Skip to main content
Content Starts Here

 

Managing Question Items

 

The Question Items admin tool is used to create the individual questions that will be used to build questionnaires and recommendation forms. This article covers how to create, edit, and update question items along wiht how to manage folders. A description of each question type is provided.

 

Applies to: TDS17;TDS18

 

Details
Videos
Additional Resources

Important Note: Check out the Admin Console's Questionnaire Builder currently only available in Terra Dotta sandbox sites for hosted clients. This beta feature is scheduled for release to client production sites in early 2020.
 
Managing Question Items

Overview
The Question Items admin tool is used to create the individual questions that will be used to build questionnaires and recommendation forms. Once you've compiled a folder of question items,  putting a questionnaire together is a simple matter of selecting the appropriate question items from your various folders of available questions.

This article will cover the following topics:

Important Note: For offices developing their plans to transition to the Modern Applicant Experience, the ability to upload a file using Question Item > Question Type > Essay is not currently supported. Use Question Item > Question Type > File Upload instead. Click here for step-by-step video instructions on how to transition to the supported 'File Upload' question type. If this feature is part of your office's processes, you should continue to use the classic interface. This feature may be supported or enhanced in the Modern Applicant Experience in a future release.

Creating a New Question Item
Access the Question Items tool by navigating to Settings > Question Items in the Admin menu. The 'Question Items: Manage All' page will open. This display allows you to view the following:
  • View Folder Tab: Opens a drop-down menu containing each folder that has been created in which to organize your question items.
  • Current Questions Tab: Swap your view from a list of current question items to those that have been retired.
  • New Question Item Button: Takes you to the 'Question Items: Add' page where construction of new question items can begin.
  • Manage Folders Button: Change the display to view a list of each folder that has been created. Use this view to edit the name of a folder.


User-added image
 

To create a new question item, perform the following steps.

1. Navigate to the Question Items: Edit page.
Click the New Question Item tab at the top of the listing to open the page 'Question Items: Add'. This is the page where you'll provide all the details for each question item. This includes the question item name, type, folder, instructions (optional), and whether or not a response for that question item will be required.

 
User-added image

 
2. Create a Question Name.
Enter the name of your question item into the Question Name field.

3. Select a Question Type.
Select a question type from the drop-down menu. These options provide a range of choices for how your applicants will respond to each question item. After you make your question type selection, the Question Options panel may appear at the bottom of the 'Question Items: Add' page because each question type has a unique set of characteristics. The options for question type are as follows:
  • Single selection: The applicant will be allowed to choose a single response from a list of possible response options. Create this list for applicants by using the fields appearing in the Questions Options panel. In the Add Option field, type the first possible answer to the question. Click Add - watch as your response moves down to the Current Options field. Repeat this Add Option > Current Options action until you see all responses in the Current Options field. Again, this will be the list of response options from which the applicant will be allowed to make a single selection. Note: To easily reorder the way items appear in the Current Options list (as this is how they will also appear to applicants), use the buttons 'Move Selected Up' and 'Move Selected Down'. These buttons work if you highlight one or multiple options at a time. The buttons 'Remove All' and 'Remove One' allow you to delete options as needed. You also have the ability to alphabetize your list of options with the 'Sort A to Z' button.



 
  • Multiple Selection: The applicant will be allowed to choose more than one response from a list of possible response options. Create this list for applicants by using the fields appearing in the Questions Options panel. Note: See the instructions above for the Single Selection question type (including how to reorder options) as they are applicable to Multiple Selection, too.
  • Short Description: The applicant is given a multi-line text field in which to type the answer to the question. A short description has a limit of 4,000 characters, roughly the length of a paragraph. A count-down character limit box lets applicants see when they are getting close to the end.
  • Field: Choose to give the applicant a text or numeric field in which to provide a response to the question. Text fields have a 200-character limit, roughly the length of a short sentence. Numeric fields are limited to 10 digits. Use the radio button in the Question Options panel to make your selection.
  • Essay: The applicant is provided with a WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get) in which the response can be entered. This is an unlimited-length field suited for large content responses and provides rich-text formatting options to the applicant posting the response.
    • Important Note: For the Classic interface (as this feature is not currently available in the Modern Applicant Experience), if the option is enabled on the Settings > System Features > Process Options > Applicant File Upload page, the applicant also has the availability of the attach document (yellow file folder) icon in the WYSIWYG editor toolbar. This allows the applicant to upload a file to the server. This file will be represented in the response submitted by a hyperlink. Note: This hyperlink will not be functional to the applicant when clicking on it in the WYSIWYG Editor itself. There is also the option on the Settings > System Features > Process Options > Applicant File Upload page that can be used to set a maximum file size cap for the applicant uploads.
       
