Setting Visibility and Access for a Published Course, Catalog Page, Plan, or Published Path

by Macz Norton
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You can choose to make a course, catalog page, plan, or learning path (for the purpose of this article, we'll call them "catalog objects") 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 catalog object based on the visibility you choose. In this article, we'll explain the difference between access settings, how to set and change the visibility, and cover some frequently asked questions.

Contents

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

 

The differences between the visibility and access settings for a catalog object

Visibility refers to students’ ability to see or not see the course details, curriculum, registration options, or catalog object tile on a catalog page. 

  • If a catalog object is visible to a select group, students in this group can see the tile for this object on the catalog or page.
  • If a catalog object is hidden from a select group, students in this group cannot see the tile anywhere on the catalog page(s) this object is located on.
  • A catalog object can be hidden from a group, while the overarching catalog page or series is visible if there are other courses in the page or series that are visible to the group.
  • The overarching catalog page or series can be hidden from a group, while an individual course within the page or series can still be visible to a group via direct link.

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 page, registration options, or the catalog page or learning path 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 catalog object, they can gain access to the course details, curriculum, registration options, or catalog object 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, registration options, or catalog object 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

Screen_Shot_2019-07-03_at_3.06.12_PM_copy.png 

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It is important to note that visibility also determines the live training events that are surfaced on the calendar page. If a course with a live training event is not visible to a student or group, the event will not surface on the calendar page. Learn more about your training domain's calendar here.

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Managing catalog object visibility and access

You can choose the default course catalog visibility for all three object types. Once you choose whether the catalog object is visible or hidden by default on the page it is located on, you can also choose to hide the object from specific groups or make the object visible to specific group(s), if any.

You can also strictly enforce the ability for a group(s) of students to gain access to an object based on the visibility settings for that group. That would mean the URL would be invalid for anyone whose group membership does not indicate visibility permissions. 

You can manage catalog object visibility and access within the "Catalog Pages," "Plans," “Published Courses,” or "Published Paths" settings pages. To access these pages:

  1. Go to your Skilljar Dashboard, expand the Domains & Publishing header, and select Domains to open the Domains page.
  2. Find the domain you want to edit and select the object you want to manage. For example, if you want to edit the settings for a published course, select published courses.  
  3. Select the object you want to manage from the list. 
  4. On the next page, scroll down to Group Visibility (For course this is under Tile Behavior).
  5. Select the drop-down and choose whether you want it to be visible to all students or hidden.

    Screen_Shot_2020-06-05_at_1.52.40_PM.png

  6. Alternatively, you can manage visibility by specific groups. To do this, select the group from the Available groups list and then select the arrow button (>) to move it to the Selected groups list on the right. To move all groups, select Add all.
  7. Select Enforce Access Based On Visibility to limit those students who can gain access to the catalog object via direct URL to those who are able to see the object on the training site course catalog.

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  8. When you're finished, select Save and Continue Editing or Save.

Notes:

  • By default, the “Default Visibility” setting for newly created objects is set as “Visible to all students.” 
  • By default, the “Enforce Access Based On Visibility” setting for newly created catalog objects 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:

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

 

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Managing group visibility

Reviewing the overall object visibility for a specific group gives you a snapshot of the default visibility for all of the catalog objects on all of your training domains, as well as the specific catalog objects that have been made visible or that have been hidden for the group. 

To manage visibility by groups:

  1. Select Groups in the Dashboard left navigation bar of your Skilljar dashboard.
  2. Find the group you want to edit from the list and select the icon under Edit Visibility to open the settings page.
  3. The next page will open on the Catalog Pages tab default, but you'll have the option to switch to the Plans, Published Courses, or Published Paths tab. Each page includes the same options but is tailored to the catalog option. 
  4. There are two sections on these pages to change visibility:
    • “Catalog Pages/Plans/Courses/Learning Paths made visible to this group.”
    • “Catalog Pages/Plans/Courses/Learning Paths hidden from this group.”
  5. Find the catalog object that you want to review and/or update the visibility.
    • If it's in the “Catalog Pages/Plans/Courses/Learning Paths made visible to this group” section, the catalog object is hidden by default on whatever page(s) the object is published to.
    • If it's in the “Catalog Pages/Plans/Courses/Learning Paths hidden from this group” section, the catalog object is visible by default on whatever page(s) the object is published to.
  6. In the section you want to update, click the object in the left column you want to either:
    • Make visible for the group, if the object is in the “Catalog Pages/Plans/Courses/Learning Paths made visible to this group” section, or
    • Hide from the group, if the object is in the “Catalog Pages/Plans/Courses/Learning Paths hidden from this group.”
  7. Choose the object you want to make visible or hidden and select the arrow icon (>) to move it to the right column.

    c769d546-db7b-4cef-9ccb-458b09f6cda7.gif

  8. When you're finished, select Save and Continue Editing or Save.
    • In the “Catalog Pages/Plans/Courses/Learning Paths that have been made visible" section, the object is now visible to the group.
    • In the “Catalog Pages/Plans/Courses/Learning Paths that have been hidden" section, the object is now hidden from this group. 

Notes: 

  • You are unable to change the default visibility (either visible by default or hidden by default) and/or access for a Catalog Page, Plan, Course, or Learning Path on these pages. To change the catalog object default visibility and/or access, update the “Group Visibility & Access” settings following the steps in the Managing catalog object visibility and access section.
  • To change the visibility settings of 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 same 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 catalog object?

A catalog object 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 hidden or visible), the student will have the exception visibility.
  • If both groups are set to follow the exception visibility(either hidden or visible), the students will have the exception visibility.

Tip: Regardless of the default visibility of an object, if the student is in two groups with different visibility, look to the right-hand column in the “Catalog Page/Plan/Course/Learning Path Visibility & Access” to see the visibility that the student will follow. 

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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 number 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, select “Domains.”
  2. On the relevant domain, select Catalog Pages, then select the Published Courses tab.
  3. On the following page, click the course title, then scroll down to the “Group Visibility & Access” section.
  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. Select Save or Save and continue editing.

image6.png

 

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

  1. From the “Domains & Publishing” dropdown in the Dashboard left navigation bar, select “Domains.”
  2. On the relevant domain, select Catalog Pages, then select the Published Courses tab.
  3. On the following page, click the course title, then scroll down to the “Group Visibility & Access” section.
  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. Select Save or Save and continue editing.

image8.png

 

Step 3: Make sure that the remaining nine general courses are visible to all other groups.

  1. From the “Domains & Publishing” dropdown in the Dashboard left navigation bar, select “Domains.”
  2. On the relevant domain, select Catalog Pages, then select the Published Courses tab.
  3. On the following page, select the course title, then scroll down to the “Group Visibility & Access” section.
  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 hidden column.
  7. Select Save or Save and continue editing.

 

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