Leverage Free Learning Sources and Connect Your Own Courseware
Viva Learning is part of the Microsoft Viva “employee engagement” platform along with Viva Topics, Viva Connections, and Viva Insight. The Viva Learning app is now available to Microsoft Teams users. In this article, I describe three easy steps to get the Viva Learning app into use without any fuss and bother.
Configure Learning Sources in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center
The first step is to configure the correct learning sources for the tenant. Go to the Settings section of the Microsoft 365 admin center, choose Org Settings and search for Viva Learning. Out of the box, Microsoft configures LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and Microsoft 365 Training (Figure 1).
Only 125 selected LinkedIn Learning courses are available through Viva Learning. If your organization has LinkedIn Learning premium licenses, you can sign in to access their complete courseware portfolio. The Microsoft Learn and Microsoft 365 training material is available free.
Apart from the default providers, you can add SharePoint Online to make training material created within the organization available through Viva Learning. This process involves adding the URL of a SharePoint Online site where Viva Learning creates a list called Learning App Content Repository. The lists stores the URLs for folders storing learning information.
Another option is to add external providers of learning content such as Pluralsight and Skillsoft. Like LinkedIn Learning, you’ll need licenses to access this content.
Add the Viva Learnings App to a Teams App Setup Policy
The easiest way to bring Viva Learning to the attention of users is to pin the app to the Teams app navigation bar (left-hand rail) along with other default apps like Teams, Chat, and Tasks. You can do this by editing the default app setup policy or, if your organization uses multiple app setup policies, by updating the app setup policies assigned to users to whom you want to make Viva Learning available.
Changes to app setup policies take a little while to reach all clients within an organization, but soon users will see the Viva Learning icon appear in the app navigation bar. For now, the Viva Learning app is not customizable, meaning that you can’t change the icon or text seen by users.
Use Viva Learning
Once the Viva Learning app appears in the app rail, launch it to investigate the available courseware. A search for Teams turned up 1,187 courses (Figure 3). However, 986 belong to LinkedIn Learning and remain inaccessible unless you have the necessary license.
When you access an available course, it either brings you to an external web site or plays within the app. Viva Learning redirects static material like the Microsoft Learn Explore capabilities in Microsoft Teams course to a web page, while video material plays in the app, with or without additional back-up text instructions and background. Figure 4 shows a LinkedIn Learning video playing in the app.
The courses accessed by individual users are available to them through their learning history (Figure 5).
Users can bookmark a course to return to it later. If they think a course is worth viewing by others, they can share a link to the course in Teams chat or to a channel (using the Share to Teams feature – Figure 6) or get a deeplink to the course that they can copy into an email. The deeplink brings the recipient back to Viva Learning in Teams, even if the course is available on the web.
The Learning Begins
The steps described above will get you started with Viva Learning. There’s certainly goodness to be discovered in the courseware available free of charge, even if most of it is already available on the web. For large enterprises, I suspect that the real value of Viva Learning lies in organization-specific training, an exercise probably requiring involvement from and coordination across human resources, employee training, and the IT department. It’ll also be interesting to see if third-party training providers come up with special offers to make their content available through Teams.
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