Learning Management System Spotlight: Using the Organizational Hierarchy Feature
Like ranks in government, your agency’s Organizational Hierarchy helps establish a clear administrative structure. Make sure you think through the setup of your hierarchy within your LMS because it will serve as the backbone of your platform.
To help illustrate the hierarchy and all of its components, here is an example of the Organizational Hierarchy for the fictional Rock County.
Reminder: a Node is a building block of an organization:
In this case, Rock County is a local government that operates a number of different departments. For simplicity, this diagram only features three: Parks & Rec, Animal Services, and the Sheriff’s Department. Let’s now focus on just one department: Animal Services.
Suppose that Rock County operates three animal shelters within its boundaries: one in the Northern Region, one in the Central Region, and one in the Southern Region. Now, let’s just focus on the Central Region Facility which consists of employees ranking from Supervisors, to Animal Control Officers, to Animal Care Attendants. This structure, from the top-down, is Rock County’s Organizational Hierarchy.
But what does all of this mean? Let’s break it down further:
Root Node: As the governing body, Rock County is considered the Root Node. This means everything below it operates under the umbrella of Rock County.
Subnodes: These are the sites that operate below the Root Node level, including the various departments and any facilities within those departments. Because the three animal shelters operate within the Department of Animal Services, they are also considered subnodes.
Attributes: These are the job titles of the people within the subnodes. Utilizing this information, administrators can create User Groups to help further organize their site’s training.
Hierarchy Node Configuration
The Organizational Node Configuration page allows you to manage your organization’s hierarchy. Note: If your organization imports its hierarchy, you should not edit the hierarchy manually.
There are several buttons on the above screenshot that are listed and described as such:
- “>”: Clicking the “>” button minimizes or expands the hierarchy.
- Add Child to Selected Node: Allows you to add a child node (subnode) to the selected site. Fun Fact: Child nodes = subnodes.
- Edit Selected Node: Allows you to edit the selected node.
- Switch to Node and Edit UI Settings: Allows you to customize the banner, colors, and welcome page for the selected node.
- Edit Student Self Registration Key: Allows you to manage the student self-registration key for the selected node.
- Delete Selected Node: Allows you to delete the selected node along with all of its subnodes.
Remember: a node defines a subset or part of your organization. They are the building blocks of your company! Conceivably, your organization can have as many nodes as you like. Let’s open the above example for Rock County to get a clearer understanding of the concept:
Expanding out the Animal Services node presents us with the three regional facilities. Opening the Central Region Facility presents three job titles within the location. These are all nodes. So, what can we do with them? Imagine we want to designate a training assignment to all of the employees at the Central Region Facility. All we would have to do is create a User Group and select Central Region Facility as the node. Done.
Pretend you want to publish courses that are only available to students within Animal Services (which comprises of all three locations because it is higher in the hierarchy). You would publish the courses to the Animal Services node and you’d be done. Now only students within Animal Services, regardless of which facility they work at, will have access to those courses in the Course Catalog.
Fun Facts About Nodes
- The Organizational Hierarchy must have one top-level root node. This is also sometimes referred to as a super node and it cannot be deleted.
- Every subnode must have a parent node. Looking at the Rock County Hierarchy, Northern Region Facility is a subnode while Animal Services is the parent node.
- Nodes cannot have multiple parents, but each parent node may have an unlimited amount of subnodes.
Check out the following articles to learn more about the platform’s organizational features: