Publish SharePoint Online based training content using Microsoft Viva Learning

Microsoft Viva Learning is a central hub for your organizations training content. It can be integrated with existing LMS systems and other sources such as LinkedIn Learning and Pluralsight to bring together all that training content, surfacing it through Teams. Viva Learning does come with it’s own licensing SKU; however, and this is required for the integration with LMS and third party platforms. With a standard Enterprise license, there is still a lot to be gained from Viva Learning, namely access to Microsoft 365-based training content and a subset (125) of LinkedIn Learning courses.

I’ve previously written about the benefits of the Learning Pathways SharePoint Online site and how it can be used to facilitate training and adoption throughout the organization. As this is SharePoint based, you can also leverage any content that has been added to this site and make it available through Viva Learning. In this post I’ll go through how you can integrate the two, if you haven’t already, make sure to deploy the Learning Pathways site or another SharePoint Online site to host learning content.

Configure Viva Learning for SharePoint Online

Viva Learning will connect to one or more SharePoint Online sites to surface training materials (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, .m4a, .mov, .mp4, .avi) that are hosted there. In Figure 1, I have uploaded a set of training videos and a word document to a new folder, in a document library on the training site.

Figure 1: Training content is added to a folder in SharePoint Online

When the content is uploaded, take note of the URL for the folder using the “Copy Link” option as shown in Figure 2. This will be used in to add the folder to the learning repository.

Figure 2: Copy a link to the folder containing your content

To create the connection to the SharePoint Online you need to first create a Learning Content Repository. To do this, navigate to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center and open up “Viva Learning” under “Settings” -> “Org Settings”. From the Viva Learning settings, tick the option for SharePoint and add the URL of your training site as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Add the URL of your training site to create the Learning Repository

Once this is in place and saved, you will see a new list has been added to the training site called “Learning App Content Repository” (Figure 4).

Figure 4: The Learning App Content Repository list will be provisioned in the site

To add content, open the newly created list and add a new list entry. Give the entry a descriptive name and add the URL for the folder you want to add (Figure 5). You can add multiple folders with different names by adding multiple list items.

Figure 5: Add the source folders to the SharePoint List

When SharePoint content is added, this can take up to 24 hours to be reflected in Viva Learning. Optionally

Deploy the Viva Learning App

To deploy the Viva Learning app (if it’s not already deployed) create or update your App Setup and App Permission policies appropriately. This can similarly to how I deployed the Viva Connections app in this post and when complete should look similar to the App Setup Policy shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6: Configure Teams policies to deploy the Viva Learning app

Surface SharePoint Content in Viva Learning

With the sources configured and the app deployed, after all the changes replicate, users will now see the Viva Learning app in Teams and content from your SharePoint repositories will be surfaced along with any other sources that are enabled as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Content from SharePoint is now surfaced through Viva Learning

To enhance the results from your SharePoint repository, you can also add a “Description” column (Figure 8) to the document library to add more detail. Adding a description to content will replace the text “This is content from your company’s SharePoint library” in the results. There may already be a description column of type “Multiple lines of text” in your library. If there is, remove it and replace with a new one.

Figure 8: Add a description column to enhance results

Summary

While the additional cost of Viva Learning licenses can turn organizations away from deploying it, particularly when they already pay for an LMS; The “seeded” service plan that comes with enterprise licensing does have some useful functionality that can be deployed at no additional cost. If you have invested time into a SharePoint-based knowledge management repository, or are just starting on the Microsoft 365 journey, it’s worth considering leveraging Viva Learning, even at this level to surface content to users.

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