FormBuilder - The Basics
Learn basic concepts for using FormBuilder.
For a quick overview of the basic elements of FormBuilder, we can look at this workflow diagram generated in FormBuilder. If this looks confusing right now, don’t worry—we'll explain!
Keep in mind that this page is just for establishing a conceptual foundation before we dive into the specifics of FormBuilder!
We can see in this diagram that FormBuilder uses different phases and connects them with routing triggers to move through a determined workflow.
So...what's a phase and a routing trigger? Good question!
To understand how FormBuilder works, let’s consider the ways that the FormBuilder interface parallels possible actions required for your unit’s current paper forms. In FormBuilder, when you see the word phase, think about the different steps required to get a paper form through your unit’s workflow. FormBuilder refers to those steps as phases.
There are three different types of phases:
- Data Collection – where information is gathered from end-users by means of form responses. (e.g.) If your unit does year-end surveys of students or faculty, the responses of those surveys would comprise the data collection phase.
- Review Approval – determined form group members receive, review, and approve of the responses generated in the data collection phase.
- Archive – with similar functionality to the Review Approval phase, the Archive phase can also allow form group members to view data collection responses after the time that the form was active has passed.
As displayed in the above diagram, phases interact with one another through the use of routing triggers.
Let's say your unit has a paper form that has been filled out by the desired party. Once the form is filled out, it would likely land on the desk of someone who would synthesize that information, and from there the information may end up in a data table or something of that nature.
Routing Triggers are form action commands set up in advance by a form group member to facilitate a FormBuilder form through a determined lifecycle (or workflow). In the paper form example, the routing trigger would be the action that takes the form from the person that filled it out and hands it to the person that requires the information.
For an example of how phases and routing triggers interact, let's look at this mock pizza order workflow diagram.
In FormBuilder, a period is the amount of time that a given form is active (or usable). However, unlike with paper forms, FormBuilder's period settings allow form group members to reuse the same form multiple times without losing any of the previous information. Further, form group members can make changes to the form from one period to the next while still maintaining all of the data from the original form.
Now that we've got a grasp of the concepts in FormBuilder, let's work on putting some forms together!