Help: Absolute versus relative scheduling
When reusing course timelines, you need to keep an eye on any scheduling dates. This might be the rescheduling of publication dates (when participants can see or do something) or the rescheduling of automatic emails. Sometimes scheduling does need to be absolute, for example when face-to-face training needs to be planned at an exact time but quite often it’s enough to schedule things like automatic emails or content publication relative to the start of the course or relative to the date that someone was added to a groupspace.
1. Absolute scheduling
Simply fill in the publication dates of blocks to show or hide blocks. Automatic messages can be sent on the publication date too.
Pro: you can choose exact times.
Con: you need to reset the scheduling for every copy of a course timeline.
2. Relative scheduling based on course timeline start date or date that the member was added.
You can set conditions for showing the blocks indented under top-level blocks at x days after a start date or the date the member was added. These blocks are shown starting at 00:00 AM on that day.
How to do it
1. Open the course timeline settings and fill in a Start date and/or choose Start date is “The date the member was added”.
2. Go to “Display Options” of a top-level block (e.g. a section) and add the condition “Days after Start Date” and fill in the number of days. The subblocks will be shown after the set number of days.
Imagine you have two trainees (A and B) that have been added to the groupspace on different dates, one before the start date of the course timeline and one after.
1. In the course timeline settings, set the start date on May 2nd
2. Set the following condition for a top-level block under “Display options”:
3. The blocks indented under the top level block will be shown to Trainee A on May 5th from 0:00 AM (3 days after the start date).
Scheduling automatic emails (07:00 UTC)
You can also send automatic emails based on relative scheduling. Simply add an automatic email block to a course timeline and select Send Date: “Days after Start Date” and fill in the number of days.
The start date can the start date of the course timeline or the day a participant was added to a groupspace (you can set this under the Course Timeline Settings).
The mails are sent at 7 AM UTC (Coordinated Universal Time , see what time that is here), so the exact time depends on your time zone and the time of year.
Example: If a member was added on a Monday and 3 days were filled in, the mail will be sent on Thursday morning at 7 AM UTC.