Program Note Assignment

Totara Program management allows you to create learning paths for learners where you can define dependencies and control the order and flow of the competencies and courses your learners complete.

A program includes completion dates and time limits for your learners to complete each stage of the program. There is also the ability to set up customised messages and reminders that are sent to learners and managers as part of the program.

Program management allows you to enrol learners based on their organisation, position, management hierarchy, or audience, and set different completion criteria for each group if required. Learners can also be enrolled individually.

Program management also handles the requirement for courses to reoccur on a set cycle, such as yearly. This is great for handling compliance training that staff may be required to complete every year.

Create a program 

To create a program you will need to be logged in as a site administrator. If you have these permission you can then follow these steps:

  1. From the Administration block follow the path Site administration > Courses > Manage programs.
  2. Select Add a new program to set up a new program.
  3. Complete theDetails section (see below). 
  4.  Select Save changes and the Program Overview tab displays. You have now created your program; the next step is to add the program content and program assignment.

Details

When creating a new program there are a number of details you will be required to add, these are:

SettingDescriptionNotes
Category

This is the name of the course category the program sits under.

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Visible

When visible is checked the program can be seen by the learners.

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Full name/Short name

This is the name of your program. The short name must be unique.

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IDThis allows you to give your program an ID number if required.-
Availability

When set to Available to students learners are able to view and access the program details.

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Available from/Available until

This allows you to set a date range for when the program is available to learners. 

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Description

The description text displays in the search program page and when the learner is viewing the details of the program.

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Program end note

The program end note displays when the learner has completed the program.

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Program icon

To add custom program icons:

  1. Click Courses in the Site administration menu.
  2. Click Custom icons.
  3. Select the graphic file you want to use for a course.
  4. Move this file to the Program icon file area.
  5. Select Save changes.

Graphic files will be resized to 35 X 35 pixels automatically.

Allow extension requests

When enabled users can submit extension requests for this program which can then be approved or denied by their manager. An extension request will appear for the enrolled user when the due date is close.

Program extension requests need to be enabled on the Advanced features page to be able to allow or disallow program extension requests for a program.

Edit a program

Once a program has been setup it is still possible to make changes by editing the program.

  1. From the Administration block follow the path Site administration > Courses > Manage programs.
  2. In the table find the program you wish to edit. 

  3. Select the Settings icon, or alternatively select the program to open it, then select Edit program details.

Whilst editng a program you can amend the details, add content, assign learners, and manage messages. More about how to do each of these can be found below. 

Add program content

Program content can include any course or competency on your Totara site.

Content is added in sets. The sets represent the order in which learners complete the learning. A set can contain:

  • A competency and assigned course(s)
  • Course(s)

Time frames and conditions can be established for each set.

To add content to your program, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Content tab.
  2. Select what you would like to add from the Add a new dropdown menu and select Add. Follow the instructions below for the content type you choose to add.

    If

    Then

    Adding a course1. Select Set of courses from the Add a new dropdown menu and click Add.
    2. Click through the course categories and click on each of the courses you wish to add. You need to select your courses in the order you wish them to appear in the set.
    3. Selected course(s) appear in the current selection column, click the delete icon to remove the course from the program selection.
    4. Click Ok to complete the course selection. See also, course set settings below.
    Adding competencies

    1. Select Competency from the Add a new dropdown menu and click Add.
    2. Select the competency framework from the dropdown list.
    3. Select the competency you wish to add.
    4. Click Ok to complete the course selection.

    When you select a competency that has a linked course(s). The linked course(s) is/are automatically pulled through into the set.

    See also, competency settings below.

    Adding a recurring course

    A program can only have one recurring course with no other courses or competencies. See Recurring Courses to learn more.

    See also, recurring course settings below.

  3. Give your set a name and complete the settings relevant settings (see below for more information). 

  4. You can have one or more course sets. If you have more than one, you can choose the rule between them:

    • Or: Learners can either complete the learning in the first course set or the second course set. The learning of both course sets is available at the same time. 

    • Then: Learners must complete the first course set before being given access to the second course set. 

    • And: If both course sets need to be completed. 

    Follow steps 2-4 above as required if you need to add additional content.

  5. A warning message appears. Click Save all changes. The content has now been added to your program and you are ready to set the learner assignments.

Course settings 

These are the available settings when adding a course set.

SettingDescriptionNotes
Set nameThe name you give to the course set.-

Learner must complete

Choose either One courseAll courses or some courses.

