There are many small organizations that don’t use formal learning management systems; however they want simple tracking of the courses. I had someone ask how they could track people in their organization who have taken a compliance course. He didn’t have a lot of learners and wanted something simple.
Here are two quick solutions that work well. They don’t require a lot of work to set up and they’re mostly free.
This solution assumes that the user gets a URL that links to the course. We have no identifying information so we need a simple way to collect who they are and track their completion.
Create a Form
Create a form using a hosted service. In these examples I am using Google Forms and Jot Form. However, you can use a different service if you want (or create your own form on a server). It doesn’t matter. The main thing is you have a way for the person to share info and send it your way.
Embed the Form
Once you have the form, you’ll embed it into the course. In these examples we’re using Rise’s embed block. If you use Storyline, the web object works perfectly for this.
Create a Gate to the Form
The goal is to only expose the form when the course is complete. There are many ways to do this. For these demos, I’ll show two ways. In the first, I use a continue block that is locked until the learner affirms completion of the course and agreement with the content. In the second example, I use a quiz to serve as the gate.
Examples of Embedded Forms
These are simple examples to show how the form looks embedded in the course and how you could create a gate to get to the form.
- Jot Form Example: the course has free navigation and user affirms completion to unlock the the gate
- Google Form Example: the course is locked and passing the final quiz unlocks the certificate of completion
Jot Form offers a bit more control and looks more integrated with the course. I colorized the block to match the form’s color.
On the other hand, Google Forms has that enormous header space and scrollbar. I removed the header image and filled it with white to avoid the Frankenform look but it still looks like something pasted into the course. It would be nice to have more control over the look, but it still works fine for what we need and it’s free. Also, the integration with Google Sheets saves a few steps later.
Upload the Course
Track Course Completion
The form collects the data and sends it to the service. Jot Form displays a table with the option to download. Google Form sends the data to a Google Sheet.
Of course, there are many other ways to do something similar to avoid using an LMS, especially if you have programming skills.
At a previous place, we used the course URL to drop a cookie on the person’s computer. At the end of the course, we inserted an .ASP file via a web object. The .ASP file collected the info from the cookie and sent it to the database. Thus we knew who took the course, when they completed it, and their minimum passing score.
Do you have any other ways you use to track the course without using an LMS or paid service? Please share in the comments.
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