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Create and Edit Workflow Models

Workflow models

If enabled by your institution's administrator, you can create a workflow model that can be used multiple times. Each time a model is used, it's called an instance. A workflow model is similar to a template. When you send a copy of the model to users to complete, you're sending an instance of the original workflow model. For each workflow there is one model, but there can be many instances.

Milestones

Workflows are made up of milestones, which help group specific actions and steps in the process. A milestone provides structure to the workflow by providing the user with smaller goals that they can achieve along the way. Only workflow owners can add milestones.

Actions

Actions are the individual tasks located within workflow milestones. Actions are specific expectations or steps in the process of the overall workflow. Actions can be assigned to a single user or a group. Workflow designers can add actions to the workflow model when it is being designed or when it is in progress, provided that the action is added to a milestone that has not started.

A model is not complete and can't be started until it includes at least one action.


Create a Workflow Model: My Models page

You can find workflow models on the Create a Workflow Model: My Models page. To access this page, select Create a Workflow Model or Design Workflow Models from the Collaboration menu in the Content Collection. This page contains the following functions:

  • Create Model - Select this option to create a new model.
  • Display Models - Use this list to refine the list of models that appear in the list. Select All Models, My Models, or Shared Models.
  • Name - Displays the name of the model.
  • Designer - Displays the name of the person who created the model.
  • Copy - Select this option to duplicate the selected workflow.
  • Delete - Select this option to permanently remove the selected workflow.
  • Start - Select this option to start the workflow.

Create a new workflow model

A model is not complete and can't be started until it includes at least one action.

  1. In the Content Collection, select Create a Workflow Model.
  2. Select Create Model.
  3. Name the model and type a description in the Instructions field. These are instructions for using the workflow. For example, if this is a shared workflow, this section may be used to explain how others should use this workflow. (This step is optional.)
  4. Define the Action Status terms to be used in this model: In Progress, Approved, and Not Approved.
  5. To attach items to the model, select Browse Content Collection. Select permissions for the items you attach.
  6. Select Submit when finished.

You'll be brought to the Model Design page, where you can add milestones and actions for the workflow model.

Add a milestone

  1. Select Create Milestone.
  2. Name the milestone and type a description.
  3. Select either No Action or Go to Milestone and select a milestone number to define the milestone to repeat if blocked.
    • No Action is the default; the milestone continues. The workflow cannot proceed past this milestone because this action has failed, but other actions in the milestone can be completed.
    • Go to Milestone forces the workflow to go back to a specified milestone if this milestone fails. If this milestone fails, all statuses forward from this point revert to Not Started. All comment and history information remains intact.
  4. To attach items to the milestone, select Browse Content Collection. Select permissions for the items you attach.
  5. Select Submit and Add Action to add an action to this milestone or Submit and Finish to go back to the Model Design page.

Add an action

When documents are linked to a workflow at the workflow or milestone level, they appear at the action level when a workflow is started.

  1. To add an action to a milestone, go to the Create a Workflow Model: My Models page.
  2. Select Build from the workflow model's menu. In a milestone's menu, select Create Action.
  3. Name the action and type a description.
  4. Determine whether or not this action is required by selecting Yes or No.
  5. Determine a deadline by selecting Specify Date. Use the date and time fields to choose a deadline. If no deadline is required, select None.
  6. To assign the action to specific users, select Browse to select their names. Separate multiple usernames with commas.
  7. To assign the action to a course, select Browse to select a course. Separate multiple courses with commas.
    • Select the All Course Members option to assign the action to all course members.
    • Select the Selected Roles option and select the roles from the following: Student, Guest, Teaching Assistant, Instructor, Course Builder, and Grader.
  8. Determine how the action is approved. Select Any Assignee May Approve or All Assignees Must Approve.
  9. To attach items to the action, select Browse Content Collection. Select permissions for the items you attach.
  10. Select Submit to finish the action and go back to the Model Design page.

Edit a workflow model

Once you create a workflow model, you can edit it. A workflow model can only be edited by its owner. These modifications affect the original model and any shared instances of that workflow model. Existing instances of the workflow are not affected by these modifications.

Workflow models in progress can be edited only after they are stopped. Once stopped, the owner can edit any milestone that has not been started and any associated actions.

  1. In the Collaboration menu, select Design Workflow Models.
  2. In the model's menu, select one of these three options:
    • Select Edit to open the Edit page, where you can change the model's name, description, and status labels.
    • Select Build to open the Model Design page. You can add or delete milestones and actions on this page.
    • Select Share to open the Workflow Model Sharing page, where you can select or change sharing settings.

Duplicate a workflow model

Users can copy a workflow model they have created or that has been shared with them. Once the workflow model has been copied, the user can edit it accordingly.

If a user copies a shared workflow model they become the owner, meaning they can edit the model and reuse it, even if the original is deleted from the system or is unshared with them.

  1. In the Content Collection, go to the Create a Workflow Model: My Models page.
  2. Select the check box next to the workflow model you want to copy.
  3. Select the Copy button. The copy of the workflow model appears on the list.
  4. You can also access the Copy option in the workflow model's menu.

Permissions

Workflow models can contain items from the Content Collection. As the workflow model designer adds items, they also choose the permissions that users have for these items. Users are granted these permissions only for the duration of the milestone. After the milestone is complete, these unique permissions are removed for the items associated with the milestone.

The selected permissions are granted when:

  • The user begins the milestone that contains the action.
  • A workflow is restarted (after being stopped).

The selected permissions are removed when:

  • The user finishes the milestone that contains the action.
  • A workflow is stopped.

If no permissions are added to an item, then a warning appears when the workflow is submitted stating that there are no permissions for an item and asking the user if they would like to continue.

More on permissions in the Content Collection

  1. In the Content Collection, select Design Workflow Models in the Collaboration menu.
  2. Determine where to edit the content item:
    • To edit permissions for a content item at the workflow level, select Edit in the workflow model's menu.
    • To edit permissions for a content item at the milestone level, select Build in the workflow model's menu. In the milestone's menu, select Edit.
    • To edit permissions for a content item at the action level, select Build in the workflow model's menu. In the action's menu, select Edit.
  3. Select Browse Content Collection to add a Content Collection item to the model.
  4. Select permissions for the item using the check boxes.
  5. Select Submit when finished.

Permissions for items associated with workflows can be extended to complete the workflow. Extensions remain in effect after the milestone and workflow are complete.

Extend the permission for a workflow item

  1. Select Extend Permissions for a milestone within a workflow.
  2. Select Browse to find the names of users who need extended permission to access an item.
  3. Select Browse to link an item from the Content Collection.
  4. Add permissions to the item.
  5. Select Submit.