Quick Guides

CourseMill: Assigning Students to a Reporter

This article applies to CourseMill 7.5 and higher. 

Thinking of submitting a support ticket? This article may assist if you are experiencing any of the following in CourseMill:

  • Reporter cannot see students
  • When a Reporter runs a report (native CourseMill reports or Advanced Reports) the results are empty
  • When a Reporter is emailed a scheduled report from the Report Locker, results are empty

These issues are commonly reported to support, so you are not alone! Fortunately, this is an easy issue to address. This topic is also covered in the user management portion of CourseMill admin training. 

If you are a Reporter in CourseMill (rather than an admin) and you are experiencing any of these issues, share this article with your system administrator. Admin rights are required to change the settings outlined in the following article.

About Reporters and Student Assignments

One of the special user roles in CourseMill is a Reporter. You can learn more about user roles in CourseMill here. After you’ve marked a user as a Reporter and assigned them the appropriate permissions, you may notice that your Reporter cannot access any student records, or that their report results are empty. This is a common support question, especially from users who are using the Reporter feature for the first time. This is because a key difference between an Instructor and a Reporter is often overlooked.

One of the important and useful features of the Reporter is that they can only see users they have been assigned. This enables you as a CourseMill admin to ensure that Reporters can only see those users they need, and cannot see those they do not. This allows you to:

  • Give Reporters automatically-filtered search results and cut down on clutter
  • Protect the personal information of your end users by limiting those who can view it
  • Limit the opportunities for human error (by Reporters)
  • Give as much or as little control as is practical to each Reporter, depending on each individual’s role and skill set. 

How to assign users to a Reporter

After your Reporter has been created and permissions have been set, go to Manage Reporters. All Reporters will be listed on this tab, along with how many assignments each Reporter has:

In the example above our Reporter Michael Johnson has one assignment, as you can see. Notice that there are four ways a Reporter can be assigned students, and five methods of creating that assignment. 

Method 1: Assigning a static list of student users

If you choose the Assign Student button, you can assign your Reporter a static list of users. For instance, if Michael Johnson was the head of a department or group whose members rarely change, a static list might be appropriate. 

When you click the Assign Student button you will be able to view all assigned students, and you can add to this list by adding one student ID at a time. If you’d like to see the students’ first and last names, or if you’d like to multi-select, click the select button.

This will open a new menu where you can select one or many students. To multi-select hold down the CTRL button. Once your selections have been made, click the Return Selected Items button. You will return to the original Assign Student menu, where you will click the Assign Student button to complete the assignment.

For advanced users, there is also the option to use Batch Assignments to upload a list of assignments for one or many Reporters in a TXT file. This can be accessed by the Batch Assign button. While this tutorial cannot cover batch assignment in detail, note that this also builds a static list.

A note on the All button in Assign Students: If in the Select Students menu you choose to select All students by clicking the All button, this will assign all students in the system on the day the assignment was created. This means that students created in the future will not be included in the Reporter’s assignment unless the Reporter’s assignment is updated after each addition. Therefore, the Assign Student menu is not the best place to give Reporters access to all students. Assign SubOrg is the best place to automatically assign all students (current and future) to a particular Reporter.

Method 2: Assigning a dynamic list based on SubOrg values

While creating a static list is the easiest way to assign Reporters, it may not be the most useful. Take for instance the example above of a department head that needs to access his department’s employees’ completion data. If the department is large and changes are expected to occur regularly, a dynamic list with criteria you as the admin can set and let run indefinitely may be more practical than keeping a static list up to date with personnel changes over years of use. 

Assign SubOrg allows you to create criteria based on sub-org values to automatically assign any users who meet that criteria to a particular Reporter. Returning to the example, if Michael Johnson is the head of Sales, and Sales is one of the values in a Department SubOrg, then assigning Michael Johnson all students in Sales can be accomplished. 

Assign one value in one SubOrg

To assign one value, go to Manage Reporters and select the desired Reporter, then click the Assign SubOrg button. Locate the relevant SubOrg, and select the appropriate value from the drop-down. In this case, Michael Johnson needs to access all employees in the Sales Department, so the admin has located the Department SubOrg, and selected the single value Sales.

But what about the option -Select Multiple- in this drop-down? This feature can be accessed by selecting this menu option, or by clicking the Select button to the right of the drop-down. If you select multiple values in the same SubOrg, students who fit either value will be assigned to the Reporter automatically. 

