Mindflash recently released a new Catalog feature. After talking to many customers it became clear there was a need to market their courses, allowing people to see what they had to offer, but not have to invite trainees to every course available. Many customers provide courses and series that are above and beyond the required learning material, and while they want their trainees to take these courses, it’s not always mandatory. Other customers don’t know who their future trainees are and/or do not want to be bothered with the administrative task of adding them to the system. They would rather put their content offerings on a single webpage and allow people to sign themselves up for the courses or series.
Trainer View of Catalog
After many conversations we decided to build Catalogs, a new feature that provides an easy way to group all your course and series offerings onto one page. The URL for this page can then be distributed to all trainees who might need to take the courses and/or series. Trainers can easily email this URL, post it to an intranet, or give it to the various managers in charge of distributing training.
Multiple Catalogs can be created, each for different audiences and/or different groups of subject matter. Trainers select which courses and series to add to the Catalog and after giving the Catalog a name and description, it is ready to be shared with the proper audiences. The Catalog URL can have various access levels, depending on who should be taking the courses and series. The Trainer can choose to only allow current users in the system to enroll or to open it up for public enrollment. Limiting enrollment to current users forces trainees to login before starting the course or series. If they do not already have login credentials they will be blocked from enrolling in the courses or series. If you choose to make your Catalog public, anyone will be able to browse all the courses and series in the Catalog and then create their own trainee account in the system. This means people will be registering in the system as well as enrolling in courses and series.
Trainee View of Catalog
The addition of this feature provides several benefits for both Trainers and Trainees. Trainers no longer need to copy and paste individual course or series URLs. Also, they no longer need to invite people to courses that are optional, putting the power of signing up for these courses into the hands of the trainees. The two levels of permissions for the Catalog also help to ensure the right people are getting into the courses. Limiting enrollment to current users reassures the Trainer that his content will not be seen by people outside of his program. However, for the Trainer who doesn’t know in advance who will be taking the training or is not concerned with trainees creating their own trainee accounts, the “Public” option cuts down on the administrative task of adding trainees to the system ahead of time.
Trainees benefit from the Catalog by having more freedom and independence when choosing their training. They are now given the option of browsing through various content options without having every course clutter their personal dashboard. With the ability to pick and choose, they are more likely to complete their training in a timely manner. Providing a list of content empowers the trainee to take responsibility for their training goals. It may be the case that Trainers highly recommend or even insist that trainees sign up for particular courses on the Catalog, but with the ability to browse other content available to them, they are also empowered to take more training, increasing the likelihood of better trained employees, customers, and/or resellers.
We are excited about this new feature and how it will help our customers. If you have any feedback please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.