Spring Housing Intention Form: eliminating a confusion of papers & emails

Background

Each November the Residence Directors/Managers send out forms to each student in their building to determine the students’ housing plans for the Spring Semester.  These forms include a variety of options for students to choose:

  • No Change
  • Graduating: will not need room next semester
  • Student Teaching: will not need room next semester
  • Internship: no housing needed
  • Studying Abroad: no housing needed
  • Change room or hall for spring semester

In addition to these options, students can indicate whether they plan to live in the hall during Winterim or not. The students’ responses help the Residence Directors to plan for filling open spots in their hall during the winter break.

Problem

The Residence Directors found themselves sorting through hundreds of pieces of paper and emails trying to determine which students responded and which ones had not. To compound the problem, many of the responses required Residence Directors to follow up. Directors contacted students either by email or in person. Most of the time, keeping track of emails, papers, and other communication turned into a mess.

Problem Solved!

I created an online form where each student can log in using their student credentials and select their housing intentions for the spring semester. Residence Directors can then log into an administrative area where they can view all the responses for the students living in their building, email the student for follow-up contact, and add specific notes. Additionally, directors can see which students in their building have not responded. All of this information can be downloaded into Excel as well. No more sorting through hundreds of pieces of paper, or wondering who has responded and who hasn’t. Problem solved!

Timeclock: simplifying timesheets

Background

One of the cool things about the timeclock is the ability to generate pdf timesheets on demand. The Hartman Union Building (HUB) administrative assistant is tasked with producing timesheets for approximately 100 student employees every two weeks.

Problem

The old time clock system generated arbitrary numbers for each student employee. At the end of each two week pay period the administrative assistant had to manually enter each employee’s time clock number, generate and print a timesheet report. As you can imagine, this was a tedious and time consuming task.

Problem Solved!

Before I began creating the timeclock I talked to the administrative assistant to identify what she liked and disliked about the current system. The problem outlined above was her greatest dislike. I created the new timeclock system to revolve around the unique student ID number issued to students upon their acceptance to the university. This allows the administrative assitant to select an employee by their name and generate a timesheet for that individual. Even better, I went one step further to reduce her workload: now she can generate a single pdf file with all employees’ timesheets ready to print. This takes only a few minutes instead of the entire afternoon!

Read more about how I generate the timesheets!