So far, in this section of the Genius Administrator’s Knowledge Base, we have learnt about Affiliations, and how Genius uses them to save you time when it comes to managing your learning initiative. We also reviewed how to create affiliations and how to add learners to affiliations, both manually and in bulk.
However, a key aspect that is still missing is how to add a ‘manager’ to an affiliation you create in Genius. Managers are users who have a supervisory role in your learning initiative. They can run reports, and they also have a dashboard that is tailored to show them progress, performance and engagement information about a specific group of learners – specifically, those learners grouped under their Affiliation.
In this Article, we will provide an overview of the Manager role, and what it can and cannot do. We also describe the two ways in which you can associate a user as a Manager to an Affiliation in Genius. Finally, we also describe the ways in which you can edit the association between a Manager and an Affiliation – allowing you to, for example, ‘promote’ a manager to supervise a higher-level Affiliation, if needed.
The Manager (or “Affiliation”) Role
The Manager Role in Genius (also known as the Affiliation role) is an ‘intermediate’ role. This means that Managers can have some, but not all, administrative responsibilities. What does set Managers apart is that they have visibility over the learners that belong to their affiliation. However, this visibility is limited to the learners in their affiliation only. What does this mean?
Affiliations and Visibility
For example, let’s take a look at the following Affiliations. To look at Affiliations we click on the Affiliations tab to obtain a visualization of all the affiliations available in your learning initiative:
We focus on a group of affiliations where the top-most affiliation is called “Government”, and below Government we can find three more affiliations – Executive, Judicial and Legislative.
The name of the manager in charge of the topmost affiliation is a user called “Bill Gates”. Bill has a 9 learners in his topmost affiliation, but he also has three more Affiliations under him – Executive, Judicial and Legislative.
The leader of the Executive affiliation is just a user called Manager Manager – but it’s not Bill Gates. This Affiliation has 73 learners associated with it – so clearly, Manager Manager has a lot of work to do! The same applies to the other two affiliations under Government. The Judicial affiliation has no Manager assigned to it, but it does have 3 learners associated with it, while the Legislative affiliation also has no Manager, but it has 77 learners associated with it.
In total, the Government affiliation has:
- 9 learners associated with the top-most affiliation
- 73 (Executive) + 3 (Judicial) + 77 (Legislative) users associated with it as part of the sub-affiliations in this Affiliation.
- Total learners: 9 (in the Government affiliation) + 157 (in the Sub-affiliations) for a total of 166 learners dependent on this Affiliation.
This structure of learners, managers and affiliations is summarized in the diagram below:
Now, let’s focus on the Government affiliation (the top-most affiliation). Each Affiliation has a dashboard (more about this in the article series about the Affiliation role), accessible to the user designated as the Manager of this affiliation. In addition, this user will also have access to the Reporting and Enrollments tools that you have access to as an Administrator of a Genius instance. However, unlike you, Managers will only have access to reports limited to the learners they are responsible for.
For example, this is the Dashboard associated with the Government affiliation (what the user ‘Bill Gates’ will see upon login):
And this is the dashboard associated with the Executive affiliation (what the user ‘Manager Manager’ will see upon login):
As you can see, the number of users that the Manager of the Government affiliation has visibility over is much greater than those of the Manager of the Executive affiliation. This is consistent with what we discussed earlier – the Government affiliation encompasses all three sub-affiliations, while the Executive affiliation only has ‘itself’ to look after, so to speak.
Affiliations and the Enrollment Process
As we discussed in our series of articles about the Learner, Managers can play a role in the registration process. As an Administrator, when you create a course, you can set this course up to require approval prior to enrollment. If a learner enrolls in a course that requires approval, the person who grants this approval will typically be the Manager of the Affiliation that this learner belongs to.
Managers can also be granted permissions to enroll their learners into a course, and they can use Reports to drill down and learn more about the progress, performance and engagement of their learners in your learning initiative. Howevre, those permissions and those reports will be limited only to the learners that belong to that Manager’s Affiliation.
It is also possible to modify the permissions associated with a role and grant those users with that role more or less access to new functionality within your learning initiative. More about this here[link: roles and permissions article?]. For now, what you need to know is that Managers are key users in your learning initiative. If you have a Manager’s help, you can offload some of your responsibilities as an Administrator. Managers also have access to privileged information about their learners – so it is critical to ensure that you assign the right users to this role.
We describe the process required to turn a regular user into a Manager in the sections below.
Two ways to add a manager:
In Genius, there are two ways to designate a User as a Manager. The first way is to add them through the Affiliations tab, which makes it possible for you to see all affiliations, pick the one you are interested in, and assign a Manager to that affiliation. This method works best when the user you are trying to add does not exist.
The second method is to use the Administration tab. This method is better when the user you are trying to add already exists in your learning initiative. We describe how you can add Managers to your Affiliations below. Throughout this section, we will continue to use the Government > (Executive, Judicial, Legislative) affiliation group we discussed earlier as an Example.
Through the Affiliations tab
To begin, click on the Affiliations tab. You will be presented with a complete listing of all the affiliations in your Learning Initiative, with whitespace before the affiliations’ Name to show the dependency relationship between Affiliations.
