To understand how pathways work, think of them as a Spotify playlist...
Workspaces = Music album
Resource = Song
Pathway = Playlist
The content/resources need to sit within a workspace (album) in order to be pulled into a pathway. The workspace can be private or open depending on how you wish to use pathways.
If the workspace is private but the user has access to the pathway they will be able to view the resources via the pathway only.
If a user is given access to the workspace and also the pathway, they will be able to access the resources in two separate ways. We recommend only giving users access via pathways, rather than the workspace too, especially if you want to report on compliance training as you could risk receiving two separate activity reports for a user and an incomplete pathway.
You can use a mixture of pathways, resources or workspaces to share content with a user, this will depend on the initiative and what you are wanting to achieve.
When should you use pathways?
Pathways are a way of pulling resources either from the same workspaces or multiple workspaces into a course or journey for a user.
They are a great way of giving your learners the exact resources you want them to complete or read.
However you do not always have to use pathways, and sometimes it may be beneficial just to share 1 single resource with a user or share a workspace with a user so they can view the content as and when they need it and you are just letting them know content is there. You can still use campaigns to do this and can link to a resource in a campaign email or link to an entire workspace in a campaign email too.
Pathways are great for:
Can pull a number of resources into a pathway for a user to complete
Can enforce the order of the pathway so you know the user has read everything
Can set a pass/fail and the user cannot get to the next resource in the pathway if they fail the quiz. Therefore won't be marked as completed in the pathway if they fail a resource within it
Easy to track on analytics, instead of having to track X number of individual resources can track a pathway and who has completed, is in progress or overdue.
Maybe you have a number of resources that are in different workspaces that you can send to an a manager who is struggling or to someone who wants to become a manager
This pathway may not need to have 'enforce pathway order' as it's for someone to view in their own time as and when they need the information.
Tracking what people have viewed/completed:
If you want to track what a user has viewed and its across multiple resources then it will be easier to do this with 1 pathway rather than checking the analytics for each single resource.
If you want to track/report on a pathway then we highly recommend you turn the workspace to private. If you give users 2 ways to access content then some may access via the workspace and some via the pathway and it will confuse your reporting. Therefore if you want to report on content in a pathway ensure the workspace is private and user are only access the content via the pathway.