      This applicant-side WYSIWYG editor does not provide access to the image library or to the raw HTML functions of the standard WYSIWYG editor. In addition, the 'Attach Document' button does not provide access to the Document Center objects of the site. Only users that have admin access are allowed to access these aspects of the WYSIWYG editor.
  • Yes and No: The applicant is given a choice between yes and no without requiring an explanation.
  • Yes and No, with explanation for Yes: The applicant is given a choice between yes and no. A response of 'yes' will require an explanation in a field that automatically appears.
  • Yes and No, with explanation for No: The applicant is given a choice between yes and no. A response of 'no' will require an explanation in a field that automatically appears.
  • Date: The applicant will be asked to select a date using the calendar widget. No option values need to be created.
  • Rating: The applicant will be asked to rate the question's subject with 1 to 5 stars. No option values need to be created.
  • Data Lookup: This question type is used when your database requires a code or abbreviation, but you want the applicant to see option values expressed unabbreviated. For example, a Country drop-down list might display 'Argentina', but the corresponding value stored in the database would be 'AR'. SIS exports and SEVIS reports often require codes and abbreviations. To create or import Data Lookup values for your site, go to System Settings > Lookup Tables (see Value Lookup Tables for details).
  • Data Lookup w/Search: This question type functions like the Data Lookup with the addition of a keyword search box. The keyword search eliminates the need to scroll through extremely long drop-down lists. As the applicant starts entering the keyword, the drop-down list is populated with values that match the keyword. The applicant then selects a response from those results.  As with the Data Lookup, the applicant will see option values expressed unabbreviated, but the corresponding code or abbreviation is stored in the database.
  • File Upload: This question type provides the user with an area to drag and drop a file from their computer to upload it. The file will be available as a hyperlink in the questionnaire after submission. Files uploaded as a response to a file upload question item will not appear in the documents tab of an application/record.
    • The maximum file size that can be uploaded is determined by the 'Maximum file size for applicant uploaded files' setting in Settings > System Features > Process Options tab. Scroll down to the 'Applicant File Upload' section and edit the size as needed. Enter '0' if no maximum file size is required.


Applicant File upload


4. Select a Folder.
Choose the folder in which you want to include the item from the Folder drop-down list box. If you do not select a folder, it will be placed in the Uncategorized folder.

5. Create Instructions (optional).
Provide instructions related to the question item in the space provided. This is optional. There is a character limit of 4000.
Note: In the Modern Applicant Experience, HTML for question item instructions is supported.

6. Configure Response Required.
Choose between the radio button options of Yes or No to indicate if a response is required by the applicant or not.

7. Click Add.
This action officially creates and saves your question item.

 
​Editing a Question Item
To edit a question item, perform the following steps:
  1. Click the edit pencil icon located to the right of the question item's name. The 'Question Items: Edit' page appears.
Question Edit
 
  1. Make the necessary changes.
  2. Click Update to save the changes.
  3. If the question item is being used in any questionnaire(s), you will be brought to the 'Question Items: Cascade Changes' page. The instructions ask if and how you would like to reflect the question item changes you just made. By default, changes are neither cascaded nor reflected in existing questionnaires. You may choose to update any, all, or none of the listed questionnaires to reflect the changes made.

Cascade Changes


By checking the box next to a questionnaire and then clicking the Apply button, the updated question item will cascade to the questionnaire(s) you selected. If you do not check the box to apply the change, then the old question item will continue to be used in the questionnaire(s).

Note: Once a response has been provided for a question item, the question item type is 'locked-in' and cannot be changed. In the drop-down menu for Question Type, only the currently-selected type will appear as an option. This feature was implemented to prevent issues of data integrity. If the question item is newer and has had no responses provided via applications/records, then you will have the option of changing the question type.

Retiring a Question Item
If you no longer wish to have a specific question available for use in questionnaires, you can retire it by performing the following steps:

1. Click the Retire Question icon to the right of the question name.

 
User-added image
 

A message will appear alerting you to important considerations:

Retire Questionnaire Warning


Note: By retiring a question item, you are removing it from your Advanced Search options, meaning it will no longer be reportable. In addition, you are not removing the question item from questionnaires that already include it. To remove a question from a questionnaire, you must edit that specific questionnaire by navigating to Process > Questionnaires >  Edit. From the 'Questionnaire: Edit' page, scroll down to the Available Questions section and uncheck the box next to the applicable question item. Then click Update to save your changes.

2. If you wish to continue, click OK. The question item is now retired.

To view all retired questions, select View Retired Questions from the drop-down questions tab.


