Now that you have covered many of the workflows offered by Genius around Affiliations, you are ready to create Learners. It is generally a good idea to create Affiliations before creating Learners because in Genius, it is easier to assign Learners to an Affiliation as they are being created as opposed to assigning them to an Affiliation after they have been created. This is especially the case when creating large numbers of learners.
In this Article, we will go over the two methods available to you as an Administrator to create learners. The first method is to create learners manually using the tools available to Add Learners under the Learners tab in Genius. The second method is to create learners in bulk using a .CSV upload. Finally, we also provide you with an overview of all the methods to create learners through the integrations offered by Genius with other external systems such as your organization’s Active Directory or core HR system, amongst others.
When you are finished going over this article, you will know how to get the most out of Genius to create Learners either manually or in bulk. You will also be aware of the options you have as an Administrator to ensure that user accounts are created automatically.
Creating Learners in Genius
When it comes to creating learners, both Managers (users with the AFFILIATION role) and Administrators are able to create learners. However, a Manager can only create learners within the Affiliation that he or she is responsible for. Administrators, on the other hand, can create a learner across all Affiliations. Because of this, if you want to delegate the creation of learners to the Managers at your organization, we highly recommend that you set up your Affiliations structure first.
We will now go over the steps required to create a learner manually in Genius.
Creating Learners Manually
To add a new learner manually, click on the Learners tab and then click on Add Learner on the sidebar to the left-hand-side of your screen. This will allow the Administrator or Manager to enter the information for the new learner. Items marked in yellow are required. Typically, when you set up Affiliations, you will automatically assign that user with a Role in the Learning Management System (LMS) that your organization is using to power its learning initiative – another good reason why you want to set up Affiliations before creating Learners!
Fill in the required fields, assign the Learner you are creating to an Affiliation, assign the Learner you are creating with a username and password, and then click the Save button. If you don’t specify a login and/or a password, Genius will automatically assign one.
A message will indicate that the learner has been successfully created, and the learner will receive an email with his or her credentials. The wording of this email, which can be configured by the administrator, is set in the template AUTO_NEW_USER_CREATED, which can be found under Administration > System Setup > Templates. Clicking on the Learners tab will display a list of all existing learners, including the one recently created:
You can also use the Learners tab to communicate[link: communication in Genius] and enroll large numbers of learners either into individual Sections[link: enrollment] or into complete Learning Pathways[link: pathways]. Note, however, that in order to enroll Learners, you first have to create them, then create Courses and then create Sections of those Courses for them to be able to enroll and complete their assigned coursework.
This sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn’t, and it greatly aids with the housekeeping of your Genius instance. Additionally, Genius also provides you
In the section above, we described the ways in which you could create a single learner by using the graphical user interface provided by Genius. However, most learning initiatives have hundreds or if not, thousands of users. How can you create large numbers of learners without less clicking and saving?
Genius has an answer to this need through a .CSV Upload.. We will dedicate the rest of this Article to describe how you can perform a .CSV upload to create Learners in bulk by uploading a .CSV file that can be ingested by Genius.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When you are performing bulk edits that involve Affiliations, it is critical that the Affiliations you want to place your users into have already been created in the system. To learn about how to create an affiliation in Genius, click here[link: how to create affiliations]
Step 1 – Obtaining a Sample CSV to Format your Data Correctly for Bulk Editing
One of Genius’ most powerful features is its ability to accept CSV imports to edit large numbers of entries in the system. You can use this feature to create users, or edit the existing entries on large numbers of users. In this case, we want to create Learners by uploading some basic profile information about them in the form of a .CSV file.
To do this, we must place our future Learner’s data in a CSV – a comma-separated file – that can be ingested by Genius. This file must have a specific format and specific column titles for it to be ingested by Genius. A sample .CSV file you can use as a guide has been attached to this Article.
Open the sample .CSV file and take a look at it. You will find that the fields in it are very similar to the fields in the Add Learner page under the Learners tab that we covered earlier in this Article.
Note that Genius will only ingest data in the format that has been specified in the sample .CSV file. This leads us to the next step in this process – updating your user’s information and formatting the data using the guidelines provided in the sample .CSV file.
Step 2 – Adding your New Learner Data to the Sample CSV Format
Now, it’s time to head out to Microsoft Excel. Fill out the columns in the sample .CSV file using the following guide:
- Login in the sample .CSV file will be the username that your new Learners will use to log into your organization’s instance of Genius.