If you select Some courses you will then be able to edit additional fields to set the completion criteria, these fields are the Minimum courses completed, Course 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 is then the completion criteria. 

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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 should have numeric values e.g credit hours.-
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.

For example, you might have a Credits custom field on your courses, so you could use this setting to mark a course set as complete when a certain number of credits have been achieved.
Minimum time required

This determines the minimum amount of time that users should be given if they are to have enough time to complete the course set.

For example, if set to one week, then it is expected that the user should be granted at least one week to be able to complete the course set, and that it would not be possible to complete it in any time less than that.

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.

CoursesThe courses you selected to be part of the set.-

Competency settings 

These are the available settings when adding a competency.

SettingDescriptionNotes

Set name

You will need to give the competency set a name.

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Competency nameThe name of the competency or competencies you have selected.-
Minimum time requiredThis determines the minimum amount of time that users should be given if they are to have enough time to complete the set.-
CoursesThis will show any courses associated to the selected competency.-

Recurring course set 

These are the available settings when adding a competency.

SettingDescriptionNotes

Set name

You will need to give the competency set a name.

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Course nameThe name of the competency or competencies you have selected.-
Minimum time requiredThis determines the minimum amount of time that users should be given if they are to have enough time to complete the set.-
RecurrenceThis is how often the course set should recur.-
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.

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Assign learners

Program assignment allows you to select the learners who need to complete the program. You can select users by organisation, position, audience, management hierarchy, or individually. Once you have assigned learners to the program, the system automatically takes care of course enrolment.

To assign learners to your program, go to the Assignments tab, select what you would like to add from the Add a new drop down menu and select Add. Follow the instructions below for the assignment type you choose to add.

Adding by organisation

1. Select Organisation from the Add a new dropdown menu and click Add.
2. The organisation options appear. Click Add organisations to program.
3. Select the organisation framework you want to use from the dropdown box.
4. Select the organisation items you wish to assign to the program. The selected items appear in the current selection column. Select the delete icon to remove.
5. Click Ok to complete the organisation selection.

Select All below to include all users in the hierarchy structure below the selected organisation.

Adding by position

1. Select Positions from the Add a new dropdown menu and click Add.
2. The position options appear. Click Add position to program.
3. Select the position framework from the dropdown box.
4. Select the position items you wish to assign to the program. The selected items appear in the current selection column. Select the delete icon to remove.
5. Click Ok to complete the position selection.

Select All below to include all users in the hierarchy structure below the selected position.

Adding by audience

1. Select Audiences from the Add a new dropdown menu and click Add.
2. The audience options appear. Click Add audiences to program.
3. Select the audience groups you wish to assign to the program. The selected audiences appear in the current selection column. Select the delete icon to remove.
4. Click Ok to complete the audience selection.

To learn more about creating audiences, see Audiences.

Adding by management hierarchy

1. Select Management hierarchy from the Add a new dropdown menu and select Add.
2. The management hierarchy options appear. Select Add managers to program.
3. Select the manager name(s) and then choose the appropriate job (there may be more than one) applicable to the assignment. The selected manager(s) and their job assignment will appear in the current selection column. Select the delete icon to remove.
4. Select Ok to complete the manager selection.
5. Select direct team to add just the manager’s direct reports or all below to add their direct reports and their staff’s direct reports.

Adding individuals1. Select Individuals from the Add a new dropdown menu and select Add.
2. The individual options appear. Select Add individuals to program.
3. Select the names you wish to assign to the program. The selected individuals appear in the current selection column. Select the delete icon to remove.
4. Click Ok to complete the position selection.

Set the due date for each group / individual you have assigned to the program. When setting the completion criteria you have two options:

  • Complete by: allows you to set a fixed completion date.
  • Complete within: allows you to set a completion date relative to an event. The events include:
    • The date the learner first logged in.
    • Position assignment date.
    • Job assignment date.
    • The date the learner completed another program.
    • The date a learner completed another course.
    • The date record in a profile field.
    • The date they were assigned the current program.

Select Set fixed completion date or Set time relative to event to save your completion criteria, then select Save changes and confirm your changes. Once saved, a confirmation message appears at the top of the screen. Your program assignments are now set.

Add program messages

You can create and customise automated messages which are emailed to users assigned to a program. You can also add an optional message for managers depending on the message type selected.

  1. Create a program message by editing your certification and selecting the Messages tab. The enrolment message and exception report message is added by default for every program.
  2. Select the message type from the Add a new drop down menu and select Add.
  3. Add a subject line and message body.

