Resource Search feature in Learner 8.0

Resources were added to VTA some time ago to support competency improvement.  As part of a development plan, a competency assessor can assign resources to a student.  In version 8.0 of Learner, we have added a Resource Search feature to help student’s find resources on their own.

What is a Resource?

First, let’s briefly review VTA Resources.  In VTA, a “Resources” is a source of information (e.g., books, websites, mentor/subject-matter experts, internal company documents, etc.).  Assessors can assign resources to a student’s Personal Development Plan as a means to build competence and/or to help close a proficiency gap.

Resources are somewhat unique in VTA in that YOU define the data you want to track for each Resource Type.  Sample resource types could include:

  • A book
  • A Subject Matter Expert
  • A web site
  • A YouTube video

In the screenshot below, I’ve defined a “book” resource type.


For each “field” that you add to a resource type, you select among several field types:

  • Character type
    This is a short text field
  • Date type
    A date field
  • Email Address type
    An email address.  You would use this in place of a Character field type when you want Learner to display an email address as a “mail to” link.
  • Student type
    This field type will display a “Lookup” to a person in the VTA Student table.
  • Number type
    A numeric value.  For example, if I wanted to include the “price” for my book resource type, I would use used a Number field type.
  • Text type
    This is for large text fields, like descriptions.
  • Url type
    A web address.  When Url is used for a resource, Learner will display the entered text as a link.
  • Vendor Contact type
    This field type will display a “Lookup” to the Vendor Contact table.

Once you have defined your Resource Types, you can create Resources.  In my example, I can add as many “books” to the Resource table in VTA as I wish.


Resource Search

With that background, let’s look at the new Resource Search feature in Learner.


In the example above, I entered “crane” in the Search Text box, then clicked the Search button.  Learner found two results: a Subject Matter expert and a book.  I can further filter my search by unchecking Resource Types on the left side of the results.

What is Searched?

Learner searches the following for resources:

  1. The resource “name”.  This is a built-in field for each resource.
  2. The resource “description”.
    Important Note:  I should NOT have created a Description field for my “book” resource type.  Each resource automatically includes a built-in description field, and it is the built-in field that is included in the search.
  3. Resource Tags
    Each resource should be assigned one or more Search Tags.

Next: Using YouTube Videos as Resources


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.