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Program content can include any set of courses or competencies within a Totara Learn site.  Sets can be created from adding courses, selecting a predefined competency or setting up a single course with a recurrence.

Adding sets of courses or competencies creates the learning path of the program.  Once multiple sets have been created, set dividers are employed to allow the creation of sequences or dependencies between each set.

Once the learning path has been finished, the learner has completed the program.

An example program with four course sets defined could have dependencies as follows:

  • From set one the learner must complete one course (course A or course B) before proceeding to set two.
  • From set two the learner must complete all courses (course C and course D and course E) before proceeding to set three or set four.
  • From set three the learner must complete one course (course F) or all courses from set four (course G and course H).


Program Content tab

When adding content to a program, open the Content tab in the relevant program and follow the steps for the content type as described in the sections below. 

Adding courses sets

  1. Select Set of courses from the Add a new dropdown menu and click Add.
  2. Browse through the course categories or Search for a specific course.
  3. Click on the name of each course to be added.
  4. Selected course(s) appear in the Items to add area.
  5. Click Ok to complete the course selection or Cancel to exit.
  6. Complete the course set settings as described below.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 to add another Set of courses.
  8. Select Save changes.

Select courses in the order they should appear in the set

A delete icon to remove a course from the program selection will appear on hover over.

Add course set dialogue

Course sets settings 

Setting

Description

Notes

Set nameTo provide a title or short description for the set, enter a Set name.

Set names are designed to aid the learner's understanding of the learning path. For example the first set of courses could be called 'Phase One - Induction' and the second set of courses 'Phase Two - Health & Safety'.

Learner must complete

Choose from:

  • One course: Only one course in the set needs to be completed.
  • All courses: Every course in the set must be completed.
  • Some courses: Choose a number of courses that must be completed (but not all courses)
  • All courses are optional: The user does not have to complete any courses as all are optional.

If Some courses is selected, additional fields to set the completion criteria will become editable.  These fields are the Minimum courses completedCourse score field and the Minimum score.

These fields are all locked when selecting All courses or One course as the completion of the selected courses will be the completion criteria. 

Minimum courses completed The minimum number of courses within this course set the assignees must complete for this course set to be considered complete.-
Course score fieldSpecify a course custom field which is used to allocate a score to each course in the set. This is used in conjunction with Minimum score to determine the course set's completion criteria. The selected field must have a numeric value.To create a custom course field, go to Courses and categories > Custom fields under the Site administration menu.
Minimum score

A minimum score that must be reached for the course set to be marked as complete. The score is calculated by summing the values from the Course score field for all the courses a user has completed.

The selected Course score field must contain a whole number (e.g. 1, 10, 15 etc).

For example, a 'Credits' custom field could be added to all courses so that a course set will be marked as complete once a certain number of credits have been achieved.

Minimum time required

This value indicates a minimum amount of time that a user might realistically need to be able to complete the course set. It is used to determine if the completion period set on the assignments tab is realistic for a particular group of users. If the assignment is not realistic, a time allowance exception will be generated and the user will not be assigned to the program until the exception has been resolved.

For example, consider a program consisting of a single course set with a minimum time required of 10 days. If a user was assigned with completion criteria that required them to complete it in less than 10 days, then it would raise an exception report for that user.

When using completion criteria relative to a user, it is possible for some users to generate exceptions but not others. For example, when using the days since first login criteria, each user would have their own deadline that may or may not be realistic.

When multiple course sets exist in a program the overall minimum time required for the program is calculated based on the worst-case scenario taking into account the course set logic. For example if a program consists of:

Course set1 [10 days] THEN Course set2 [5 days] OR Course set3 [7 days]

then the overall time allowance would be 17 days.

This minimum time value is also used to determine when the 'Course set due message' and 'Course set overdue message' should be sent.

Setting this does not mean the user only has a certain amount of time to complete a course set, nor does it set or affect the program due date.

This does not determine the maximum time allowed to complete the course set and setting this does not set a due date.

It is used to generate exceptions when a completion date set in the Assignments tab is insufficient and is used to automatically set a sufficiently generous due date when resolving time allowance exceptions using the Set realistic time allowance action.



