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Allow Us to Clarify 

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Allow Us to Clarify 

Listening to Customers

New Admin:         Where do I find my Courses?

Accord Support:  They're in Catalog.

New Admin:         OK, then where do I find my Learners?

Accord Support:  Learners are in Teams.

New Admin:         Um... ok.  Why not call those pages Courses and Learners?

Accord Support:   Great idea!!!


The Accord LMS is well known for its power and flexibility. This LMS offers functionality not found in most Learning Management Systems on the market. Over the years, we have adopted several naming conventions unique to our platform. Our naming conventions, while precise and logical, could be a bit confusing for administrators just coming to the system. 

After spending time talking with customers as well as new members of our own team, Accord designers started to see the system with fresh eyes.  We’ve decided it is time to change things up in a few minor but we hope very helpful ways. 

Caveat:  This article may read a bit like a user’s manual at points.  Please feel free to skim.  😊  


Version 2022.04 – Simplification part 1. 

For a more comprehensive list of the changes provided with this version, please visit the release notes for this upcoming version of the LMS.  Although we’ve added a new report, which we think you’ll love, almost all changes made with this release are focused on shortening the learning curve for new admins.   


Quick Review of the Accord Admin UI 

There are three primary admin interfaces used by Accord LMS administrators. 

  1. Course Catalog (formerly Catalog) – used for creating and managing courses and the corresponding content (lessons). 

  1. Learning Roles (formerly Roles) – used for creating and managing Learning Roles which are responsible for assigning learning plans, enrollment, and automation. 

  1. Learners (formerly Teams) – used for managing Learners and, if desirable, organizing the learners into Teams.  These Teams could represent departments in a corporate org chart, customers, franchisees, or any other groupings which fit a specific learning environment. 

This latest version of the Accord LMS continues our efforts to provide consistent functionality for each of the primary admin pages.  The consistency of this design will help new LMS administrators get up to speed as fast as possible.  Once the basic workflow is understood, the knowledge is transferrable to all the main admin pages. In each case, the admin page is divided into two columns.  The left column includes containers.  The right column contains contents.  (See image 1 below).  


For example: 

Admin Page 



Course Catalog 

Learning Paths, Course Collections, Courses, Chapters, etc.  

Lessons which include all learning content, quizzes, certificates, etc. 

Learning Roles 

Role Groups 

Learning Roles 





 Example of Course Catalog

Image 1: Course Catalog showing the Learning Path Welcome to the Accord LMS. The Catalog Overview course has been selected showing the lessons it contains on the right. 


Image 1, above, demonstrates the hierarchy of a Learning Path (Welcome to the Accord LMS) with several collections of Courses.  Admins can view or edit the details of any item, either a container like a Course or an object like a Lesson by double clicking the item in question.  Double-clicking on Catalog Overview in the left column, for instance, opens the detail settings for that course.  Double clicking on Catalog Overview in the right column opens the details for a video Lesson which coincidentally has the same name. This same basic workflow is used to manage Learning Roles and Learners on their respective Admin pages. 


Folders and Learning Elements 

Accord offers one of the most flexible content assembly features available today.  This is accomplished by using a series of hierarchical folders which can be populated with a wide variety of Learning Elements in virtually any order or combination.  To make this flexibility more readily understood to new administrators, folders and learning elements will now be known by the more familiar nomenclature of Courses and Lessons. 


Six Types of Folders 

There are six basic container types in the Course Catalog. These can be thought of as the course building options provided by default in the Accord LMS.  

Organizational Folder – This is a container which is never visible to learners and only serves to help LMS administrators organize the courses in their catalog. 

Category – This container is useful for grouping similar Learning Paths and Courses together under a shared heading.  E.g. Accounting Courses 

Learning Path – This special Course folder can contain Courses or Course Collections.  When a Learning Path is assigned to a learner, the scores of all included Courses will roll up to a final score and completion record associated with the Learning Path.  Weighted scoring is available. (see Image 2 below) 

Course Collection – This special container only exists within a Learning path and is used to organize courses within the path.  It contains collections of courses and presents to learners as a header on their My Learning Page.  It will pass on all scoring to its parent Learning Path. 

