Notifications

12 Notifications You Should Be Using

  • 26 August 2021
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Notifications may be the most commonly searched term in the community, but they don’t get the :blue_heart:love :blue_heart: they deserve. We often find that Docebo admins configure a few simple notifications early in onboarding, but fail to continue using them to enhance their learning programs. 

It’s not hard to see why. You can’t have a functional platform without users and courses. It’d be challenging to run an effective operation (or continue to get funded) without reports. And unless you work in a self-contained silo, you’ll want to integrate your learning platform with other applications. But notifications? You can have a platform without notifications, and never know what you’re missing.

Maybe that’s the key: :key2:if you don’t use notifications, you don’t know what you’re missing. In fact, even if you do use notifications, you might be unaware of what’s available to you (unless you memorize this article and the inventory under the “List of Notification Details” section :nerd:). And those unknowns might just be the ingredients you need to change your life (or at least your work as a platform admin).

Are you missing out on the admin life you could be living? Read our list of highly recommended notifications to find out!

 

Just getting started with notifications? Check out the following resources before you dive into the recommendations in this guide:

Docebo Help - Managing and Sending Notifications
Docebo University - Managing Notifications
Docebo Community - Notifications

 

  1. Course Has Expired

(Event Type: Courses)

You’ve just finished setting up courses and some of them have a specified end date. If this is the case, using the Course Has Expired notification serves as an important reminder for your learners that the course is about to expire, if it hasn’t already. This notification is also valuable to admins so they can review and run reports on the expired course.

 

  1. Digest Notifications 

(Event Types: Courses and Discover, Coach & Share)

Ok, picture this. A learner enrolls in seven courses. Just as soon as she finishes signing up, she opens her email to see: seven separate notifications confirming enrollments :fearful:. Over time, this adds up. Learners tend to do what any sane person would do when confronted with an overflowing inbox: they start ignoring all the notifications pouring in.

As any good infomercial would say, “There has got to be a better way!”. 

 

And there is, with Digest Notifications. Instead of receiving a separate notification for each course enrollment, you can batch notifications for the same type of event together. Rather than setting a date for this roundup, you configure its frequency (daily, weekly, or monthly). :ballot_box_with_check:The result: you’ll keep learners up to date on their progress without inundating their platform, email, or Slack channel.

But wait, there’s more (:smiley:cue excitement!). Not only are Digest Notifications available for User Enrolled into a Course; they’re also available for the following notifications:

  • Course Has Expired

  • Courses Marked as Outdated (Admin notification)

  • Assets Marked as Outdated (Admin notification)

  • Learner Has Yet to Complete a Course

 

Note: Unlike most other notifications that are triggered by specific events, Digest Notifications can be scheduled to send to whatever Branches & Groups you select either hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly :date:.

 

 :bellhop: Bonus tip! Check out the following post to learn how to keep track of all notifications that are sent from your platform.

 

 

 

  1. New Course Unlocked in Learning Plan

(Event type: Learning Plan)

Setting up prerequisites for courses in a learning plan is helpful if you don’t want the learner to complete an entire learning plan in a day or if you want to have select courses available to a learner each week. But here’s the thing: your learners will not know when a new course is available to them unless you turn on the New Course Unlocked in Learning Plan notification :unlock:. This can be a powerful way to ensure your learners take the time they need to complete all the courses within a learning plan at an adequate pace.

 

  1. Training Material Has Been Created

(Event Type: Courses)

Sometimes not all the learning objects for a course are ready when you launch a course. Other times, you may decide to revise your course materials after you’ve published them. (It’s ok; it happens.) In these cases, you can add new learning objects to a course and with theTraining Material Has Been Created notification enabled, learners (even those that have completed the course) will receive this notification to prompt them to go back and review the new material :bookmark_tabs:.

:grey_question:There have been a couple of questions from community members asking how to apply this notification to specific users, so check out these Q&A’s for the answers:

 

  1. Digest: Asset Has Been Marked Outdated (Admin Notification)

(Event Type: Discover, Coach & Share)

Learners have the ability to mark as asset as ‘Outdated’ (awesome, right!?). This helpful notification alerts the owner of the asset so they can take action right away. Once the owner updates the asset, the ‘Outdated’ status is removed. :outbox_tray:Out with the old, in with the new! :inbox_tray:

 

:speaking_head:Note: As shared previously in the Digest Notifications section, you can schedule digests to send hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. We recommend configuring this notification to send more frequently so that you can take quick action when an asset is outdated. It always helps to educate your learners about this functionality and process. :thumbsup:Help them help you! 

