LMS User Guide Course Access Manager Course Access Manager Overview The Course Access Manager is a tool that allows Site Administrators to lock down access to specified courses and/or categories so that only a selected subset within an organisation can access them. How it works To grant access to a set of courses, a Site Administrator can create a rule. This rule comprises the departments in an organisation to which access is to be granted and the courses or categories that access is to be granted to. Site Administrators can create as many rules as they require – subsequent rules will not override access granted by earlier rules, but will overlap instead. By default, all courses and categories in the LMS are open. As soon as a rule is created, access to the courses and categories specified in the rule is restricted to the selected departments. Access is also restricted for any category that is in the ‘path’ of a course or category that forms part of the rule. This effect is demonstrated in the walkthrough below, but the important thing to note is that if a category contains ten courses, and a rule is created to allow a department access to four of those courses, no department – including the one selected – will be able to access the remaining six courses until a rule is created to allow them to do so. Under the default setting, any courses or categories that are not captured by any rule are accessible by everyone. The default ‘open’ nature of courses and categories can be configured by Site Administrators. A setting called Default Course View, which can be found by browsing to Site Administration > Courses > Course Access > Settings, allows Site Administrators to select between the options Show Unmanaged Courses and Hide Unmanaged courses (See Figure 1). When the Hide option is selected, no courses in the LMS will be accessible to any department until a rule is created to explicitly grant access. Figure 1: Setting the Default Course View Wal kthrough This section demonstrates a practical example of how a Site Administrator might set up rules on a fictitious LMS. In this example, the LMS is configured to allow access to all courses by default. Our example LMS has quite a basic organisational structure: Directorate A Finance Procurement Chief Executive Chief Executive Office Directorate B Human Resources Employee Relations and Policy The course category layout for the LMS is structured to reflect the different roles of the organisation. There is a category Finance that contains one course on finance and a second category Human Resources that contains one course on induction procedure. We shall set up some rules that ensure that only the Finance section of the organisation has access to the Finance category and that only the Human Resources section has access to the Human Resources category. Figure 2: Adding a new rule To add a new rule, we browse to Site Administration > Courses > Course Access > Manage Access and are presented with the control shown in Figure 2. Next we click on the Add New Rule button and are presented with two expandable lists: the left hand list shows a list of categories and courses whilst the right hand list shows the organisational structure. We will also see that a row has been added under Current Access Settings that has a text field and a save button, and that our new rule has been automatically named “Rule#1”. We can now follow four steps to define our rule (See Figure 3): 1. Select the courses and/or categories to which we want to grant access. In this case, we select the entire Finance category by clicking on the checkbox next to its name. 2. We then select the sections of the organisation that we want to have access to the Finance category. If we select the top level Finance, we see that Procurement is also selected. 3. We rename our rule to “Finance Only” to provide a good overview of the rule's intent. This is optional, but recommended. 4. Now we've created our rule we need to save it, so we click on the Save button next to the rule name. Figure 3: Defining a rule After saving our rule we can click on it to see the categories or courses and organisational sections that are captured by the rule, as shown in Figure 4. Note that when all of the courses under a category are selected by the rule the names are shown in bold text. If only some of the courses are captured then the category name is shown in italic text. The same is true of the organisation sections captured by the rule, as can be seen in Figure 4. Figure 4: Viewing a previously defined rule After setting up our rules for the Finance and Human Resources departments, we realise that we should really have granted access to both categories to the Chief Executive Office as well. Because rules can be applied on top of each other, this is simply a matter of adding a new rule and granting the Chief Executive Office access to both categories (See Figure 5). Figure 5: New rules do not invalidate old rules, even when targeting the same courses Options for Rules After adding a rule, you will notice some icons next to its name. A description of what each icon does follows: Toggle Active: Clicking on this icon will toggle the active state of the rule. When solid, it indicates that the rule is active; when empty it indicates that the rule is not in effect. This is useful when you need to turn a rule off, but do not want to delete it altogether. Toggle Deep-Linking: In general, when you create a rule it means that only users in the department specified in the rule will be able to access the courses or categories defined by it. This means that users outside of the group captured by the rule will not see any links or references to the course when they browse the LMS. There may be cases, however, where you want to give a direct link to a course to someone who would not normally have access to it. If so, you must remember to enable the deep linking option on the access rule. If deep-linking is not enabled on a rule, these users will be forced back to the front page of the site. You can tell if deep-linking is active when the icon shows the chain-link as joined. Delete Rule: This icon will delete the rule when clicked. A confirmation dialogue will display first to ensure that this is what you really mean to do. When a rule is deleted, it is permanently deleted, so for complex rules, it might be better to simply make them inactive.
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