  4. Select Send notice to manager if you want to send a message to the manager of a learner at the same time the learner message is sent. If a learner has multiple job assignments with more than one manager, the message will be sent to all managers.

  5. Select Save changes to save your message. You will be prompted to confirm your changes or you can choose to continue editing.

Message types

Message TypeDescription
EnrolmentA message is sent to the learner when they are assigned to a program.
Exceptions report

A message is sent to site administrators when there are new exceptions on the program. An exception occurs when the system is not able to process an action related to the program, e.g. the completion date is set for 30 days from the position start date, but this field is empty for a user assigned to the program.

Course set completedThis message will be sent whenever a course set is completed.
Un-enrolmentA message is sent when a learner is unenrolled from a program.
Program dueA message is sent to the learner a set number of days, weeks or months before the learner is due to complete the program. Add a Trigger to set when the message is sent.
Program overdueA message is sent to the learner when the program completion date for the learner has passed. Add a Trigger to set when the message is sent.
Program completedA message is sent when the learner completes the program.
Learner follow-upA message is sent to a learner a set period of time after they have completed the program. Add a Trigger to set when the message is sent.

Variable substitution

You can insert variables into the subject and / or body of a message so that they will be replaced with real values when the message is sent. Variables should be inserted exactly as shown.

VariableDescription
%userfullname%this will be replaced by the recipient's full name.
%username%this will be replaced by the user's username.
%programfullname%this is replaced with the full name of the program.
%completioncriteria%this will be replaced by the completion criteria set in the assignment tab.
%duedate%this will be replaced by the date assigned to the user to complete the program.
%managername%this will be replaced by the manager's name. If a learner has multiple job assignments with more than one manager, a list of all manager names will be output, separated by commas.
%managername%this will be replaced by the manager's email. If a learner has multiple job assignments with more than one manager, a list of all manager email addresses will be output, separated by commas.
%setlabel%this is replaced with the course set label, when the message relates to course sets.

Capabilities that can edit

It is possible to assign a variety of editing permissions within the program functionality. Anyone with one or more of the following capabilities will see an Edit program details button whenever they view a program. By clicking on this they will then see the Overview tab, followed by additional tabs based on the capabilities they have assigned to them as follows:

  • totara/program:configuredetails: For the Edit tab.
  • totara/program:configurecontent: For the Content tab.
  • totara/program:configuremessages: For the Messages tab.
  • totara/program:configureassignments: For the Assignments tab.
  • totara/program:handleexceptions: For the Exceptions tab (this applies even if there are no exceptions currently).
  • totara/program:editcompletion: For the Completion tab (the completion editor must be enabled in site cofig).

Scenario

Program containing a course and assigned a dynamic audience

A user in the dynamic audience enrols in the course through the program and is later removed from the audience.

When the External unenrol action option for program enrolment is set to:

SettingConsequence
Unenrol user from courseThe user is unenrolled from the program as well as the course.
Disable course enrolmentsThe user is no longer enrolled in the program. Their enrolment in the course is suspended.
Disable course enrolments and remove rolesThe user is no longer enrolled in the program. Their enrolment in the course is suspended.

If the user is added to the dynamic audience again and the External unenrol action option for program enrolment is set to:

SettingConsequence
Unenrol user from courseThe user is enrolled in the program and must again enrol from scratch in the course through the program.
Disable course enrolmentsThe user is enrolled in the program. Their enrolment in the course is restored together will previous roles.
Disable course enrolments and remove rolesThe user is enrolled in the program. Their enrolment in the course is restored but without previous roles.

If a learner has already completed a course in the program content, it will be treated as such. The program enrols the leaner into the course and then checks for completion; the program itself has no effect on the completion record.

Users are assigned to the program when the program user assignment scheduled task is run.

For assigned users that have been given a time exception, the program due date is not updated.

If a learner has been previously marked as having completed the program and subsequently new courses are added, or the path is changed to then, a learner will not need to go back and do these additional courses because as their program completion mark remains.

Product Description

This assignment is designed for instrumental music classrooms that are in concert season. This assignment allows students to research current pieces from the concert, and display their knowledge in a one-page summary. Guidelines are given in the assignment so that students can meet the expectations of the assignment. Not only can this produce better musicians that understand their music, but it is also a great way to include the Common Core in your band classes. If your administration is like mine, they will love the added depth that your students gain from writing their own program notes. You might even consider having students read their notes to the audience in the concert! A grading rubric is also available, under the title "Program notes assignment grading rubric." Created by Jennifer Dyer M.G.

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