Select multiple values in the same SubOrg

Imagine that the example Reporter Michael Johnson heads up Customer Service, so he needs to see everyone in the Sales department AND everyone in the Customer Support department. To accomplish this, select both Sales AND Customer Support in the Select menu. Hold down the CTRL key to multi-select. Once selections are made, automatically pull them into the Selected Items list by clicking the Select button. When this list is complete, finish by clicking Return Selected Items.

When two values are selected from the same SubOrg, it creates what can be referred to as “or” criteria. Put into a sentence this tells the system: If the student matches value A OR value B, then assign them to the Reporter automatically. In other words, the student only needs to match one of the selected values in this SubOrg to be assigned to the reporter.

Select multiple values in different SubOrgs to broaden assignment criteria (“or” criteria)

Let’s imagine instead that the two values we wish to plug into the above “or” statement are in different SubOrgs. In our example, imagine Michael Johnson is the head of the sales department as well as a mentor in the internship program. Therefore, he needs to see every student who is either in the sales department OR who is an intern (regardless of department)

This assignment will touch on two different sub orgs: Department and Job Classification. In this case, we will create two separate assignments. In the Department SubOrg, we will select Sales and click Add Assignment. Then we will set the Department SubOrg back to the default setting of -All-, and select Intern from the classification SubOrg. The end result will look like this:

When assignments are on two separate lines, they create what can be referred to as “or” criteria. Put into a sentence this tells the system: If the student matches value A OR value B, then assign them to the Reporter automatically. In other words, the student only needs to match one of the selected values in either SubOrg to be assigned to the Reporter.

Select multiple values in different SubOrgs to narrow assignment criteria (“and” criteria)

Imagine instead that our Reporter Michael Johnson only needs access to interns in the sales department. We then need to limit his access to only users whose Department is Sales, AND whose Job Classification is Intern. This can be referred to as “and” criteria.

In this example, to create this kind of assignment the admin will select the value Sales from Department, AND select the value Intern from Job Classification. When BOTH selections are made, the admin will click the Add button. The end result will look like this: 

Notice both criteria are on a single line (in a single assignment). Put into a sentence, this tells the system: If the student matches value A AND value B, then assign the student to this Reporter. In other words, the student must match both or assignment will not occur.

Assigning all students to a Reporter

Remember that Reporters and Instructors can be as powerful or as limited as you want, depending on their skills and your needs. Some Reporters may need admin-like privileges to access all students in a particular Organization. 

To allow your Reporter to access all students, set the selection in each SubOrg dropdown to -All- and click Assign. You will see this warning message: 

If you are sure this Reporter should have broad access to all students, click Yes. The end result will look like this: 

Methods 3 and 4: Assigning a dynamic list based on curriculum or course enrollment

Your Reporter may need to access users’ course results, profiles, etc based on their course or curriculum enrollment. When this is the case, you can use either the Assign Curriculum or Assign Course button to complete this action. This will allow your Reporter to access all students enrolled in a course or curriculum, including any students that may be added in the future. If a student is unenrolled from the assigned course(s) or curriculum(s), they will also no longer be accessible by the Reporter. 

The only difference between Assign Course and Assign Curriculum is that in one menu you will see course names, and in the other, you will see curriculum names. In the instructions below the article will review Assign Course, but you can apply this knowledge to Assign Curriculum. 

Imagine that Michael Johnson needs to be able to view all students registered in a particular course or courses. To assign this list dynamically (based on current enrollment) you will click the Assign Course button. If you know the ID or IDs of the courses you wish to assign you can manually enter them, or you can click the select button to open the Select Courses menu shown below:

Like the Assign Student menu, this screen allows you to multi-select. To add courses to your Selected Items list, click the select button, and when the list is complete finish by clicking Return Selected Items.

Modifying Assignments

No matter which method of assigning students you choose, remember that you can always modify them later by clicking the appropriate button (Assign SubOrg, Assign Student, etc). Use either the red X or the delete button to delete an assignment. A warning box will pop up asking you to confirm that you wish to delete the assignment(s) selected. 

Add a new assignment by following the same steps in the previous section, as you did for the Reporter’s initial assignments. Once the Reporter’s assignment is changed, CourseMill will automatically remove any users the Reporter should no longer have access to, as well as adding any students that meet the new criteria. 

Still having Reporter trouble?

If you have reviewed all Reporter assignments and made any appropriate adjustments and the problem you are experiencing persists, please submit a support ticket.

This article last reviewed Jan, 2019. The software may have changed since the last review.