The goals of modifying a form template is to design and deploy a carefully considered form that is simple to identify, that is easy for users to fill out, and that contains the necessary data. Modifying a template involves editing the properties, the design, and the availability of the form.
Information about a template is stored in the template properties. This information is used for listing, classification, and filtering. Identifying the form in the system is done using form properties. Clear and logical properties allow users to be able to find forms more easily.
The first set of fields is template Information.
- Page Header: The page header appears at the top of every page in the form.
- Form identifier: Enter a new form identifier. The new identifier must be unique, and it will be used for batch loading purposes. It does not appear to users.
- Form name: Enter a new name for the template. The name must be unique and appears in the drop-down display for creation of entities.
- Description: Enter a description in the Text Editor. The description appears in the Template Builder.
Modifying a form involves adding, removing, or changing the instructions, step headers, fields, labels, and organization of those elements on the form. Design forms using the following actions:
- Add Instructions: General page instructions can be added for the entire form, and specific instructions can be added for a field. Providing clear and concise instructions helps users understand the form they are using as well as how to enter data into the various fields on that form.
- Add Step Header: A Step Header is a label for a set of fields. Step Headers are used to identify and organize fields on the form, making the form logical and easy to use. Using step headers helps users enter the correct information on the form in a consistent way. For example, an institution always lists course information in a certain order, using a particular format, that presents the title of the course first, the description of the course second, the hosting department third. Technical details about the course number, section number, pre-requisites, and instructor are listed separately. Everyone at the institution is used to looking at course information in the way. Step headers can be used to reproduce the organization of the fields on the form so that they are organized in the conventional way.
- Add Field: Adding a new field to a form includes adding an attribute and defining the way that it is displayed in the user interface (check box, drop-down, or radio button). Adding new fields to a form is the method by which additional data collection is associated with the form.
- Add Related Data: Related data can be any attribute within the system that will be correlated with the other form data. For example on a Course form, related data for the course review cycle can be added.
- Remove: Remove the selected item on the form. Permanent fields do not have a check box to select them for removal.
- Preview: Opens a new window that previews the form—as a user would see it in the user interface—but without the Submit button. Use this tool to see ongoing modifications, and adjust the design if necessary. If the form is changed while the preview is open, it needs to be re-launched to see the change.
- Reordering fields: Fields, instructions, and step headers have a drop-down box that controls the order in which each entity appears on the form. Changing the number in the drop-down changes the order of the associated entity and shifts the other entities on the form. Number 1 appears at the top, number 2 directly after, and so on.
Form templates have two levels of availability: System Availability and Unit Availability. Making the template available to the system allows users to access the form. Making an existing template unavailable to the system prevents users from using it to create an entity, but the form is still used to display previously created entities.
Making a template available to Units controls which Units and, therefore, which users are able to access the form. Templates can be made available to all Units, selected Units, or selected Units and all their sub-Units.