 

  1. Certification Has Expired

(Event Type: Certification)

Unlike Certificates, Certifications require maintenance. And unless learners in your organization stay on top of expiration dates, Certifications will lapse. :negative_squared_cross_mark:That’s bad -- particularly in compliance use cases. If you certify learners, give them the nudge they need to complete retraining assignments before their Certifications expire by leveraging the Certification Has Expired notification. Be sure to set this notification before the deadline to provide learners time to renew their credential :page_with_curl:.

 

  1. ILT/Webinar Session Starting

(Event Type: Courses)

ILT ( or “Instructor-Led Training”) refers to live training delivered in a :pencil2:traditional classroom setting or :computer:virtually by webinarWe’ve all experienced signing up for something, then promptly forgetting about the appointment. With this simple last-minute reminder, you can alert learners that training is about to begin. Your attendance records will reveal the difference taking this simple step makes :chart_with_upwards_trend:

 

  1. User Waiting to Be Approved to a Webinar/ILT Session

(Event Type: Courses)

In a heavily-enrolled or phased ILT course, you might offer multiple individual sessions. What happens when learners enroll in a course that requires instructor approval (by configuration or because of overenrollment)? Nothing -- unless the trainer reviews the request. 

 

The User Waiting to Be Enrolled in ILT Session notification :rotating_light:pings the instructor to admit or waitlist affected learners. It’s a must if you want to manage live training registrations effectively. 

 

:bulb:Bonus tip: If you include waitlists for your courses or require admin/instructor approval for enrollment, but sure to also use the User Approved into ILT Session notification so that your learners know when they’ve been added.

 

  1. User Has Not Logged In 

(Event Type: Users)

Suppose your user provisioning is automated. Rules in your HRIS or in Salesforce determine who gets admitted, and what learning experience is delivered. That makes it possible for users to be in your platform without ever logging in or viewing learning assets. The horror! :scream:

But fear not -- there’s a solution at hand. To increase engagement, you could configure a User Has Not Logged In notification, letting target audiences like account managers or even power users know that inactive learners aren’t taking advantage of training offerings. You can even configure this notification to send directly to your learners to remind them to access the platform :incoming_envelope:. Within this notification, you can set time constraints for reporting this inactivity (by number of hours, days, or weeks after registration) -- a key consideration for learning opportunities with deadlines. 

 

  1. New Content Published (Discover, Coach & Share)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​(Event Type: Discover, Coach & Share)

In case you didn’t already know, the vast majority of learning doesn’t happen in e-learning modules or in classrooms. It happens informally and socially, unfolding in the flow of work .

That’s why we created Discover, Coach & Share. Using specialized Channels, you can capture those conversations as they happen in real time :speech_balloon:.

:boom:The catch: that content only benefits those who know it’s there.

So when an expert approves user contributions and shares them to a channel, you can use this notification to alert asset owners and superadmins that exciting new insights are going live, so they can promote and track the conversation. Have channels that allow users to submit content without Expert or Superadmin approval? We’ve got you covered. Simply use the New Content Uploaded notification. It behaves identically to the New Content Published notification, only for assets in channels that don’t require peer review.

 

  1. Asset Marked as Best Answer (Discover, Coach & Share)

​​​​​​​(Event Type: Discover, Coach & Share)

Imagine seeing an interesting question appear in a channel. Intrigued, you follow the conversation for a little while, then move on to your work for the day. Unless you monitor that thread, you might not notice when a channel expert provides a definitive answer to the question.

But if your administrator has enabled the Asset Marked as Best Answer notification, you will. Not all answers are created equal -- and this notification lets you know when a user has given a :microphone:mic-dropping solution that resolves the issue once and for all.

:person_with_blond_hair_tone1:Bonus: let’s say, hypothetically, the expert answers the question by sharing an updated policy document in PDF. You know what you could do? Share that source of truth as a PDF in the notification itself. Our own Shaune Peebles shared this cool solution with the Community.

 

  1. New Contest Started (Gamification)

​​​​​​​(Event Type: Gamification)

Ah, the endorphin rush that accompanies configuring this notification!

Why the excitement, you ask? Because it signals a new contest has begun (obviously), but also because it broadcasts to the world (or at least the notification audience) that you’re using Gamification to engage learners. Let the games begin! 

 

 

Well, there you have it: twelve powerful notifications that you should be using. If you’re stuck on building your notification strategy, use this guide and if you need a refresher on how to configure notifications, don’t forget to check out our “Managing Notifications” course in Docebo University.

 

And, please share below :point_down: :

  • Are any of these notifications brand new to you?

  • How many are you currently using? 

  • Are there any others that you use that aren’t on this list? 


13 replies

Userlevel 5
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I read your article and thought brilliant, I’ll try digest notifications.