We scroll down to find the Affiliation we’re interested in – in this case, Government. We will assign a Manager to the Judicial affiliation, which as we saw earlier, does not have a manager assigned to it (but it does have learners). To do this, we click on the Judicial affiliation on the main list in the Affiliations page main content.
We provide a complete overview of what each item in this page does in the Managing Affiliations article. For now, all we want to do is to add a manager. We click on Add Manager on the sidebar, and a form with a series of required fields will appeared. We know that they are required because of the yellow background:
We can now create a user for this Affiliation who will be a Manager. We fill in the form with the required information, click Save and the user is successfully created:
We can now go back and double-check that the assignment has gone through. On the side bar, we click on Main Page – and see that the user we just created, sebastian_manager, is now a Manager ( = ‘AFFILIATION’ role) for this Affiliation.
This user will typically also receive an email letting them know that their account in the system has been created – and will provide them with their initial login credentials so that they can access the system and begin taking active part in your organization’s learning initiative.
As you can see, this method works best when you are creating a new user that doesn’t exist in your learning initiative. If you want to grant the Manager role to a user that already exists, we recommend that you use the method we describe below:
Through the Administration tab
The next method available is to make use of the Administration tab. We already used this method when assigning Affiliations to individual users within your learning initiative, but we will go over it again for this article. Click on the Administration tab, and then scroll down until you see the Find Users operation under the Users and Access heading in the Sidebar. Click on Find Users, and the Find Users interface appears:
In this case, we want to obtain a list of all the users who belong to the Government > Legislative affiliation, pick one of them, and then assign him or her the role of Affiliation ( = ‘Manager’) so that he becomes responsible for managing this Affiliation. We begin by accessing Find Users, and then using the drop-down menu by Affiliation to select the Government > Legislative affiliation. We click on Get Data, and Genius produces a listing of all the learners who belong to this specific Affiliation:
This operation is called Filtering. Genius makes it possible to filter through your data in many ways, including through the use of the Affiliations interface. We pick the first user in the list, James Wright, to be the Manager of this Affiliation. We click on the pencil-and-paper icon by his name, and a floating screen appears allowing us to make changes to James’ information:
NOTE: Please double-check that the user’s Affiliation in the drop-down menu in this screen matches the user’s Affiliation, as it may vary (especially when you are bringing a user back from archival).
Now, all we have to do is click the box by the AFFILIATION role for James to become the Manager of this Affiliation. We do so, and hit Save to ensure that our changes are preserved for further use. The screen closes. We can now check that our change has been applied by going back to the Affiliations tab, looking for the Government > Legislative affiliation, and making sure that James is, in fact, the Manager responsible for this Affiliation:
As you can see, this method is very well suited for users that already exist and have been created in your learning initiative. In this case, we even took a user that was just a Learner – and promoted him to the Manager role. He now has visibility over the progress, performance and engagement of his peers in the Government > Legislative affiliation.
Editing a Manager’s Association with an Affiliation
There is another case we should cover, and that the concept of associations. When you designate a user as a Manager for an Affiliation, you associate him or her with the Affiliation. Genius makes it possible for you to add new associations between users and affiliations, or delete them, if necessary, allowing you to designate another manager to an Affiliation, for example.
In the previous example, we gave a Learner James Wright the Manager role, and then double-checked that James was, in fact, the Manager for that Affiliation. Now, we’re going to repeat the process through the Association interface for a completely new user. We will promote this user to be a Manager, and then double-check the result of our efforts.
We begin by going to the Administration tab, and finding the Association heading. We click on the User to Affiliation menu item, and the Association screen appears:
If we now promote another use in this Affiliation, for example, Serena Williams to the Affiliation role using the procedure described earlier (Administration > Find Users > Add the AFFILIATION role to Serena Williams), we can use Associations to have two managers.
We click on Add new Association to add a new Association. We pick the user known as Serena Williams, who is a part of the Government > Legislative affiliation, to be associated with this affiliation. We pick Serena’s name from the drop-down list that appears under Users, and pick the Legislative affiliation under Affiliation, and click Save. Serena is now affiliated with the Government > Legislative affiliation, which we can confirm by returning to the Affiliation’s profile and checking the users that are associated with this Affiliation.
Both Serena and James are now Managers in this Affiliation! You can also delete associations, which may be necessary to remove a user’s privileges when, for example, they leave your organization.
Associations are the way in which Genius keeps track of your users’ status within the system. A common problem is for users who have the Affiliation role to not be associated with their Affiliation. If your users complain that their Dashboards are not showing information relevant to their affiliation, this is an easy fix to try yourself.
To learn more…
The final article in the Affiliations series of this Knowledge Base is Managing Affiliations. In there, we will teach you how to manage Affiliations, and all the tools that Genius puts at your disposal to manage Affiliations beyond those discussed in this Article.
Since we got started on the topic of Managers and the Affiliation role, you can also check the articles in this Knowledge Base that discuss the Manager role. When your learning initiative begins to scale, it becomes critical to allow your Managers to participate more actively in your learning initiative – and many of the tools available to you, as an Administrator, are also available for your Managers to communicate with[link: communications], report on[link: reporting], and enroll[link: enrollment] their learners[link: learners] into the courses offered by your organization.