The Course Catalogs feature allows you to create a customized set of courses and learning plans in your platform that your users can either enroll in freely or purchase, depending on if you've set the course to be sold using the E-Commerce feature in your platform. You can activate either an internal catalog that can be shown to users once they've logged into their learning platform or a public (external) one, which is shown on the login page.
You can also give a specific set of users visibility to certain catalogs, meaning they have a selection of courses and learning plans that they can either purchase or enroll into. Catalogs are a great option for selling your content to users and giving them the ability to continue their learning by enrolling in courses that may interest them.
Use Case Scenarios
The following are some useful scenarios for catalogs:
- Activating a public catalog is a good option to build a storefront landing page for potential customers. In order to put personalization and creative force behind the look and feel of the public catalog view, it is possible to create multiple catalog custom pages including elements such as subscriptions, instructors, company information, etc.
- A catalog is a practical option to group courses together that are for professional development and supplemental learning purposes. These courses are not mandatory or required, but you as a Superadmin would like to encourage your learners to take them. By leveraging a catalog, you can include all of the professional development-type courses and give visibility of the catalog to particular groups, branches, or individual users. Giving visibility to a particular set of users will allow those users to browse the catalog and self-enroll in any courses that they wish to take. Reporting for progress in these courses will be available by pulling a course report or user personal summary report.
For example, a Tech Writer may be enrolled in a formal learning plan full of courses related to the product that they're writing about, documentation methods, and more. However, multimedia skills may not be necessary for their job, but still useful. With catalogs, you can set up a catalog full of multimedia skill content, give your Tech Writing team visibility to said catalog, and allow them to self-enroll in the courses while growing their skill set.
To create a custom catalog, access the Admin Menu by scrolling your mouse over the gear icon, then press the Course Catalog item in the E-Learning section. On this page, select the New Catalog button in the action bar at the top.
In the pop-up box, add a title and a description. Please note that you cannot add images in the description, and that all text formatting is removed from the learner view and that the added text will be subject to the platform's default CSS or custom CSS added through the branding settings. You can also add hyperlinks, but please note that they will only work when the catalog description is displayed on the Course Catalog built-in page or on any widget page in a custom catalog widget, while they will not be clickable in the specific catalog built-in page. When you're finished, press Confirm.
Once you've pressed Confirm, you will find your catalog in the list on the management page. Now, you can start adding courses. Press the Courses icon in the catalog's row. On the next page, press the Assign Course button, then choose from the listed courses in the pop-up box. You can add both courses and learning plans by switching between the corresponding tabs on the left side of the pop-up box. Please note that only courses and learning plans can be added to a catalog. It's not possible to add existing catalogs to a catalog. Also, note that a course or a learning plan can belong to more than one catalog at a time. When finished, press Confirm.
The added courses and learning plans will then appear on the Assign Courses page for the catalog. To remove a course or learning plan from the catalog, press the X icon on the course's item. To delete multiple courses or learning plans from a catalog in one action, check the courses' items on the Assign Courses page, then use the On Selected dropdown menu to delete the selected items.
When you're finished, press Confirm. Now, you can assign users. Press the Users icon in the catalog's row. On the next page, press the Assign Users button, then choose from the listed users in the pop-up box. You can add users, groups, or branches by switching between the corresponding tabs on the left side of the pop-up box. When finished, press Confirm.
The added users will then appear on the Assign Users page for the catalog. To remove a user from the catalog, press the X icon on the user's item. To delete multiple users from a catalog in one action, check the users' items on the Assign Users page, then use the On Selected dropdown menu to delete the selected items.
In order for a user to access the catalogs to which he or she is assigned, he or she can select the Course Catalog option from the main user menu on his or her platform. Please note that the general catalog will be only shown to users if they have not been assigned to any custom catalogs (you can manage this option on the Settings page, see above for more information).
