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Blackboard Help

Work in a Workflow

The Workflows page displays all of the workflows that a particular user is associated with, whether he is an initiator or a participant. Users can manage their workflow subscriptions, edit, start, or stop workflows that they have created, view workflow details, and add comments to workflows from this page.

If a user is participating in a workflow that has been scheduled—but has not reached them yet—then they cannot access the workflow details.

Use of Web Folders or Shared Locations in Versioning

If a user is the recipient of a workflow, the use of web folders in versioning is dependent on what the user has the appropriate permissions for. If the workflow is on a folder, the user has been granted permission to the folder, and web folders may be used. If the workflow is on a file, the user will not have permissions to the folder the file resides in and web folders will not work.

On the Mac, a web folder is called a shared location.

View Workflows

Click My Workflow Progress or the Workflows link from the collaboration splash page.

The Workflows page has the following functions.

Workflows Page Functions
Function Description
Delete Users can delete workflow instances that they have created.
Subscribe Click to subscribe to selected workflows. The Workflow Notifications page appears.
Display Workflows

Choose from the following display options and click Go:

  • All: Displays all workflows that are associated with a user.
  • Sent: Displays workflows that were initiated by the user.
  • Received: Displays workflows that the user is involved with but were initiated by other users.
  • Scheduled: Displays workflows that a user has not started yet or workflows that a user is participating in that have begun but have not yet reached the milestone with their assigned actions.
  • In Progress: Displays workflows that are in progress.
  • Complete: Displays workflows that are completed.
Name Displays the name of the workflow.
Status Icon A status icon will indicate one of the following: A workflow milestone is overdue. A subscription to all notifications for that workflow. A subscription to activity notifications for that workflow.
Progress Displays the progress of the workflow.
Current Milestone Deadline Displays the deadline of the current milestone of a particular workflow.
Start Date Displays the date that the particular workflow began.
Stop Date Displays the date that the particular workflow was stopped.
Type Displays the type of workflow: Sent or Received.
Status Displays the Start/Stop button. Users can click Start to begin a workflow instance they have created and Stop to stop it. Workflow instances that have been stopped may be restarted by clicking Start.
Edit Select Edit from the contextual menu to display the Workflow Design page for this particular workflow.
Edit Paging Choose how many workflows to display on this page: 25, 50, 100, 200, or ALL and click Go.

Viewing Model Design Details

The Model Design page provides a convenient display of the details of a particular workflow instance. Each milestone of this workflow is listed on this page in a collapsed view. The view can be expanded to display detailed information for the actions that make up the milestone. Workflow participants can edit actions within the milestone and add comments.

Workflow Owners have two overrides at their disposal: they can override an action to complete or fail it. For example: Joe is assigned an action in milestone 1 and is sick, rendering him unable to complete the action. The owner of the workflow can use the Approve Action function to move the workflow on to the next milestone.

Access the Model Design Page

  • Select Open from the contextual menu for the appropriate workflow on the Workflows page.
  • Select Open from the contextual menu for the appropriate action on the Actions page.

The Model Design page contains the following functions:

Model Design Page Functions
Function Description
Milestone Expand/Contract Click the plus/minus icon to expand and contract the details for that milestone.
Content Items Each of the content items that are associated with a milestone may be accessed by clicking the link.
Override Options  
Approve Action Click this button to approve this action and move the workflow on to the next milestone.
Fail Action Click this button to fail this action.
Status History  
Edit Action Click this button to display the Update Action page.
Comments Click this button to add comments to this action.
Expand All Click this button to display the text for each comment in the field below.
Collapse All Click this button to collapse the text for each comment in the field below.

To Do List Items

The Actions page organizes and displays all of the actions associated with a particular user.

Once an action is completed, it is automatically removed from the Actions page by the system. The user may still access this workflow (and action) from the My Workflows page.

Access the To Do List

Click To Do List from the collaboration menu.

-OR-

Click To Do List from the collaboration splash page.

The Actions page contains the following functions:

Actions Page Tasks
Function Description
Display Actions Choose from the following display options and click Go:

Types:

  • All Workflows: Displays actions from all workflows that are associated with a user.
  • Current Workflows: Displays actions from workflows that are in progress.
  • Scheduled Workflows: Displays actions from upcoming workflows.

Status:

  • Not Started: Displays actions that a user has not started.
  • In Progress: Displays actions that are in progress.
  • Complete: Displays actions that are completed.
Status Icon Icons displayed in this column indicate that an action deadline is overdue or that an action is required.
Action Name Displays the name of the action.
Action Status Displays the status for the action.
Action Deadline Displays the deadline for the action.
Workflow Name Displays the name of the workflow associated with this action.
Update Click Update to display the Update Action page.
Details Click to view the details of the workflow.

Updating Actions

The Update Action page lists all of the details and content items associated with a particular workflow action. The status of the action can be changed and comments may be added.

The workflow owner can override an action to complete or fail it entirely. For example: Joe is assigned an action in milestone 1 and is out sick. The owner can use the Override Complete function to move the workflow to the next stage. This is available to the owner on the Model Design page.

Any user involved in the workflow can add comments to actions while only users assigned to an action can edit the status for that particular action. For example: if one user is assigned an action in milestone 1, that user can go into the workflow during milestone 2 and add comments to actions in milestone 2.

How to Update Actions

The Workflow Action page can be accessed in the following ways:

  • Click Edit for the appropriate action on the To Do List page.
  • Click Edit Action for the appropriate action on the Model Design page.

The Update Action page contains the following functions:

Update Action Page Tasks
Function Description
Instructions Displays the instructions for this action. Read only.
Deadline Displays the deadline for this action. Read only.
Required Displays the Required/Not Required status of the action. Read only.
Content Items Displays the links to any content items associated with this action.
Status Choose from the following options to change the status of this action:
  • In Progress
  • Approved
  • Not Approved
Subject Enter a subject in the field provided.
Comment Enter a comment related to the change in status.
Status History Displays the status history of this action. Use the Expand All and Collapse All buttons to expand or collapse the history data.

Workflow Notifications

The Workflow Notifications page allows users to manage the notifications from a particular workflow.

The Workflow Notifications page can be accessed by selecting a workflow from the My Workflows page and clicking Subscribe. Users can edit the notification settings for one or more workflows at the same time.

How to Set Notification Preferences

  1. Select one of the following options:
    • I need to complete an action: The user receives notifications regarding only the status of milestones within the workflow in which the user has actions to complete, not the overall status of the workflow.
    • Any events occur: The user receives all notifications from a workflow, including action and milestone status.
    • A workflow completes or fails: The user receives notifications only when a workflow is completed or has failed.
    • Never: The user will not receive workflow notifications.
  2. Click Submit.

How to Opt-out of Workflow Notifications

Content management users can also opt out of all workflow notifications by using the Personal Settings in the Tools menu.

  1. Under Tools, click Personal Settings.
  2. Select the Opt out of Workflow Notifications check box.
  3. Click Submit.

How to Send an Email

Users can email files and folders to specific users, a group of users or to anyone with a valid email address from a content area.

  1. Select a file or folder in the content area by clicking the appropriate check boxes.
  2. Click Email Items.
  3. Click To.
  4. Choose who to send the email message to:
    • Click Select Specific Users to browse for a username. Click Submit.
    • Point to Select Group of Users to choose a group. Click Course, Course Group, Organization or Organization Group. Select a group by clicking the appropriate check boxes. Click Submit.
    • Click Add Email Address to enter an email address. Click Submit.
  5. Optionally, click Cc and Bcc and choose who to send copies of the email message to.
  6. Type a Subject and Message.
  7. Click Submit.