How to Use Workflow Statuses in Item Authoring

This article explains how statuses can be used to monitor the workflow process in ‘Item Authoring’. You can find more information in the ‘Status’ section of ‘Item Authoring’ on the Surpass Help Site.

Note: This article only considers the default workflow statuses built into Surpass. For information about custom workflow statuses, refer to the article How to Create Custom Workflow Statuses.

Step 1: Create your content

Every question and information page you create in ‘Item Authoring’ will be automatically set to ‘Draft’. This allows you to immediately begin creating and saving content that can only be set to ‘Live’ and put in a test by someone with the necessary permissions. Depending on your permissions, you will see different options when changing the status. A user with full ‘Item Authoring’ permissions will see ‘Draft’, ‘To Review’, ‘Reviewed’, ‘Live’, and ‘Withdrawn’. A user with lesser permissions might only see ‘Draft’, ‘To Review’, and ‘Reviewed’.

Note: Subject permissions are assigned when creating a user in the ‘Setup’ section.

Step 2: Search by status and change status

When you enter the ‘Item Authoring’ section, you will see a list of your available subjects. Each subject has a number indicating its total number of items. Selecting this number will display a segmented breakdown of the number of items at each workflow status.


Once in your subject, the left column displays the same information. Selecting a status here will filter the items column to display only those items at that designated workflow status.


You can change the status of multiple items using the ‘Bulk Update’ function, which can be accessed via the blue ‘Bulk Update’ button.


This opens a ‘Select update type’ window, where you can choose to change the media, tags, and comments for multiple items at once. To change workflow statuses, select the ‘Status’ button and then ‘Continue’.


This takes you to the ‘Bulk item update wizard’. On the ‘Select items’ tab, choose the items or folders you wish to change on the left pane and either drag to the right pane or select the rightward-facing arrow button. You can filter by ‘Item Status’ and ‘Item Types’ at this stage by selecting the filter icon. You also can use text-based search functionality.


Having selected your items, move to the ‘Select options’ tab using the arrow at the top of the window. Here, you can choose the items’ new status from the drop-down list.


The ‘Finish’ tab displays a message that indicates how many items will be affected by your workflow change and asks for final confirmation before starting the Bulk Update process.


Note: If an item is not ready to be changed (for example, if a correct answer has not been set for a Multiple Choice question and you attempt to set it to ‘Live’), your request will not be accepted. You will receive an email detailing any issues once Bulk Update has completed.

For more information about Bulk Update, please read the article How to Update Multiple Items Simultaneously.

Step 3: Check the item’s progress

Selecting the ‘Item History’ button on an item’s ‘Edit’ screen allows you to view the status and tag changes made by yourself and other users, as well as when they were made. As each user is likely to have specific permissions for writing, reviewing, and publishing, this process lets every user monitor the progress and changes being made to the item.

Note: Only items at the ‘Live’ status can be included in tests. Items at any status lower than this will not appear when selecting content for test forms.

For further information, visit the Item Status and Workflow page on the Surpass Help Site.

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