Getting Started with Workflows

Workflows allows you to chain together a series of actions, which can be triggered by various user actions such as completing a form. You can also trigger sequences manually, or schedule them to run in the future. 

Before you start using Workflows, here are some useful terms and definitions:

  • Workflow. A workflow is a collection of sequences
  • Sequence. Consists of a trigger, plus one or more actions. Once you set up your sequence, if the conditions for the trigger are met, Campus Cloud automatically performs the actions you set up.
  • Trigger. This is the condition that causes your sequence to run. For example: A student fills out a form and gives a particular result. 
  • Action. You can specify one or more actions to happen in response to a trigger. 

A sequence can have more than one action -- this makes them powerful and flexible. You can automate multiple actions in response to one trigger. But, a sequence can have only one trigger.

In this article, we’ll guide you through some of what you can do with Sequences, using three examples you can adapt for your school. There are three example sequences, each with a different trigger, and each with one action

Note: You need to have certain permissions to access the features mentioned in these examples. For more information, see Roles and Permissions.

This article focuses on: 

In this article, you’ll find three examples of how you can use Workflows to automate typical tasks for school administrators. 

Schedule a Community Post Reminder Before Exams 

Using Workflows, you can easily set up messages in advance of important events, such as deadlines or exam dates. You can set many notifications at the start of the school year, and they will be delivered according to the schedule you set. 

For example, you can schedule a reminder -- a post in a Community channel -- before exams. Set this up at the start of the school year, then have confidence that a Community post will automatically appear at the date you choose. It will take between five and fifteen minutes. 

First, choose the channel where you want to post your message. You can create a new channel for your message, but you can also use any channel that already exists in Community. For more information, see Create a Channel (Public or Private).

Second, choose a host (an organization or service) that will appear as the author of your message. This host must be a member of the channel where you are posting your message. For more information, see Add a Host to a Channel.

Third, create the sequence: 

  • In Campus Cloud, click Manage, then click Workflows
  • You will be creating a Sequence, which goes inside a Workflow. So, either create a new Workflow to hold your sequence, or use an existing one. For more information, see Create a Workflow.
  • Click “+” to create a new Sequence in the workflow. When prompted to Select a Trigger, choose Scheduled
  • Provide a date for your scheduled message -- say, one week before the first exam
  • Choose “Post in Channel” as the first action in the sequence
  • Select your host from the list, then choose the channel
  • Click Add Message and type the message as you want it to appear 
  • Be sure to provide a title and description for your sequence, then click Publish

The final step is to activate your sequence. In Manage Workflows, click “...” next your sequence name, and choose activate. 

You have now created a scheduled reminder. At the date you specify, Campus Cloud will post your message in the community channel. Students can view the message in the campus app, and interact with it (by liking or commenting) the same way they can with any other post. You will also see your message in Campus Cloud, under the Community tab in the menu bar. 

A community post like this is a great way to encourage students to keep up with their studies or send links to resources around campus. 

Schedule reminders for key dates from the academic calendar

Now that you have scheduled a community post to remind students about exams, let’s go one step further and schedule notifications for key dates in the academic calendar. Whereas before, we created a sequence to make a post in the Community, in this example we will be sending notifications directly to students with the Notification Center in the campus app. 

This will take between five and fifteen minutes. Here’s how: 

First, choose the audience (list of students) to which you want to send notifications. For example, you may have an audience that represents all first year students, and you may wish to send notifications that apply specifically to them. You can create a new audience for your notifications, or use an existing one. For more information see Create a Custom Audience or Create a Dynamic Audience.

Second, choose a host (an organization or service) that will appear as the author of your message. 

Third, create your sequence: 

  • In Campus Cloud, click Manage, then click Workflows
  • Create a new Workflow to hold your sequence, or use an existing one. For more information, see Create a Workflow.
  • Click “+” to create a new Sequence within that workflow. When prompted to Select a Trigger, choose Scheduled
  • Provide a date on which you want to send this notification
  • Choose “Send Notification” as the first action in the sequence
  • For “From” choose your host
  • For “To” choose your audience
  • Type a subject for your message. Then click Add Message and type the body of your message
  • Be sure to provide a title and description for your sequence, then click Publish

The final step is to activate your sequence. In Manage Workflows, click “...” next your sequence name, and choose activate. 

You have now created a scheduled notification. At the date you specify, Campus Cloud will send your message to every student who is in the audience you choose. Your message will appear in the Notification Center of the campus app. Depending on a student’s notification settings, your message may also appear as a push notification. 

Notifications in a scheduled Workflow let you send important information to students, right when they need it most. 

Send a personalized response to students who complete a form

One of the most valuable features of Campus Cloud is Forms -- allowing you to send a series of questions to students and collect their responses. Workflows expands the capabilities of Forms, allowing you to automatically take action based on students’ answers to your questions.

Remember that a form is a series of questions leading to a result. Depending on how a student answers your form, they will land on one result or another. You will be setting up a sequence that takes action if a student takes a particular path through a form, and ends on a particular result. For example, if your form has options A, B, and C, you can set up a sequence to take action when a user lands on result A. You would set up separate sequences to take action in response to B and C. 

This example takes between five and ten minutes if you have already created a form. If you need to create a form, plan an extra 10 to 20 minutes. Here’s how: 

First, choose the form you want to use in this sequence. You can create a new form (from a template or from scratch), or use an existing one. You can use forms that issue a Campus Pass or not -- it doesn’t matter for the purposes of your sequence. You won’t change the campus pass behaviour by using your form in a sequence. For more information, see Create a Form from a Template and Create a Form from Scratch.

Second, choose the audience (list of students) your sequence will apply to. Not only can you take different actions based on a student’s answers to your form, you can take different actions based on whether they are a first year student, second-year, and so on -- determined by the audiences you have set up within your school. 

Third, create your sequence: 

  • In Campus Cloud, click Manage, then click Workflows
  • Create a new Workflow to hold your sequence, or use an existing one. For more information, see Create a Workflow.
  • Click “+” to create a new Sequence within that workflow. When prompted to Select a Trigger, choose Form Completion
  • Choose your form and audience
  • Choose a form result that will trigger the sequence. The sequence will be triggered only if a student lands on that particular result. To take different actions for different results, create multiple sequences, one for each result. 
  • Click Add Action, then click Message Form Respondent
  • Choose a host (organization or service) who will be the sender of this personalized message
  • Type a subject for your message
  • Click Add Message

This brings up the Message Editor. The message editor allows you to compose the message you will send to the student who answers your form. In this example, we want to make our response personalized to the student who has answered the form. Here’s how: 

  • Type a greeting such as “Hello”, then click Add Fields and select User Name
  • Campus Cloud inserts a placeholder which will be replaced with the student’s actual name when the message is sent. 
  • Type the rest of your message
  • If you like, you can make reference to the form using the Form Name field -- see the screenshot below for an example. 
  • When you are done, be sure to provide a title and description for your sequence, then click Publish

workflowmessedit.png

Figure 1. Message Editor

The final step is to activate your sequence. In Manage Workflows, click “...” next your sequence name, and choose activate. 

You have now created a sequence that sends a message to students automatically based on their responses to forms. If a student in a particular audience completes your form, and lands on the result you specify, the sequence will be triggered and will send a message to the student. The notification will appear in the student’s Notification Center, personalized with their name. 

You can use this feature to draw students into a conversation, or send them useful resources or links. You can add additional actions to this sequence. For example, you might also want to also send a notification to alert you that a student has responded to the form.

Roles and Permissions

Workflows is a feature that is available only if your school has purchased Mental Health. Forms is available only if your school has purchased Contact Trace Plus. 

  • To use workflows, you must have the Workflows permission in Campus Cloud.
  • To create or modify an Audience, you must have the Audiences permission in Campus Cloud.
  • To create or modify a Form, you must have the Contact Trace Forms permission in Campus Cloud. 

 

For more information, see Team Settings.