If you intend to use more than ten custom catalogs, you will also need to update the elements per page limit. Access the Admin Menu, then press the Advanced Settings subitem in the Settings section to access the advanced setting options. Once on this page, select Advanced Options from the tabs on the left. Then, locate and update the Set the amount of elements you want to display in each page option to encompass the number of catalogs you would potentially need to display at once. For the purposes of catalogs, each catalog constitutes one element. Press Save when you're finished.
Managing Catalogs Settings
In order to activate catalogs and manage their settings, log in as a Superadmin, then access the Admin Menu from the gear icon in the top right corner of the page. Click on Advanced Settings in the Settings section and move to the Course Catalog tab.
In the first section, use the dropdown menu to decide whether or not to display an internal catalog to your learners. If you have activated your platform on or after October 16, 2018, please refer to the Setting the Courses' Options in Catalogs chapter of this article to learn more about displaying your internal catalog for your users.
Next, set whether you want to show the internal general catalog if a user is not assigned to any specific catalog (see the Setting the Courses' Options in Catalogs chapter of this article for further info). Then, move to the Public Catalog section, and set whether you want to show the catalog to non-authenticated users. If you select this option, the catalog will appear on the login page, and anyone who lands on the login page can see the catalog, even if they are not authenticated users in your learning platform. When activating this option, consider using a smaller image for the background on the login page, since the area dedicated to the background image is partially overlapped by the catalog area.
Once this option is selected, you then need to decide whether the public catalog will display all public courses and learning plans, or specific courses and learning plans. You can also set up external pages that will display as tabs in the catalog. Refer to the Creating Public Catalog Custom Pages section below to learn more.
In the Catalog Options section, set whether you want to display the categories tree in catalogs and in the Catalogs widget. When the category tree is displayed, Superadmins will see all of the categories defined in your platform, while the category visibility for Power Users and learners:
is limited to the categories associated with the courses belonging to the catalogs they have visibility on, as learners, when the widget displays one catalog
is open to all categories of the courses the user has visibility on when the widget displays more than one catalog
Define whether to enable the Share this View button in the top right corner of internal and external catalogs and in the Course Catalogs tab of the platform Global Search results page so that users can use it to copy the page link on their clipboard in order to share the filtered results of their search within the catalog with other users. Refer to the Advanced Filtering article for further information on sharing filtered page deeplinks. This option activates the Share this View button in the catalog page; if the catalog is displayed in a Catalog Widget, activate the button in the pages including the widget. Further information on widget pages.
Press Save Changes when you’re finished.
Before you start creating your course catalog, make sure that the catalog will be reachable from the user's main menu, by inserting the catalog page or a page including the catalog widget into the menu.
Decide now whether to create a single general catalog for all of your users, or different catalogs to assign to different users, groups or branches.
Setting the Courses' Options in Catalogs
To make courses visible in catalogs, and to manage the self-enrollment policy from catalogs, access the Admin Menu, then press the Course Management subitem in the E-Learning section.
Find the course in the list on the main Course Management table and click on the course description. While in the Properties tab, click on Advanced Settings and select the Catalog Options tab. Move to the Course Visibility in Catalogs section.
Course Visibility in Catalogs
From this section, you can set who can see the course, when it is placed in catalogs according to the course visibility period set in the course properties, Time Options tab, Validity Period section. The available options are:
- Show course in internal and external catalogs. The course will be visible both in internal and external catalogs (if you've created some)
- Show course in internal catalogs only. The course will be visible only in internal catalogs, only for logged-in users
- Show the course only to enrolled learners. Only the users already enrolled in the course will be able to see the course in catalogs.
Use the options available in this section to configure whether users can self-enroll in the course from the catalogs where it is included (and they have visibility on):
- Self-enrollments are not available. Users cannot self-enroll in the course. For those who are already enrolled in the course, it will be visible in catalogs and in the My Courses and Learning Plans page as long as they still have a valid enrollment status (i.e. the enrollment is not expired).
