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

by Macz Norton
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You can choose to make a course, catalog page, or learning path (these three to be called "catalog objects" in this article) 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:

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 and access settings for a catalog object

Visibility refers to students’ ability to see or not see the course details, curriculum, registration options, or page/series 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 page/series 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 page/series 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 catalog object visibility and access

You can manage catalog object visibility and access within the "Catalog Pages," “Published Courses,” or "Published Paths" settings page via Domains & Publishing > Catalog Settings, depending on the type of object you want to edit. You can then verify that the course visibility settings are appropriate at the group level.

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Set group visibility and access for a catalog object

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. 

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

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

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  1. From the “Domains & Publishing” dropdown in the Dashboard left navigation bar, click Domains.
  2. On the relevant domain, click Catalog Settings, then select either the Catalog Pages tab, Published Courses tab, or the Published Paths tab.
  3. On the following page, click the catalog object that you'd like to edit, then scroll down to the “Group Visibility & Access” section.
  4. Select the “Default Visibility For This Course/Learning Path” as either:
    1. “Visible to all students,” or
    2. “Hidden from all students.”
  5. Find the group that you want to review and/or update their visibility.
    1. If you have selected “Visible to all students,” the catalog object is visible by default on your training site.
    2. If you have selected “Hidden from all students,” the published catalog object is hidden by default on your training site.
  6. Click the group in the left column you want to either:
    1. Hide the catalog object, if you selected “Visible to all students” as the default, or:
    2. Surface (make visible) the catalog object, if you selected “Hidden from all students as the default.
  7. Click the arrow icon. The group moves to the right column.
  8. 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.
  9. Click Save.
    1. When you set the “Default Visibility” to “Visible to all students,” the column on the right highlights the groups, if any, that you hidden the course from (these groups will not be able to see the course). 
    2. When you set the “Default Visibility" to “Hidden from all students,” the column on the right highlights the groups, if any, that you have made the course visible to (these groups will be able to see the course).

Notes:

  • To change the visibility settings for a group, follow the same steps except instead move the group from the right column to the left column.
  • 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:

  • 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 catalog object visibility for a specific group

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. 

  1. Click Groups in the Dashboard left navigation bar.
  2. For the relevant group, click the Edit Visibility icon, the Catalog Pages tab will open by default, but you'll have the option to switch to the Published Courses or Published Paths tab. There are two sections on these pages to change visibility:
    1. “Catalog Pages/Courses/Learning Paths made visible to this group.”
    2. “Catalog Pages/Courses/Learning Paths hidden from this group.”
  3. Find the catalog object that you want to review and/or update the visibility.
    1. If it's in the “Catalog Pages/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.
    2. If it's in the “Catalog Pages/Courses/Learning Paths hidden from this group” section, the catalog object is visible by default on whatever page(s) the object is published to.
  4. In the section you want to update, click the object in the left column you want to either:
    1. Make visible for the group, if the object is in the “Catalog Pages/Courses/Learning Paths made visible to this group” section, or
    2. Hide from the group, if the object is in the “Catalog Pages/Courses/Learning Paths hidden from this group.”
  5. Click the arrow icon. The object moves to the right column.
  6. Click Save.
    1. In the “Catalog Pages/Courses/Learning Paths that have been made visible" section, the object is now visible to the group.
    2. In the “Catalog Pages/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, Courses, or Learning Paths on these pages. To change the catalog object default visibility and/or access, update the “Group Visibility & Access” settings from the domain-specific settings via “Domains”.
  • 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 student’s 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/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 #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. On the relevant domain, click Catalog Settings, 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. 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. On the relevant domain, click Catalog Settings, 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. 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. On the relevant domain, click Catalog Settings, 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. Do not move any groups over to the hidden column.
  7. Click Save or Save and continue editing.

 

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