Your Feedback on how your company sets up recommended vs. required vs. completed courses within your LMS

Oct 29, 2014

Hi E-Learning Community!

I am the training manager for an international development organization.  We recently launched a droople/moodle LMS in which each staff member has a profile with assigned courses that are recommended or required to take based on their job function.  Right now, we have three main buttons - assigned courses (assigned but not taken yet), enrolled courses (courses that staff have started to take) and wishlist (courses that are not in  your required or recommended courses but those you would like to take).  Please see attached for the layout.

We would like your feedback on what has worked in your company on the visual layout in terms of recommended vs. required courses vs. completed. We are thinking to add two boxes inside the assigned courses and potentially eliminating the enrolled button to replace with a completed. 

Looking forward to your feedback! Thank you!





6 Replies
Bob S

Hi Nia,

Going by the pic, it would appear you may be talking about 32 assigned courses all told (20 +12). That seems like an awful lot of courses to "laundry list".

Have you considered maybe categorizing them somehow to help the learner mentally organize them?  The other advantage to that approach is that the get more of a sense of progress as they complete a course group/category... vs just another notch on a long list.

The course organization might be based on topic area, or perhaps even better on a learning arc/timeline (ie your first 90 days, your first 6 months, etc).  This latter approach is more prescriptive in nature, but again allows the learner to clearly see the expectations, gauge their own progress better against a benchmark, and allows both you and their supervisors to see where kudos or coaching may be necessary. We've taken this exact approach whenever there are a fair number of required courses and it has worked well.

Also... It appears in the example as if there are 12 courses that have been started but not completed. If completion of all content is the end-game goal in this case, does having the separate "enrolled" category encourage too much piece-meal learning as things come to down to the wire? I can envision a case where a learned goes through 1 minute of this course, 45 seconds of that one, 2 mins of this one, etc etc all at the end to garner the required completions. Maybe your courses are written in such a way that this is not a concern, but I'm thinking retention might suffer due to confusion/overload.  So....   since your required courses are required and can be marked as complete or in progress already, do you really want/need the "enrolled" category?  Perhaps it would be better to have them work against a single list of courses/categories?

Finally...  and this is pure marketing style/preference...  is "wish list" the best label?  Should it be more relevant to their learning/development?  I dunno if something like "Next Steps" or "Continued Learning" or something else more clever might encourage more use.

Hope this helps and good luck,


Nia Martinez

Hi Bob!

Thanks for your detailed feedback and ideas.  In the 32 assigned courses, let's say 15 are recommended and 17 are required.  By categorizing the courses into topics, what recommendation do you have to clearly show which are required vs. recommended? 

We are planning to add progress functionality for learners to see how much of the course they have completed. 

The enrolled category is a little confusing.  In order to complete the course, the learner must answer 8 out of 10 knowledge assessment questions at the end of the module.  If completed, do you suggest that we get rid of the enrolled button and replace with a completed button so learners can click on the tab to see all the courses they completed throughout X period? 

I like the continued learning phrase instead of wish list!  Thanks!

Any more suggestions are so much appreciated!


Thanks so much!





Bob S

HI Nia,

Sorry but now I'm a bit confused again by the 17 and 15 split comment... Are saying you have three types of courses (required, pre-enrolled but not required, and wish list)?

If that's the case then I can understand why organizing is more difficult. My first thought is that mixing required and recommended together while leaving opt-in (wish list) separate is going to be confusing. You may want to consider going all one way or all the other...

Option A - Drives compliance of Required Courses

  1. Required Courses tab
  2. Recommended Courses tab
  3. Continued Learning Courses tab


Option B - Drives learning of Specific Topics

  1. Topic ABC tab (mix of required, recommended, optional)
  2. Topic DEF tab (mix of required, recommended, optional)
  3. Topic GHI tab (mix of required, recommended, optional)


Option C - Drives Time-To-Competence

  1. Your First 90 days tab (Courses you are expected to complete in that timeframe)
  2. Your First 180 days tab (Courses you are expected to complete in that timeframe)
  3. Your Future  tab (Optional courses you may want to complete to further develop)


As for the "enrolled" tab...  I agree with Cary that it's confusing. But my suggestion was to consider eliminating that tab altogether. Instead simply mark the courses completed / in-progress right in their categories. Learners like to see progress and seeing a course "checked off" visually somehow vs disappearing from a tab is great for this.

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