Courses

The courses included within a course set are displayed.  Additional courses can be added via the Add courses button and courses removed using the corresponding delete icon ()

-

Course set in program

Adding competencies

  1. Select Competency from the Add a new dropdown menu and click Add.
  2. Browse through the competency framework(s) or Search for a specific competency.
  3. Click on the name of the competency to be added.
  4. The selected competency will be displayed at the top of the dialogue box
  5. Click Ok to complete the competency selection or Cancel to exit.
  6. Complete the competency settings as described below.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 to add another Competency.
  8. Select Save changes.

Courses linked to the selected competency will automatically be added to the set.

Add competency in program

Competency set settings

Setting

Description

Notes

Set name

Provide a title or short description for the recurring set.

-
Competency nameDisplays the name of the selected competency.-
Minimum time requiredThis value indicates a minimum amount of time that a user might realistically need to be able to complete the courses within the competency set. It is used to determine if the completion period set on the assignments tab is realistic for a particular group of users. If the assignment is not realistic, a time allowance exception will be generated and the user will not be assigned to the program until the exception has been resolved.

Setting this does not mean the user only has a certain amount of time to complete the courses linked to the competency, nor does it set or affect the program due date.

This does not determine the maximum time allowed to complete the courses and setting this does not set a due date.

It is used to generate exceptions when a completion date set in the Assignments tab is insufficient and is used to automatically set a sufficiently generous due date when resolving time allowance exceptions using the Set realistic time allowance action.

CoursesThis will show all courses associated with the selected competency.

All listed courses will need to be completed to complete the competency set.

For more information on competency frameworks and linking courses to competencies, please see Competency Hierarchies.

Competency set

Adding a recurring course

A program can only have one recurring course and no other courses or competencies can be added.

  1. Select Recurring course from the Add a new dropdown menu and click Add.
  2. Browse through the course categories or Search for a specific course.
  3. Click on the name of the course to be added.
  4. The selected course will be displayed at the top of the dialogue box
  5. Click Ok to complete the course selection or Cancel to exit.
  6. Complete the recurring course settings as described below.
  7. Select Save changes.

Please see Recurring courses to learn more.

For training programs that require more sophisticated learning paths and should be run within the same course environment each time, the Certifications functionality should be employed.

Add recurring course to program dialogue box


If a learner has already completed a course included in the program content, it will recorded as complete within the program. The program enrols the learner into the course, then checks for completion; the program itself has no effect on the completion record.

Recurring course settings

Setting

Description

Notes

Set name

The name or title of the recurring course.

-
Course nameThis field displays the name of the selected course.Use the dropdown field to change the recurring course selection.
Minimum time requiredThis value indicates a minimum amount of time that a user might realistically need to be able to complete the selected course. It is used to determine if the completion period set on the assignments tab is realistic for a particular group of users. If the assignment is not realistic, a time allowance exception will be generated and the user will not be assigned to the program until the exception has been resolved.

Setting this does not mean the user only has a certain amount of time to complete the selected course, nor does it set or affect the program due date.

This does not determine the maximum time allowed to complete the course and setting this does not set a due date.

It is used to generate exceptions when a completion date set in the Assignments tab is insufficient and is used to automatically set a sufficiently generous due date when resolving time allowance exceptions using the Set realistic time allowance action.

RecurrenceRecurrence defines the time period in which the recurring course must be repeated. Recurrence can be specified by any number of days, weeks or months.-
Course creation

Course creation defines when the course should be copied and recreated. It relies on the start and end date specified in the course settings.

-

Add recurring courses dialogue

Set dividers

When adding multiple sets of courses or more than one competency to a program, conditional dividers or access rules can be added between sets.   Choose from:

  • Or: Learners can either complete the learning in the first course/competency set or the second course/competency set. The learning of both course/competency sets is available at the same time. 
  • Then: Learners must complete the first course/competency set before being given access to the second course/competency set.
  • And: If both course/competency sets need to be completed. 

Set dividers are shown in a program summary page and the Current Learning block.

Program summary page

If a learner has been previously marked as having completed the program and new courses are subsequently added, or the learning path is changed to a Then set divider, a learner will not need to go back and do these additional courses because they've already been marked complete for this program.
On this page


The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using Programs and certifications in Totara Learn. Here you can learn more on how to use programs and certifications, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.

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