Frontline Education

Understanding the PLM Solution

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This article provides the "big picture" of an Organization Admin's Professional Learning Management (PLM) solution. These high-level topics include activity and form flow management, basic user types, and administrative roles.

Professional Learning Management (PLM) provides specialized training for teachers, administrators, and other educational professionals.

Tracking and Managing Professional Learning

PLM is a highly configurable system that allows organizations to track and manage professional learning in different ways and to grow and change over time.

Generally speaking, most learning is managed via activities, forms, or a combination of the two. This level of flexibility allows the system to support the needs of your organization.

Understanding Activities 

Activities are added to the district catalog by a Catalog Administrator. Once added, they are available to learners and follow a life cycle, starting with registration.

PLM is a highly configurable system, so you have numerous options when it comes to managing activities. These configurations allow the experience to align with your organization’s needs.

This is a fairly typical example of an activity life cycle:


Each action within the life cycle will be completed by the following user types:

  • Registration Process: Learner, Instructor, Catalog Admin
  • Learning Process: Learner
  • Evaluation Completion: Learner
  • Mark Attendance/Mark Complete: Instructor for Attendance, Learner for Complete
  • Credit/Hours Granted: Organization Admin, Activity Owner
  • Activity Archived: Catalog Admin

Understanding Forms

Forms shape a user's experience, and you have a number of different forms that can be put into action.

Form types include:

  • Fill-in Forms: Used to manage and track learning (e.g. out of a district conference request or a graduate credit form where users can request permission to participate in and receive credit/hours for completing external learning).
  • Log Forms: Used to track learning within an organization (e.g. coaching or activity mentorships).

There are also other form types that can track learning within an organization. These alternatives include forms that work in conjunction with activities (e.g. registration forms to get approval to register in an activity within the district catalog or mark-complete forms, which allow the learner to provide more information once the learning is complete.

These forms can be configured to capture the information your organization needs in accordance with the rules and routings that align with your approval process.

Understanding Roles

The roles and permissions in PLM remain flexible enough to align with your organization’s needs, yet they can still be grouped into the following roles:

  • Learners/end users: Educators, teachers, anyone using the system to track and manage their professional learning
  • Instructors: Those with additional permissions who support learners with activities
  • Approvers: Those who receive and respond to requests for approval
  • Catalog Admin: Those with permissions to add and manage activities
  • Config Admin/Organization Admin: Those with the highest level permissions who are responsible for managing all or part of the system

Actions & Visibility

Your system configuration determines the visibility and actions for each user type, and it also determines how you can use the system to track and manage learning in your organization.

Note, the Actions and Visibility sections below remain highly configurable.