I can’t work out where to start. I want to list more than one course but I have no idea what the system recognizes as a course name [course_name] could relate to any course. How do I make it specific. The only information I can find is this on Docebo’s knowledge base (list of notification events and conditions) and it doesn’t help at all. How do I define the courses I want in the list??

Any ideas gratefully received 

 

Userlevel 7
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Really great question @Lucy.blake. I’m happy to share some more information about how notifications like the Digest: User enrolled into a course and Digest: Learner has yet to complete a course notifications function.

The [course_name] shortcode will always pull from the Course Name of the course as configured in Docebo Learn. 

You’re absolutely correct that in the case of these digest notifications, there could be any number of specific [course_name] shortcodes, depending on how you configure the notification. This is where the [items] and [/items] tags come into play. You can think of these tags as containers that allow the configured copy of your notification to repeat for the number of times that’s relevant for that specific notification. 

Let’s walk through an example to help visualize how all of theses components work together.

 

Scenario

I’d like to create a Digest: User enrolled into a course email notification that applies to All Branches & Groups and includes these 3 courses:

  • Alpha Course
  • Beta Course
  • Charlie Course

I’d like this digest notification to send to all Power Users with a specific profile weekly on Mondays at 8am. 

 

Process

  1. Navigate to ⚙️Admin Menu > Notifications > Manage > New Notification
  2. Select Digest: User enrolled into a course under the Courses event section
  3. Add a Code
  4. Select Email checkbox
  5. Navigate to Email
  6. Enter From (name) and From (email)
  7. Select English (Default language)
  8. Edit the Subject
  9. Edit the Description
    1. This is where you’ll want to configure the message that will appear per relevant course between the [items] and [/items] tag (see below)
Preview of notification description​​​​​​

 

Note: the [course_name] on [subscribed_at]. This course expires on [expire_at]. copy will repeat for every relevant item in the notification

  1. Select Next Module
  2. Schedule notification to send Every Week on Monday at 08:00, then select Next Module
  3. Select to apply the notification to All Branches and groups
  4. Select to target the Power Users role and select the appropriate profile
  5. Select to apply the notification to Select Courses and select:
    1. Alpha Course
    2. Beta Course
    3. Charlie Course
  6. Select Save and Activate

 

Results

Now that you’ve configured these settings, here’s the resulting behavior for two different learners:

 

Learner A

  • Learner A enrolls in Alpha Course on 11/17/2021 and enrolls in Beta Course on 11/18/2021
  • A single Digest: User enrolled into a course notification will send to all Power Users with the associated profile on Monday, 11/22/2021 at 8am including the following information:

Learner A has been enrolled in the following courses:

Alpha Course on 11/17/2021. This course expires on 12/17/2021.

Beta Course on 11/18/2021. This course expires on 12/18/2021.

 

Learner B

  • Learner B enrolls in Alpha Course on 11/17/2021, enrolls in Beta Course on 11/18/2021, and enrolls in Charlie Course on 11/19/2021
  • A single Digest: User enrolled into a course notification will send to all Power Users with the associated profile on Monday, 11/22/2021 at 8am including the following information:

Learner B has been enrolled in the following courses:

Alpha Course on 11/17/2021. This course expires on 12/17/2021.

Beta Course on 11/18/2021. This course expires on 12/18/2021.

Charlie Course on 11/19/2021. This course expires on 12/19/2021.

 

You can see that in both cases, the [course_name] shortcode populated with the names of the courses into which the learners enrolled. You would never see the course name of a course that you did not select in Step 14 of the Process section of this post.

 

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any further questions about how notifications work. I’ll reiterate how helpful it can be to follow the instructions in the following post to make sure you have visibility into all notifications that send from your platform:

 

Userlevel 1

Is there a digest notification to send notifications to their manager for employees that have not completed their learning plan?

Is there a notification that will trigger when a session has been marked as completed? I would love to set this up if it is available. Right now all I see is a notification for when a course has been completed, However that is not working for me currently 

 

Thank you for any assistance you can provide. 

 

Userlevel 7
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Hey @justin.grunert @anew-marks, great questions!

 

@justin.grunert unfortunately, there isn’t currently a digest notification for learnings who have yet to complete their learning plan. There is, however, a digest notification called Digest: Learner Has Yet To Complete A Course that could help you with your needs. What I recommend is creating this notification and assigning it specifically to the last course in the assigned Learning Plan. To take it one step farther, I think it’d be most effective for the final course in your Learning Plan to be some sort of comprehensive assessment course that learners have to pass in order for the Learning Plan to be marked complete. Let me know if you have any questions. I hope this one helps!
 

@anew-marks the notification you’re looking for is the User Has Passed ILT Session notification.

 

Pro tip: Notification Events & Conditions Knowledge Article

 

I was able to find both of these notifications thanks to our fantastic Notification Events and Conditions knowledge article. I simply used the CMD + F keyboard shortcut to search and discover a few keywords, then clicked down to the individual notifications to ensure that they had the appropriate trigger and applied to the appropriate audience for your use cases.

 

Let me know if you have any questions!

Userlevel 3
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We are getting questions asked via the course widget “Questions and Answers”. Which is the notification to be configured to alert our power users?  

Userlevel 7
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We are getting questions asked via the course widget “Questions and Answers”. Which is the notification to be configured to alert our power users?  

Hi @simonogdon, apologies for the delay. The team is looking into this and will provide the answer as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience!

Userlevel 6
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@simonogdon I’ve done some testing and can confirm that there is not currently a notification that can trigger from the Questions and Answers course widget. I wish I had a solution for you! I imagine such a notification would be really useful.

I would recommend you go and vote for the following idea! It looks like you’re not the only one who would like notifications for this widget:

 

Userlevel 7
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OOOh, missed that idea, thats a good one, thanks for surfacing @elliott.vickrey !

Userlevel 3
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Hi @erin.brisson 

Thanks for these tips.

Our users are external customers so if they don’t engage with and get value out of our content then they won’t renew their subscription.

I’m interested to understand a bit more about Tip 9 ‘User Has Not Logged In’ as we actually did have a crack at this a few months back for exactly the reasons you’ve cited ie to increase engagement.

We deactivated the notification because it essentially ‘spammed’ users until they DID log in.

I know configuration can be key with notifications and we did lodge a ticket to get help from Support and they pointed us to another community post which indicated that others were having the same problem. One of the comments on that post referred to these ideas from the old Ideas Portal

I gather these ideas did not make it across when Ideas were brought into the community but this interaction with Support was 7 months ago.

I’d be really keen to reactivate this if we could get it working as we’d hoped it might. Has anything changed? Or can anyone else offer suggestions as to how we can accomplish this?

 

See extracts from our Support Ticket explaining use case below:

Question Logged as Support Ticket

“I’m trying to configure the 'user never logged in' notification in such a way that we can use it but I'm struggling with the logic.

Perhaps I'm just getting myself confused but I don't think it is possible to achieve what we're hoping to.

The goal is to send a notification to all users who have never logged for the last 70 weeks BUT:

  1. we don't want it to trigger if they were only created in the last 4 weeks since the messaging would not be appropriate since they are still quite 'new'
  2. we can't leave the notification active because it will keep 'spamming' any users that were included in a previous send until they do log in

My plan was to activate the notification and allow it to send once and then turn it off to avoid the issue mentioned in point 2 above but that won't work since the trigger is tied to the specfic elapsed time rather than a date range. So tonight it would send to everyone who hasn't logged in for 70 weeks but it won't send to anyone hasn't logged in for 69 weeks. We'd have to leave the notification active for that to happen but then we hit the problem mentioned in point 2 above.”

 

Support Ticket Response

“USERS_NEVER_LOGGED_IN notification works as follows:


The notification is triggered on users who:

  • are not an anonymous user (which is a tech support user)
  • have never logged in to the platform
  • are active and the expiration date is not set.

 
1. takes the registration timestamp of each user 
2. adds the amount of hours/day/week you specified in the notification configuration
3. check if the timestamp obtained is in the last hour/day/week compared to the timestamp this code is run
 
Examples:
 
with notification set to notify the user after 2 hours, if the user registers at 8:13AM he's going to be notified when the job runs at 11:00AM
 
with notification set to notify the user after 5 days, if the user registers on Oct 5th he's going to be notified when the job runs on Oct 11th
 
Therefore, the notifications will keep 'spamming' any users that were included in a previous send until they do log in. I have seen a community post that seems to be similar to your inquiry on How do you handle users that have been added to the system but have never logged in?

Userlevel 7
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@david.stock I can confirm that the above ideas listed did not make it through the migration. I’m tagging @elliott.vickrey in the hopes that they can/find help.

Userlevel 3
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Hi @erin.brisson / @elliott.vickrey 

I’ve since tried to approach this from another angle using the Automation App to trigger the export of a CSV file of all users who have not logged in for the last XX days. Unfortunately it seems that whilst the Automation App does allow for CSV exports, this is not an action that is available when choosing a scheduled rule with ‘user inactivity’ as the trigger.

I was wondering if you had any luck with migrating/investigating the ideas from the old Ideas Portal with regards to using Notifications to re-engage inactive users?

Userlevel 2
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Digest: User enrolled into a course

Is there a reason, why we can select only “Manually” as trigger option and scheduling is not available? 

 

@Jihane  @erin.brisson 

 

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