New in 8.1: Customizable Learning Portal Page

Users in VTA Learner have long been able to customize their “start” page, and the administrator can set a default. In version 8.1 we add a customizable Learning Portal page.


With VTA Learner we try to give your users the best experience possible.  A critical component of a good user experience is ease of navigation.  Here are some of the items we added in previous versions to improve user experience:

  • In version 7.2, we added the user-defined start page option.  This means that when a user logs on they can start at their page of choice, bypassing the menu entirely.
  • Also in 7.2, we added “Menu Favorites”, so users can create a list of their most frequently used options.
  • With version 8.0, we added a user customizable menu.  With this menu, users can group their most frequently used items, re-arrange options and even remove options they do not use.

Now, coming in 8.1 we have completed work on a customizable landing page that we call “My Learning Portal”.

The Learning Portal Page

If you have used the Dashboards in Learner, the concept of the new Learning Portal will be familiar to you.  Like Dashboards, the Landing Page uses “widgets” that you can add to one of two zones on the page.  The page contains a “main zone” on the left for larger widgets, and a “sidebar zone” on the right for smaller widgets.  Here’s a sample of the new Learning Portal page.

Learning Portal

So far, here are the widgets we have built for this new page.

  • My 30 Day Plan
    This shows all the courses on a student’s learning plan that are due within the next 30 days.  It also includes past due training.
  • My In-Progress Training
    This widget shows the first 30 courses that are “in-progress” for a student.
  • About Me
    This widget shows demographic information stored about you (such as Department and Job Title), as well as your picture.
  • My Schedule
    This widget shows a calendar.  Any days you are scheduled for a class are highlighted.  You can “hover” over highlighted days to see more information about the scheduled class.
  • To Do List
    The to do list shows actions that are pending.  This includes summaries of in-progress training, courses to review (for custodians), enrollments to approve (for supervisors) and a summary of development plan items that are due.

Administrator Configuration

As with Dashboards, the first time you arrive at this page it is blank… because you have not configured any widgets.  To make setup easier, the site Administrator can setup default options.  If your Learning Portal is blank, Learner automatically adds the default  widgets.

Art Werkenthin
Art Werkenthin is president of RISC, Inc. and has over 30 years' experience working with LMS systems in the Oil & Gas, Retail, Finance and other industries. Mr. Werkenthin holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.B.A. in Information Systems Management from the University of Texas. Mr. Werkenthin is a member of the ADL cmi5 committee and frequently presents on cmi5 and xAPI. Follow him on Twitter @AWerkenthin for xAPI and cmi5 updates, as well as blog post announcements.