- Self-enrollments are available. The course is always visible in catalogs, and users can self-enroll according to the course enrollment policy.
Self-enrollments are available during a specific time period. Make self-enrollments available only for a specific period of time. The course will not be visible in catalogs outside of these dates. For those who are already enrolled in the course, it will be visible in catalogs and in the My Courses and Learning Plans page as long as they still have a valid enrollment status (i.e. the enrollment is not expired). Available options are:
- Start Date. Set the first available date for learners to self-enroll. The start date is expressed in UTC time, meaning that users will be able to self-enroll at 00:00:00 UTC of the selected date. If, for example, your timezone is UTC +04:00, users will be able to self enroll at 04:00:00 of the selected date.
- End Date. Set the last available date for learners to self-enroll. The end date is expressed in UTC time, meaning that users will be able to self-enroll up to 23:59:59 UTC of the selected date. If, for example, your timezone is UTC +04:00, users will be able to self enroll up to 03:59:59 of the following day.
- Period. Select this option and define the period when learners are able to self-enroll using the Start Date and End Date options.
Course Enrollment Policy
This section is visible only when the Course Self-Enrollment option is either set to Self-enrollments are available or to Self-enrollments are available during a specific time period, and offers the following options to manage the self-enrollment policy from catalogs:
- Only Admins can enroll learners. Use this option if you do not want users to self-enroll in the course from catalogs. In this scenario, only Superadmins (and Power Users with granted permissions) are able to enroll users in the course.
- Pending Admin approval. When this option is selected, learners are able to self-enroll in the course, but the Superadmin (or Power User with granted permissions) has to manually approve the enrollment. Once this option is selected, the course waiting list is automatically enabled, and learners are placed on the course waiting list till approval. When a course is on sale, the admin approval is not taken into consideration: users will be able to self-enroll freely. This prevents users from purchasing courses without being able to access their purchases.
- Self-enrollment. If self-enrollments are free, users can self-enroll in the course directly from the course catalog.
Maximum Enrollment Quota
Enable this option to set the maximum number of users who can simultaneously be enrolled in the course. If users attempt to self-enroll in the course after the max quota has been reached, they will not be able to do so.
As an option, you can enable the course waiting list where the platform will place the users trying to enroll when the maximum enrollment quota is reached.
As an option, you can also enable the option to automatically enroll one waitlisted learner every time another learner unenrolls or is unenrolled. The system will select waitlisted learners based on their enrollment date. This option does not apply to courses on sale. Learn more on self-enrollments and waiting lists.
When enabling the waiting list for ILT courses, remember that users will be placed in the session waiting list, and not in the course waiting list.
The value defined as Maximum Subscription Quota is not taken into consideration for the courses sold via Shopify. This means that if the course’s maximum subscription quota is set to 10, and the course is bought by 15 people via Shopify, all of the users purchasing the course will be automatically enrolled into the course, without being placed in the course waiting list.
From this area, you can add demo material to the course, which will be shown in the course area in catalogs. You can upload demo material in the following formats: pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .doc, .docx, .mp4.
Course Pages in Catalogs
Once a user is viewing a catalog, he or she can press the course’s item in the catalog to view more information about the course. The course’s details page shows a description of the course, a list of the training material and available sessions included in the course, the duration and language of the course, if users have the ability to rate the course, and the rating of the course. If you’ve assigned the course to a content partner using the Content Partners app, the content partner’s banner can also appear on this page.
If any additional enrollment fields apply to the course, the Additional Information tab will appear. Enrollment additional fields are additional fields that a user or Superadmin must enter when enrolling a user into a course. Please note the iFrame additional enrollments page are not visible in this tab.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When accessing a course from a catalog, all users will either have to enroll in the course or purchase the course, regardless of their level in the platform (learner, Superadmin, or Power User). Power Users and Superadmins can still reach the learner's view and perform Admin functionalities for courses within catalogs by reaching the course via the Admin Menu.