View Retired Questions


You'll be brought to a list of retired questions. If you decide that you want a retired question to be available again, click on the + icon under the Actions column for that question item. This Reinstate Question action will generate a message of 'Are you sure you want to reinstate this question?'. Select OK to proceed or Cancel to void the action.

Note: The check box located to the left of a question item is intended to move one or multiple question items from one folder to another. This action is not possible when a question item is retired; therefore, this check box functionality is disabled for retired questions.

 
Reinstate


Managing Folders
Terra Dotta utilizes folders to organize question items. An 'Uncategorized' folder is used by default for question items that have not been assigned to a folder. The best practice recommendation is to organize question items into folders that correspond with the questionnaires you will create. This will help keep your question items and questionnaires organized as the list grows over the years.

To add a new folder:
 
1. Navigate to Settings > Question Items and click the Manage Folders tab. The Question Items: Manage Folders page opens.

 
User-added image

 
2. Click the New Folders tab at the top right of the page. You will be presented with a text field for Folder Name. Type in the name you'd like to use, and click Save.

To move question items from one folder to another:

1. From the 'Question Items: Manage All' page, choose the question items that you want to move by selecting the check boxes to the left of each question item name.

2. Select the folder to which you want to move the question items. To do this, click on the white Move marked to drop-down menu. A list of available folders will appear, and you can click on the appropriate folder. Your selected question items will be moved to this folder.

 
User-added image

 
Note: The order in which the question items appear in this listing is the order in which they appear in a questionnaire. To change this order, navigate to Process > Questionnaires > Edit for the applicable questionnaire. Scroll down to the Selected Questions section. Under the Actions column, use the up and down arrows to move question items within the listing.

To permanently delete a folder:

1. Navigate to the Question Items: Manage Folders page. Under the Actions column, click on the red 'X' that corresponds to the applicable question item folder.
2. A dialog box will appear asking you to confirm the action. Click OK to proceed (noting that this action cannot be undone) or Cancel to dismiss the action.

Note: You can only delete a folder which is empty. A lock symbol will display in that folder's Action column if it contains question items.

Once your question items are sorted into folders, you can easily locate these items by using the keyword search at the top right of the Question Items: Manage All page. The search results will display the question item name and the folder into which it has been sorted.


 
User-added image
Updating Question Items
There are three reasons for which a question item might need to be updated. The method in which you make these updates will be dictated by the specifics of the edit:
 
1. Update Reason: Spelling correction / Verbiage clarification / Option value update

 
These are the types of edits where it doesn't really matter if the older versions of the questionnaires display the old or new versions of the question item. If you are not making substantial changes to the question item itself (for example: a spelling correction of 'their' to 'there'), you can follow these steps:
  • Navigate directly to the question item (Settings > Question Item).
  • Click the corresponding edit pencil, and make your changes. Click the Update button.
  • From the 'Question Items: Cascade Changes' page, use the cascade wizard to push those changes out to all questionnaires where you would like to reflect these changes.
2. Update Reason: Substantial change to question item / Do not require legacy data reporting
 
These are the types of edits where you need to make a substantial change to the question item, and it will matter that the older versions of the questionnaire show the older version of the question you want to ask. However, it is not necessary for you to have the older responses available through the reporting wizard.
 
In this case, it is recommended to create a new question item altogether instead of editing the existing question item. Once you've created a new question item, navigate to the questionnaire(s) that require this new question item. You will need to make the following edits on the respective 'Questionnaires: Edit' page:
  • Remove the old question item from the questionnaire. This can be done by unchecking the box to the left of the question item.
  • Assign the new question item to the questionnaire. This can be done by checking the box next to the left of the question item.
  • Click the Update button. Then cascade this updated version of the questionnaire to the desired application cycle process maps.
The older applications/records will show the older version of the questionnaire with the older question item that was responded to by applicants. However, that older question item won't be an output column available in the reporting wizard. The reporting wizard only shows the current question item versions assigned to the most current version of the questionnaire.
 
3. Update Reason: Substantial change to question item / Will require legacy data reporting
 

These are the types of edits where you need to make a substantial change to the question item, and it will matter that the older versions of the questionnaire show the older version of the question you want to ask. In addition, it will be necessary to have the legacy responses to this question item be reportable through the report wizard.
 
In this case, go directly to the question item and make the edit, but you should NOT cascade this new version of the question item to the questionnaire(s). After making the edit, follow the procedure outlined in the 'Question Items and Process Version Management' section of our Knowledgebase (KB) article on Process Version Management.
 
The older applications/records will show the older version of the questionnaire with the older question item that was responded to by applicants, and the responses submitted will be reportable.

 
Previous MonthNext Month
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat