Create a resource library with our Knowledge Base & Custom Page Builder!

When someone says “LMS,” we often immediately think of online courses and quizzes. While this is a large part of many learning systems, it is also important to provide learners with supplemental information and resources — such as product reference sheets, quick reference guides, self-help materials, or further reading. As LMS administrators, we must consider ALL aspects of training, which may include building a resource library as part of our training program. 

The SmarterU LMS Knowledge Base feature allows you to gather and organize all your resources in one place. You can then quickly share them using the default Knowledge Base page type, or take things a step further using the SmarterU LMS Custom Page Builder. By building a custom page, you can decide exactly what resources to surface to learners and organize them into the perfect layout customized to your content and training needs.

What is a resource library?

A resource library is a collection of documents, videos, links, and other learning materials. Typically, resources are housed in a central location and organized into a hierarchy based on topic, department, or type. For example, you may build a resource library where learners can find detailed information on your vendors, organized by region. Learners are much more likely to access and regularly reference resources when they are easy to find and housed in a centralized location. 

A comprehensive resource library can supplement your course content, offering further details and opportunities for self-directed learning and review. It can also stand alone, providing a comprehensive deep dive into your product catalog, a home for your corporate guidelines, or a convenient place to find all of your user manuals. The options are endless and can widely vary from organization to organization.

Creating a resource library with the SmarterU LMS Knowledge Base

It’s easy to build a resource library within SmarterU LMS. In just a few clicks, you can create a Knowledge Base that will house all your various resources. Using folders, you can then establish an easy-to-navigate hierarchical structure and manage permissions for each. 

When you’re ready to add your resources, you can upload more than 40 different file types or create wiki-style articles. All of these can be customized to manage access and downloadability. For example, you can include several versions of your company logo (jpeg, png, psd) and make them available for download. 

Displaying resources on a Knowledge Base page

After collecting all your resources, you can share them with learners by adding a Knowledge Base page to your Learner Dashboard. That’s right — no enrollments are required! Resources are available to learners on-demand as they need them. 

The Knowledge Base page type only takes a couple of minutes to create and allows you to:

  • Pick the folder you want to display
  • Manage layout options
  • Filter your content by tag 
  • Manage learners’ ability to search

Need to update your resources regularly? Not a problem! Updates will automatically appear to learners as you evolve your resource library.

Go further with the SmarterU LMS Custom Page Builder 

While a Knowledge Base page is the fastest way to share your resource library, why not take things a step further and build a custom page tailored to your learners’ specific needs?

Using SmarterU’s Custom Page Builder, you can create and organize several Knowledge Base widgets (a smaller version of a Knowledge Base page) in a single view. Within these widgets, you can control what is displayed using the same settings described above. You can also present other widgets alongside your Knowledge Base resources, such as text, images, videos, courses, and more.

ProTip: Regardless of the type of page you create — a Knowledge Base page or a custom page — each learner is only shown the files and folders they have permission to see.

Let’s look at some custom pages created by the LMS administrator at Sweet Home Electronics. 

On this custom page, learners can access user manuals for various products. It features three Knowledge Base widgets, each filtered by a different brand: Apple, Samsung, and Lenovo, respectively. Above each widget, the administrator has added big, clear images to assist with navigation and make the content easy to scan. Learners can come to this single page whenever they need to find a user manual, then quickly find the brand they need and the related resources.

This LMS administrator also created a custom page where learners can find information about the different products they sell. For example, the custom page below — Apple Resource Catalog — contains four Knowledge Base widgets filtered by product type. On the left, learners can access all of the information booklets for the iPhone, organized by model. On the right, learners can quickly find information on Apple accessories, Macbooks, and iPads.

ProTip: Including images for each file and article in the Knowledge Base helps learners quickly find the content they need at-a-glance. 

ProTip:Including images for each file and article in the Knowledge Base helps learners quickly find the content they need at-a-glance.

For example, in the screenshot above, learners looking for information on AirPods can quickly spot the relevant image and related content.

In conclusion, it is essential to remember that training exists outside of courses. By using a Knowledge Base to create a comprehensive resource library, you can provide additional training, opportunities for self-guided learning, full-text manuals, reference guides, and more in a single, centralized location.  

Presenting your resources with a custom dashboard page gives you more control over what you surface to learners and how. The easier your resource library is to find, access, and navigate, the more likely learners will use it. And that is our ultimate goal — for learners to find value in their training content and leverage it to increase their knowledge and effectiveness at work. 

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