Course – This is the primary container in the Course Catalog.  It can contain Lessons and/or chapters containing lessons.  It can be assigned directly or as part of a Learning Path. 

Chapter – This container is used to organize lessons within a Course.  It passes any scoring up to its parent course. 

While it is possible to create custom Course types or modify the properties of these default Course Catalog containers, it is not recommended and is rarely necessary. 



Image 2: Learner view of a Learning Path (Welcome to the Accord LMS) containing Course Collections (Introduction, Overviews, Final Quiz), and Courses (Getting to know the Accord LMS, Catalog Overview, Team Overview, etc.) 



Admins who have been using the Accord LMS prior to version 2022.04 will notice one significant change.  Prior to this release, containers could be found in the right-hand column.  This broke the consistency of our model by placing containers in the column reserved for contents.  This existed purely to allow admins to reorganize the contents of a container which itself included containers.  E.g. It is perfectly acceptable to have a course that starts with a pre-quiz (lesson), continues with several chapters (containers) with a quiz between each, and ends with a final exam (lesson).  As you can see this is a mix of lessons and containers all in one view. 


To organize the contents of any course or content container, we’ve added a new tab called contents to the course details.  Any items within the contents tab can be rearranged using our familiar drag and drop tool. 



Image 3: The new Contents tab in the Folder Details interface provides an interface for admins to rearrange all contents of a folder including Lessons and child folders.


Learning Roles 

Other than being renamed, this page has remained largely consistent with previous versions.  The header has been slightly rearranged to provide visual consistency with the Course Catalog and Learner pages, but otherwise the functionality and nomenclature has remained the same.  



The primary issue with this page has been the emphasis on Teams when, in fact, the most important thing on the page are the Learners themselves.  Hierarchical teams can be invaluable when organizing large groups of learners but may not be necessary for a couple hundred learners just keeping up with their compliance.  It’s up to you as to whether teams are necessary in your specific training program. 


Teams are necessary when providing distributed administration.  Each team can have its own administrators, special admin types, its own access codes, independent reporting, team notifications, and more. 


For more information on managing users with Teams in your environment, please speak with your solutions engineer. 


Renamed Reports 

The last administrative tool to be updated with this release is the Report page.  Reports which have been flagged on the Reports page as deprecated for the last 12 months or so have finally been removed from the interface.  These reports were dramatically underutilized and required a significant development investment to maintain on an ongoing basis.  Furthermore, most of the data available in the deprecated reports is available through the remaining five standard reports and the two (yep, there’s two now) Quick Reports.  We’ve also renamed the reports to reflect their purpose.  For a complete list of the renamed reports, please see the release notes at support.accordlms.com. 


Learning Role Activity Quick Report 

We have one more simplification treat coming in this release.   Our Lesson Activity quick report steadily became one of our most popular reports when it was released back in March of 2019.  It’s ease of use and speed made it the “go to” report for quick data checks.  It did not replace our standard reports for larger or more complicated reporting needs, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of our top two reports. 


Now we have a new Quick report, and we think that you’re going to love it.  The Learning Role Activity report is the quickest way to get activity related to a specific Learning Role.   


Admins can simply choose a Learning Role, set some date parameters, and choose what data to place on the report.  When the report is generated, a learner activity list will be presented.  It’s that simple.  Once the report is generated, it can be grouped and filtered like our other onscreen reports or exported to PDF or Excel.  While you can choose multiple Learning Roles for the same report, this report is intended as a more precise reporting tool and not a “all attempts for all roles for all time” sort of report.   


Because Learning Roles are the preferred assignment method in the Accord LMS along with being the heart of our system automation, we anticipate this report will soon get as much use as the original Quick Report. 


In conclusion 

OK, that was a whole lot of reading.  Kudos to you if you made it through this article in its entirety.  The big takeaway message is that your team at Accord is working to provide the simplest user experience for both our admins and your learners without sacrificing the functionality which has made us such a unique player in the LMS industry.  As always, please let us know if we can be of any help.  Your sales and support teams stand ready to assist. 

| Categories: Announcements, Feature Focus, New Features, Tech Talk

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