

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Step 2: Hide general course #3 from the Company Z group.

  1. From the “Domains & Publishing” dropdown in the Dashboard left navigation bar, click “Domains.”
  2. In the “Your published courses” section on the “Domains” page, click the plus (+) sign next to the domain with the course you want to edit.
  3. Click the pen icon in the “Edit” column for the course you want to edit.
  4. On the “Edit Published Course” page, scroll down to the “Group Visibility & Access” section.
  5. Set the “Default Visibility For This Course” to be “Visible to all students.”
  6. Move “Company Z” to the “Selected Groups” column so that this course is now hidden from the “Company Z” group.
  7. Select “Enforce Access Based on Visibility”
  8. Click Save or Save and continue editing.

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Step 3: Ensure that the remaining 9 general courses are visible to all other groups.

  1. From the “Domains & Publishing” dropdown in the Dashboard left navigation bar, click “Domains.”
  2. In the “Your published courses” section on the “Domains” page, click the plus (+) sign next to the domain with the course you want to edit.
  3. Click the pen icon in the “Edit” column for the course you want to edit.
  4. On the “Edit Published Course” page, scroll down to the “Group Visibility & Access” section.
  5. Set the “Default Visibility For This Course” to be “Visible to all students.”
  6. Do not move any groups over to the blacklist column.
  7. Click Save or Save and continue editing.

 

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