- LastName in the sample .CSV file will be the learner’s last name (note that Genius typically presents learner names as LASTNAME, FIRSTNAME).
- FirstName in the sample .CSV file will be the learner’s first or given name
- MiddleName is the user’s middle name. If you do not want Genius to modify the existing entry for this field, leave it
- Email is the user’s Email. Note that this is a highly important field, as a confirmation email will be sent to these address immediately after the learners have been created.
- Affiliation is the user’s Affiliation. If you have already created an Affiliations structure for your organization, you can assign your learners to an Affiliation by filling out this field. It is much easier to assign learners to an Affiliation as they are being created.
- LearningPath is the list of Learning Paths that the learner is currently enrolled in. Leave this field blank if you do not wish for changes to be made to a user’s enrollment status. If you are creating learners for the first time, this will probably be the case.
- LocalID is a field reserved for learners who may have an internal ID that they wish to include in Genius. This may not apply for your instance of Genius.
- Password is the user’s Password. The Password you assign to your learners will be emailed to the user in the Confirmation Email sent by Genius when the Learner is created.
- Status denotes whether the learner is Active or Archived. Because the Learners you will be creating for the most part will be new learners, chances are they will be Active.
- Notes correspond to the learner’s Notes that may be included in his or her profile by an Administrator or an Instructor. If there are any special remarks about the learners you are creating, add them here.
Edit the sample .CSV file so that it looks like this:
Save your file in Microsoft Excel. Under File > Save As…, set the file type to “Comma-Separated Values” when you save the file. We have saved our example as an Attachment to this Article.
Step 3 –Uploading the Updated CSV
Now that you have completed your CSV, you are now ready to upload it to Genius. Click on the Administration tab, and scroll down until you see the Operations heading in the sidebar to the left of your screen. Under Operations, you should see a link that reads “CSV Import”. Click on that link, and the following screen should appear:
Under Type, you will find a drop-down menu. You can use this drop-down menu to choose what type of data you want to edit or create in Genius. In this case, we want to create Learners, so we choose Learners.
Under File:, you can click Choose File to browse through your local machine and pick the file you recently created via .CSV input. To make sure everything works, click Preview, and you will see a preview of the data that will be edited or created when you upload this .CSV file:
If you are satisfied with the preview, click Choose File again, and pick the file that you just uploaded to the system to perform the preview. Next, click Upload and you should see a record of the records that were updated as a result of this operation:
Once you see this screen, you are set! You can also use the Import CSV tool found under the Sidebar of the Learners tab to upload your Learners CSV file.
Final Step – Double-Check
Let’s quickly double-check that our efforts paid off. We can go back to the Learners tab and click the Search button on the sidebar. We now look for all learners called Sebastian, just like we did at the beginning of our effort, and we can see that the new learners we just created are Active and their profile information matches our entries in the .CSV upload.
Now, you have gone through the steps to make changes to your learners’ profiles in bulk. If you want to create or make changes on many learners, this is a way to do it. CSV imports allow you to make changes to up to 500 users, so this is a very efficient way to create new Learners for your organization’s learning initiative.
Other Methods to Create Learners in Genius
There are many methods available for creating new learner accounts in Genius. Some of these options include:
- Self-creation - where a learner can shop a catalog of training opportunities and self-create their Learner account in Genius upon checkout. We provide a complete overview of how to allow learners to create their own accounts here[link: self-service account creation];
- Manual Creation - where authorized Managers or Administrators can manually add learner accounts for their employee(s) through the GUI interface included with Genius, as covered above in this Article;
- Bulk Creation - where authorized Managers or Administrators can manually “Import CSV” to bulk create every user in that CSV file, as covered above in this Article;
In addition to these ‘traditional’ methods, Genius also makes it possible for you to create learner accounts through the many integrations offered between Genius and the external, third-party systems that may be in place at your organization. Some of these non-traditional methods include:
- API, which is where an external platform will call a WebService provided by Genius to create new users;
- Secure FTP, where an external platform will upload a daily/weekly file to a secure FTP folder on the Genius server, which will then automatically import the file to create new learners using the bulk upload tools described in this Article;
- Active Directory, where we will use read-only access to get a list of all learners, creating their learner accounts in the Blackboard Registration and Management module (Genius)
In all cases, when a learner account is created, Genius will automatically send a configurable welcome email with the new learner's credentials. If you would like to set up these integrations for your instance of Genius, please feel free to contact Genius Support for additional assistance in setting this up at your organization!