Blanchard Exchange allows you to set or modify rules within your course templates such as setting automatic deadlines, "hiding" products/files based on dates of live events or completion of previous activities, and even change how the "Text & Grouped Activities" component tracks completions.
This advanced functionality helps save time when creating projects by automatically setting deadlines on assignments and/or keeping products/files inaccessible until a certain number of days before or after a live event so that you don't have to manually add those files to your projects.
While these rules can be implemented/modified in both individual projects and course templates, it is recommended to use them with your course templates to save you time when creating new projects.
Setting Automatic Deadlines
In order to use this feature, you must have at least one live event placeholder in your course template to use as a reference point.
To set an automatic deadline, you must first enable at least one live event placeholder to be the reference used by Blanchard Exchange. When a project is created using this course template, the date entered for this live event in the project setup is used as the starting date to calculate the deadline.
To set a live event placeholder as a reference:
- Navigate to the live event placeholder that will be used as the reference and click on the "Settings" button (Figure 1).
- On the right-hand side, click the checkbox listed next to the option that states "Allow other activities dates to be relative to this session" (Figure 2) .
Once you have referenced your live event placeholder, you can now navigate to your assignment(s) to set the rule that calculates the automatic deadline:
- Click on the "Settings" button for the assignment that will have an automatic deadline (Figure 3).
- Click the checkbox next to "Set Complete By date relative to" (Figure 4-1).
- Select the name of the live event placeholder that you are using as the reference (Figure 4-2).
- Enter the number of days before or after that live event (Figure 4-3):
This number can be negative or positive. If the deadline should be before the live event, enter the appropriate number of days as a negative number. If the deadline is after the live event, enter the appropriate number of days as a positive number.
Example 1: The assignment deadline should be 2 days before the live event. In this case, you would enter "-2".
Example 2: The assignment deadline is 5 days after the live event. In this case, you would enter "5".
Repeat the above steps for any additional assignments where the deadline will be automatically calculated.
Additional notes and tips:
- You can have more than one live event placeholder as a reference.
- The calculated deadlines are independent on each assignment. In other words, one assignment could have a deadline 3 days before an event, while the next assignment to follow it could have a deadline 1 day before the same event.
- Automatically calculated deadlines can be overridden by you or any other administrators under the "Dates & Details" section of projects to provide you with flexibility.
- Participants will see the time listed next to the deadlines in live projects as 11:59 PM based on the time zone selected by the administrator during the project setup (if a participant has changed their default time zone in their profile, the time will be reflected accordingly). The time can be adjusted under the "Dates & Details" section in live projects, if needed.
If you want to prevent access to certain assignments, files, or resources, Blanchard Exchange allows you to set rules based on a certain date or based on completion of previous activities. Also known as the "Conditional Design", these features can save you time so that you don't have to manually add files and resources to live projects after certain dates or activities.
See below for examples of how the Conditional Design hides products/files/resources before the condition is met.
In order to use this feature, you must have at least one page splitter in your course template to use as a reference point. The assignments that should be hidden must be listed below, not above, the page splitter. Also, if you want to hide activities based on dates, your course template must also include one live event placeholder to use as a reference point.
To set a page splitter as a reference:
- Navigate to the page splitter in your course and click on "Settings" (Figure 5).
- Click the checkbox next to "Accessible based on following condition" (Figure 6).
- In the "Set Condition" drop-down menu (Figure 7), choose the rule that works based on your scenario :
a) "Previous page" - Using this option means that all previous assignments must be accessed/completed before the assignments and resources under this section are accessible.
b) "All previous pages" - If you have more than 1 page splitter listed above in your course template, this rule states the every assignment above within every page splitter must be accessed/completed before the assignments and resources under this section are accessible.
c) "Date" - The assignments and resources under this page splitter will be accessible based on a certain number of days before or after a live event
If you are setting the above rule based on "Date", follow the next steps to complete your rule:
- Select the checkbox next to "Set date relative to" (Figure 8-1).
- In the "Activity.." drop-down menu, select the name of the live event placeholder you are using as a reference (Figure 8-2). If you have not set a live event placeholder as a reference, see the instructions above.
- In the "Days" field, enter a positive or negative number based on when these assignments/resources should be accessible(Figure 8-3). Entering a value for "Days" is identical to automatically calculating deadlines from the instructions above. For instructions, see the details above.
Additional notes and tips:
- If setting the rule based on "Date", Blanchard Exchange will make the assignments and resources accessible at 11:59 PM based on the date calculated by default. In other words, if you want your assignments/resources to be accessible the day of the live event, set the "Days" option of this rule to be "-1", meaning that the assignments and resources will be accessible at 11:59 PM the day before the session.
- Based on the above bullet, if you need to modify the specific time this section is accessible, the time can be adjusted within each individual project. To change the time, open the project you wish to modify, go to the "Dates & Details" tab, and then locate the title of the page splitter using the conditional rule. Under the title of that page splitter, you will see a "Visible" option with a calendar icon, allowing you to set a specific time that this section will be accessible.
Conditional Design Examples
The following examples show a conditional design based on the "Date" rule from the perspective of a participant before the resources are accessible.
This first screenshot shows how the basic details of the hidden products/resources are hidden.
This second screenshot shows the added details after clicking on the "See Details" button in the course.
Text & Grouped Activities Tracking
The Text & Grouped Activities component offers two options for tracking assignment completions. The tracking settings impact how learner progress is tracked on Blanchard Exchange reporting.
By default, the entire component will be marked as completed when the first assignment is completed by the learner.
The alternative is to change a setting specific to this component by allowing it to track completions based on all assignments listed within this component. If you wish to change a Text & Grouped Activities component tracking, click on the "Settings" (Figure 9-1) button for the component and then select the checkbox on the right that states "Progress based on all components" (Figure 9-2).