Enhance the Power of SumTotal Learning with Customizable News Pages

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The most powerful feature in SumTotal Learn is the customizable news content area. It enables you to provide personalized news and information to users unique to their organization, domain, or active user mode. It creates many possibilities to enhance the user experience for learners, their managers, and business leaders. Begin by improving the learner experience.

Enhance the Learner Experience

There are many ways to create an engaging learner experience. First, use motivational tools in News Pages like progress bars, leader boards, and achievement badges to engage users. These simple displays encourage learners to learn and increase completion rates for optional learning activities.

Second, provide information that is valuable to your people. You can the news feeds to include information about self-development programs, up-skilling opportunities, and specialized industry news. Links to learning resources and other useful information can also be helpful.

Third, use the power of social learning by providing access to social learning tools, such as learning communities on your intranet or private LinkedIn groups.

Monitor Learning Activities

Next, explore how information can make it easier for managers to support employee development. An essential part of motivational leadership is knowing how people are progressing in their development activities. Learning progress displays for the team and each member will help a manager know where to focus development efforts.

You can also help managers by providing completions, certification status, or any other useful compliance metrics.

Now, let’s expand on the idea of metrics to see how we can use advanced analytics to improve business results.

Create a Learning Analytics Dashboard

One of the enhancements most desired by SumTotal customers is a customizable analytics dashboard. The easy customization of News Pages makes it possible.

Using SumTotal Advanced Reporting enables you to create graphical charts that provide actionable insights into learning performance and its impact on the business. We can display multiple analytical widgets in an interactive dashboard, and let users decide which widgets are important to them.

Here are some examples of the real-time data we can provide for business leaders and managers.

  • Monitor completion of certification and compliance training and drill down to isolate problem areas
  • Display the impact of various modes and methods on learning retention, and
  • Analyze workforce readiness. This enables executives to track vital information like progress on ramping up for new product            lines.

Your Turn

These are only a few of the benefits of building enhancements in the SumTotal customizable News Pages. There may be many other ways you can use this feature to improve your business. If you think of an idea that might help others, leave a comment to let our readers know about it.

SumTotal UI Customization: 6 Ways to Improve your SumTotal News Pages


SumTotal News Page is one of its most powerful features. It is a blank page web SumTotal provides for us to present news and information for users, but because it is a blank web page, the possibilities are endless.

We want to show you six ways you can use the news page to enhance the SumTotal user experience. What you can do is not limited to these six ideas, but we believe they will give you a start on knowing what you can do to make SumTotal a more useful business tool.


By combining static content, configurable widgets, and communication tools, you can transform  your LMS news page into a personal experience for each user. These elements enable learners to customize the experience to their own preferences.

They can set their own goals, learn at their own pace, and communicate with instructors to personalize the learning process. You can put learners in charge of managing their development by letting them control the activities and content on the news page of a learning management system.

Course Roadmap

Creating roadmap for learners can be very useful tool for balancing self-directed learning with the needs of the organization. You can organize content listings in any way you like, and separate required and optional learning paths.


Social learning has been with us since the dawn of time. Now, with web-enabled collaboration tools, we can multiply the ways people can learn from each other. We can expand the pool of learning resources around the world, and connect an expert on one side of the world with a knowledge-seeker on the other side.

SumTotal provides ways for people to share links to learning activities and to communicate with each other, but you can do much more. The news page can be a hub for learning communities you set up for your users, or you can allow them to create their own. You can create them on your own intranet, or set up private groups on LinkedIn or other social sites.

Pages to Watch

One of the best trend features is enhanced Pages to Watch, a benchmarking tool that allows you to compare your page’s performance with other pages. Statistics include total page likes, new page likes, number of registrations, and engagement. You can compare engagement, registrations, and course completions, and benchmark against peers and partners.

Multi-Lingual News Pages

Ten years ago, English was the language of the internet. This is no longer true. As the use of mobile devices worldwide has grown, users now expect the web experience to be in their own language. Translation services are becoming more available and affordable, and SumTotal is making the use of multiple languages easier.

If you have a global operation, multilingual content on your news page can increase user engagement, and you can use the news page as a way to localize and personalize your content for all your users by giving control to local administrators.