Creating Public Catalog Custom Pages
Public Catalogs are a great way to showcase your organization’s content offerings to visitors who are not logged in or who have not yet created an account. With public catalogs, you also have the ability to create and display custom pages to give your users more information.
If you want to add additional areas (divided by tabs) to your public catalog that appears in your platform’s sign-in page, you can do so from your Admin Menu. Please note that in order to use this functionality, you must have an external (public) catalog properly set up and enabled in your platform. Remember that internal catalogs cannot be shown on public catalogs' custom pages. The public catalog itself will be the first tab on your sign-in page, and any additional custom public pages that you create will be additional tabs.
Once logged into your platform as the Superadmin, access the Admin Menu from the gear icon in the top right corner, then press the Public Catalog Custom Pages item in the Settings section.
This page shows a list of all of the custom catalog pages that you’ve created. To create a new one, press the New Web Page button at the top of the page. In the pop-up box, begin by selecting a language from the dropdown menu. The language you select is the language in which the page will appear. Please note that you must add a page in the platform's default language.
Then, add the title of the tab that will appear on the sign-in page in the Title text box. In the HTML Page text box, insert the content that you want to display on your page. Note that this is a WYSIWYG editor, so you can format and edit your text as desired using the toolbar at the top of the editor. You can also press the code button in the toolbar to insert any HTML code into the page. Repeat this process for all languages in which you want to create the page, starting from the language dropdown menu.
At the bottom of the pop-up, select the Publish option to immediately activate and publish the tab on the sign-in page of your platform. Once finished, press Confirm. Once you’ve created a page, it will appear in the main list of public catalog pages. In each page’s row, you can publish (green) and unpublish (grey) the page by pressing the checkmark item, edit the page by pressing the pen and paper icon or delete the page by pressing the red X icon. Additionally, you can sort the order of the tabs on the sign-in page by dragging and dropping the order of the pages in the list using the cross icon, but remember that the public catalog itself will always be the first tab on the sign-in page.
Please note: It is not possible to display custom widget pages to non-authenticated users.
Viewing Your Public Catalog Custom Pages
After you have created and published your public catalog pages, a navigation bar below the header will appear containing the titles of each of your custom pages. Users will be able to click the titles to see the pages you have set up.
Public Catalog Pages will be displayed on all of the Extended Enterprise platforms where external catalogs are enabled. Please note that it is not possible to limit the visibility of public catalog custom pages to specific subdomains, so they will appear on each subdomain that you’ve created.
Power Users and Catalogs
- In order to allow Power Users to buy courses and learning plans on behalf of other users, you need to assign them the Course Catalogs / Can buy courses and learning plans on behalf of someone else permission. Thanks to this permission, Power Users will be able to see the Enable payment on behalf of another registered user toggle in the shopping cart.
- Once you grant the Power User profile the permission to buy seats for courses on behalf of end-users, they will be able to buy seats for courses and learning plans from catalogs, and then assign those seats to the final users that they manage (please note that the E-Commerce App must be activated). In this scenario, when Power Users enter the course page from any catalog they are assigned to, they will see two available actions:
- Enroll. To buy the course for themselves
- Add to cart. To buy the course on behalf of other users
Power Users can purchase courses directly for other users only if users can view and buy the courses themselves from a catalog to which they have visibility. Once you’ve added an item into your shopping cart, access the cart from the corresponding icon in the header of your platform and finalize your purchase as described in the Buying Content on Behalf of Other Users chapter of the Shopping Cart Management article of the Knowledge Base.
- Power Users cannot remove the association between a catalog and a sub-branch unless they are also assigned to the sub-branch parent branch.
- In order to allow Power Users to assign courses to catalogs, you need to assign them the Courses / View and Edit and the Course Catalogs / View and Edit permissions.
When updating public catalogs, it may take up to three minutes to see your changes applied.