A: Audit is the process through which syllabi are reviewed and approved. This is often useful for new course approval, template finalization, and sectional (i.e. instructor) syllabus review.
The audit process has several stages and is exclusively available to individuals who have the ability to edit the syllabus or have audit course domain permission.
In order to understand each stage of the auditing process, it is first important to note that there are two roles of auditing: 1) people who will be editing syllabi, such as instructors, and 2) people who will be reviewing syllabi, such as department chairs. While a Dean, curriculum committee, etc., may also be responsible for yet another stage in the audit workflow, for the purpose of this article we will continue to refer to them generally as "auditors."
There are currently five stages to the Concourse audit workflow, as show in the diagram below.
- New: Either the syllabus is blank, or it has been cloned and not yet edited. In other words, the syllabus is so far untouched.
- In Progress: The syllabus has been edited to some extent. The person editing the syllabus has saved an item/uploaded a syllabus but has not yet submitted the syllabus for review. This means that content is still being added to and modified on the syllabus. Going from New to In Progress occurs automatically on first edit.
- Submitted for Review: Edits to the syllabus have been finalized and the syllabus is now submitted for review by an auditor. The editor can continue to make changes to the syllabus before it is reviewed. From here the auditor will decide if the syllabus is considered Reviewed or if more work needs to be done and move it back to In Progress. Further, the editor can even undo this step and go back to In Progress themselves if they want to no longer keep the auditor on notice.
- Reviewed: At this point the auditor has assessed the syllabus content and approved what they've seen. Now, the syllabus is done with the review process, unless the syllabus is Modified Since Review.
- Modified Since Review: This stage occurs automatically if a syllabus is edited after it has already been reviewed. Auditors can run a report to see which syllabi have been adjusted since the review and are given the option of revisiting it for re-approval.
Now that you understand the stages of auditing, let’s go over the use of audit in Concourse from first a syllabus editor’s perspective and then from an auditor’s perspective.
As an editor of a syllabus, you will be able to access the audit area by clicking Audit on the navigation bar.
Once within the audit area, you will have the options of changing the audit status, providing some notes about the progress of the syllabus throughout the audit workflow, and alerting auditors and editors that a change has been made. Below the update form you will see the audit trail, which describes when the audit status has changed, who performed the action, and any associated messages. This will include both user- initiated (e.g. Submitted For Review) and automatic (e.g. New) entries.
To make a change to the audit status, simply use the drop down to make your selection. You can also provide a detailed message at that time. This may even be helpful even if the audit status is not changed, such as "I finished working on course outcomes but I still need to incorporate a schedule." You must either change the status or include a message in order to add to the audit trail.
*Note: Depending on whether you are an editor in the course (someone who has permission to edit the given syllabus) or an auditor (someone who has been assign audit course domain permission), or both, you will have slightly different options when it comes to changing the audit status as described in the stages at the top of this article.
If you choose to Notify Editors or Auditors, an email message will go out to the respective users indicating that a change has been made. In the case of Editors, this will be anyone who is registered for the course and has permission to edit the syllabus. This will often be an instructor, but it can also be a curriculum committee member or the proposer of the new course depending on the purpose of the review.
Checking Auditors will send an email to all of the users who have audit course permission for the domain in which that course falls. It's typical to include a series of department chairs, Deans, or anyone else involved in the audit process.
When you're ready to add to the audit trail, just click Submit.
Finally, you may then be interested in creating audit status reports. To learn more about audit reports, click here.