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Ready to test out the External Review capabilities in Workflow, but looking for some guidance on how exactly to do that? You've come to the right place! The steps below will guide you through considerations and recommendations for testing all the facets of this functionality.
Before You Start
Catch up on a few resources that outline all the facets of Workflow's External Review support.
- The 5-minute overview and full webinar intro to the capabilities are great ways to see all these features and how they can fit into your review processes from start to finish, and through the eyes of the various participants.
- These how-to articles will be a great reference as you build out and test these capabilities:
- How to Configure a Workflow Template with External Reviewers covers how to configure a template using the new External Reviewer field type and External Review step type.
- User Experience: On-Campus Reviewer is a handy guide to how the on-campus reviewer will vet suggestions and send invitations.
- User Experience: External Reviewer provides a walkthrough of what invited external reviewers will experience, and how they'll submit their response.
- Choose to update or build out a new process template.
Review your process to see which participants you’ll need to have test accounts for in order to test all aspects of the External Review experience. Most likely you’ll need test accounts for:
- The faculty member / candidate for your test schedule
- Any reviewers for steps that come before and immediately after the External Review step you’ll add (probably department chair and/or department committee test accounts).
The on-campus reviewer role that typically manages vetting and collecting external review letters. If you already have a test department chair account and Role Group, we recommend using that for ease and expediency in your test.
Please list and create a unique test account for each participant in the process you're testing, and set them to Local Authentication so it's easy to manage their usernames and passwords.
Note: If you use Watermark Navigator to log into the system and want to test out these capabilities in your Beta environment, you will need to create test accounts on Local Authentication in Production and wait for them to copy to your Beta environment on the following Saturday. For more information on the beta environment, including login instructions, please review this article The Faculty Success Beta Environment
Add External Review elements to your process template:
- Add an External Review step to your process flow, and be sure to configure its forms! We recommend adding this step as the third or fourth step for the sake of testing, to give you space to add the External Reviewer field to multiple steps and see how suggested reviewers aggregate across them. We also suggest matching the External Reviewer form structure to what you would typically ask your external reviewers to provide in their review, so that you can see how that will look later on.
- Add an External Reviewer fieldset to a step or two at the beginning of your process flow - especially the initial faculty step. Adding this field to a few steps in a row will help you see how the system aggregates suggested reviewers across steps.
Review the step security for the External Reviewer step to ensure that the one immediately after it can see its content.
Tip: Once you're done updating your process template, take a screenshot or keep the template diagram up in a separate tab so you can easily refer back to the process flow.
- Launch a schedule for your test faculty member.
- Log out of your administrative account, and log back in as your test faculty member and complete the first step in the workflow. Be sure to provide a few external reviewer recommendations on the External Review fieldset to test the the field out.
- Log out, and then log back in as the next participant in the process and submit their step. Repeat until you reach the External Review step you added.
Log in as the on-campus reviewer on the External Review step, and test out their experience:
- Vet the aggregated external reviewers, and approve at least two of them (so your test is set up for subsequent steps).
Explore the External Reviewer Responses section, especially the Open Details area. Be sure to click “Generate URL” for each reviewer, so you're ready to use those URLs in the next step.
- If you think your users will be interested in generating emails directly from here to invite external reviewers to respond, take a few minutes to explore the Create Email option that leverages your mailto settings.
To simulate the experience that the external reviewers themselves will have, complete the following steps for each reviewer you just approved. As you complete the steps for each test external reviewer, watch the External Reviewer Responses area to see the Accept and Decline flags and responses appear.
In Open Details, copy the URL for one of your external reviewers
Open an incognito browser window and paste the copied URL into the bar at the top.
Accept the invitation. We recommend accepting for at least two reviewers so that later on you can see how external review responses aggregate and are shown to subsequent users.
Fill out the external reviewer form and submit.
Close the browser window.
- Once you’ve submitted all of the external review responses, check out the differences between the “By Reviewer” and “By Response” tabs in your External Reviewer Responses section.
- As the test on-campus reviewer managing the External Review step, go to Actions and move the submission forward to the next step in the process.
- Login as the test user for the next step in the process template to see what external reviewer responses look like to subsequent reviewers.