Company Photos and Videos

The news page is a powerful tool for presenting company photos and videos to announce upcoming events, product launches, video news, and any other content. Company photos and videos can be localized for greater impact.

These ideas can serve as a starting point for your own creativity. Visit our blog to see how you can use other ideas to make your news page into a powerful business tool.

Transform Your SumTotal News Area into Gamified Training Dashboard

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SumTotal Learn offers many options for personalizing the user experience. One of the most powerful features is the customizable news content area. It is a basic HTML page that is a blank slate for you to provide personalized content for users, based on their organization, domain, and active user mode.

Using some simple game mechanics, you can turn a space designed for static news into an interactive training dashboard.

Authoring a Simple News Page

Authoring a basic HTML page requires only a text editor and some fundamental HTML knowledge. Even with limited HTML, you can quickly deploy a better user experience. You can add hyperlinks to external Web sites, embed email addresses, and link to documentation or learning activities in the LMS or online.

If you are experienced in using a word processor to format headings, bullets, and hyperlinks, you will find the basic HTML for setting up a simple news page not hard to learn. We recommend the tutorials provided free by W3Schools. It won’t be long until you are trying new things to make the page more attractive and engaging.

Create an Interactive Training Dashboard

Using SumTotal news page features, advanced configuration options, and some advanced HTML you can create a highly customizable, intuitive, and interactive training dashboard.

Here are a few examples of what you can do:

1. Track Learning activities and progress

One of the learning design techniques gaining interest over the past couple of years is gamification. It is not games – it is the use of game mechanics to engage users in their activities and change behaviors. One of the most powerful techniques is the progress bar.

If you shop online, you have probably noticed how there is a bar on the page that shows where you are in the purchase process and how far you have to go. Years of tracking consumer behavior proved beyond any doubt that progress bars motivate buyers to complete the purchase. The same principles apply to training., Using progress bars causes learners to move through the process more quickly and increases completion rates.

For non-linear learning activities, we can improve learning retention and completion rates by grouping activities into sections and awarding digital badges for completing each section.

For progressive learning programs, users can be awarded achievement levels for each successive step in the program. Achievement levels create an enhanced sense of accomplishment and motivate learners to try harder to achieve the next level.

2. Knowledge Documents

You can add various links to information resources for your learning programs. These can be web pages, documents, videos, or audio files.

3. Rotating News Banner

A rotating news banner captures attention to market your company news and new learning programs.

4. User interface configurability

The look and feel of the user interface (UI) influences learner’s enthusiasm for learning and the organization. SumTotal Learn provides the ability to upload your own skins and logos to provide users with a branded experience.

We hope these ideas have made you aware of some of the things you can do to motivate learners and make SumTotal Learn your own. The SumTotal Administrator Guide provides basic guidance for managing news pages. To create customization, you will need knowledge of HTML. If you are not a skilled HTML user, you can enlist the help of your IT group or contact us or learn HTML free at W3Schools.

SumTotal User Interface Customization: Personalise your SumTotal news area with widgets

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Using SumTotal LMS advanced news page functionality and other configurable options, we can deploy a personalized dashboard with custom widgets that present learners with mission critical and actionable information. These widgets greatly enhance the usability and help the learners to be more effective on the job. Learners can also customize them by changing their settings, resizing them and moving them anywhere within the news area. Based on the organization needs, you can deploy a variety of widgets like upcoming certifications, company news, knowledge resources ( like documents and videos ), popular courses, learner statistics and KPIs, and advanced analytics.

These widgets provide users with an easy access to all the crucial information, in a way that is easily manageable and configurable according to your brand’s uniqueness. This advancement brings you many features and advantages. Some of them are -


  •         Load different widgets, each having its own functionality
  •         Dynamic Content (Enable Auto refresh setting)
  •         Auto Save maintained in browser storage
  •         Drag/Drop, Minimize & Maximize widgets
  •         Change Layout and color themes


  •         Fast access to information
  •         Increases Communication
  •         Speed of Work
  •         Easier Access


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Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.

Customized learning using Sumtotal news page