Three years ago, Foundry was created with the vision of simplifying and automating the administrative process to deploy trainings with increased control. After listening to your feedback to better understand how and why assignments are created, we identified a few common challenges to address.
- Segmenting progress/completion data based on training cycles
- Understanding which courses learners were actually being assigned, especially those who were previously assigned something
- The learner impact for erroneous and duplicate assignments
This new assignment model, Assignments 2.0, addresses these challenges by simplifying retraining, providing a new tool to organize progress data around your training cycles (Training Periods), and making it easier for multiple admins to assign courses independently without running into conflict with each others’ training programs.
The Benefits of Assignments 2.0
Easily Report on Compliance
Custom Training Periods allow you to organize assignments and learner progress into a structure based on your unique training cycles, often compliance-based. This makes it easy to run reports on a particular training cycle, especially if there are ongoing assignments throughout the year with overlapping dates.
We recommend creating Training Periods that all teams and departments can use across your single Foundry account. This will ensure the best learner experience and provide a holistic organizational structure to reduce confusion amongst administrators in the long run.
There is only one rule to remember — a learner will not be assigned the same course more than once within a single Training Period. Simply create a new Training Period with your desired course for a learner to start from the beginning of that piece of content.
More Forgiving of Human Error
If a mistake was made on an assignment that was already sent out, there is essentially no impact on learners. Because of the simplified retraining approach (see the point above), any learners who already started on a course will be able to pick back up where they left off after the administrator corrected the assignment.
Ultimately, Training Periods are an organizational system for your assignments. By associating a series of assignments with a Training Period, you will ensure that learners do not get assigned the same course more than once. Additionally, this categorization is not necessarily tied to a specific time period. We recommend that Training Periods are used for a single year, however they can be active within whatever period of time your team needs.
With this, administrators have more control over what assignments learners receive and when. The main challenge we identified that this resolves is for learners who need to take a course again at any point. Additionally, accounts that have multiple departments or teams with different training plans and overlapping learners will significantly benefit from Assignments 2.0.
The golden rule to remember when it comes to Training Periods is:
A learner’s status (complete, in progress, past due, etc.) of a single course is consistent throughout all assignments within one Training Period. A learner’s status of a single course will start from the beginning if assigned in separate Training Periods.
Additional Date Adjustments
Assignments 2.0 not only simplifies what learners see and receive, but it has also simplifies the administrative process to make edits to dates and to clean up assignments throughout the year.
Previously, all dates associated with an assignment could not be edited after that set date passed. In other words, if an assignment was past its Due Date, then there was no way to adjust that Due Date. This caused issues especially for administrators who wanted to add an extension for learners on an assignment. Now, because of the simplification of assignment statuses, a Due Date can be adjusted at any point as long as the assignment is still active and not Archived.
When creating an assignment, you will now need to specify an Archive Date which will essentially deactivate and shut down that assignment. Learners will no longer be able to make any progress, but they will still be able to review their courses if it was completed. Administrators will no longer be able to add learners or make any edits to the assignment.
By setting this Archive Date upon creation, assignments will no longer be sitting in a limbo state long past the due date and no one making progress. This will also provide more concise reporting when looking for active assignments data.
How Do I start Using Assignments 2.0?
There are a few steps you will need to take to use this new functionality.
All assignments in your account must be Deactivated for us to turn on Assignments 2.0. For Institutions of Higher Education that use one Foundry account for student and faculty/staff training, this means all assignments for both audiences need to be deactivated. Completely closing out all previously created assignments and the now-legacy logic will allow for the cleanest experience moving forward for administrators and for learners.
Not sure when is a good time for your organization to upgrade? Consider this:
- Do you have any active assignments?
- If no, then now is the perfect time to start using Assignments 2.0.
- Are the active assignments past the Due Date?
- Were the active assignments recently set up?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then we recommend starting to consider a timeline and a specific date to officially deactivate all your assignments. Implementing and communicating hard deadlines to learners with incomplete assignments as early and as often as possible will increase completion rates. Additionally, we do not recommend creating any new assignments as you wind down on the legacy logic until Assignments 2.0 is live in your account.
Once there are no more Active assignments in your account, then you can contact Customer Support to have them activate the Assignments 2.0 for you. Be sure to include “Assignment Logic Upgrade” in the subject.
Lastly, here are some resources to get started once you have Assignments 2.0