The ParentPaperwork Dashboard has been completely overhauled with a new analytics-based version.
The new Dashboard concisely and elegantly displays key indicators providing you with the ability to analyse your data collection process. It enables you to know “how things are going”, giving you insights and enabling you to track comparisons against a time series and global averages.
A key goal we believe should be that all parents return their ParentPaperwork forms by the Due Date. So the Dashboard gives you a number of measures:
- What percentage of your Slips are returned within the first 24 hours, and how this compares to the global average across all our schools?
- The average number of hours before a Slip is returned;
- The percentage of your Slips that are returned by the Due Date;
- The proportion of your parents who return their Slips by the Due Date.
There are also metrics of interest to your school’s marketing and communications team, for example how many times a month are you sending Slips and Broadcasts to parents?
Plus we believe that environment considerations are super important so we’ve included analysis to give you a sense of the impact on the environment through your decision to implement ParentPaperwork.
Our Data Scientist Juan Daza has written a great blog post giving the details of how we assembled and created the analysis – really worth a read to gain an understanding of the techniques and thinking behind the statistics.
If your metrics are tracking below the global average there may be some strategies that can be deployed to improve the results – our team has a range of tips and tracks and we encourage you to contact us to discuss ideas. For example, enabling SMS notifications can often improve response rates.
Practical actions are still present on the new Dashboard, in the right hand column. You can start a new online form, and there are alerts for outstanding actions that are your responsibility. There’s also a new list of Slips at Due Date, highlighting Slips that are close to or just past their Due Date, with a quick check of the responses received so far.
The new Analytics Dashboard is available to all ParentPaperwork schools. If you still see the ‘old’ Dashboard after logging in, look for the Switch to new Analytics Dashboard link at the top right.
We welcome all of your feedback about the Dashboard or any aspect of ParentPaperwork. The Analytics Dashboard is the precursor to some very exciting new features around reporting and analytics you can expect from ParentPaperwork in the coming months.
Many parents will be sent multiple Slips to be completed at various times, so it’s likely at any given time a particular parent might be responsible for completing and submitting more than one Slip.
Email and SMS notifications will be sent to the parent for each individual Slip and Student and the Parent can click through to each Slip from each notification – but that means the parent has to switch back and forth between their email program and web browser. The issue is exacerbated for those with twins in the same class, or when the Slip has been sent to multiple Student Lists which include more than one child with the same contacts.
To help make the parent’s task easier, ParentPaperwork now displays a list of outstanding Slips in two places. We believe this offers a much smoother process when someone has more than one Slip needing to be completed, they can simply click through to the next one both from the online form page and the Thank You emails.
Parent Slip Page
When the Parent submits an online form, if they have any other outstanding Slips these are displayed at the top of the page (up to 4 Slips).
Parent Slip Thank You Email
When someone submits a Slip online form a ‘thank you’ email is sent to them, this also includes a list of up to four other outstanding Slips.
The current Student List selector has been a little problematic for schools with many Student Lists, so we have added a ‘typeahead’ box at the top of the box displaying available Lists on the left side. Simply start typing the name of the List you are looking for and the available options will automatically filter to reflect the text you enter.
It’s a easy way to quickly locate the Student List you need amongst dozens or hundreds.
Obviously it’s important to have your students organised in way that makes sense for your school, and then be able to select those via the Student Lists when you wish to send out a Slip or Broadcast.
Some of our larger ParentPaperwork schools over time have amassed a great many Student Lists. Others are maintaining a large number just day to day because we are not just pulling Year Levels, Home Rooms lists from their student database, but subject classes, co-curricular and others. The new typeahead feature makes finding and selecting Lists super simple.
The same works in reverse, if you have selected a large group of Student Lists you can locate one to remove from the Slip/Broadcast by typing the name of the desired list into the box at the top of the right hand column of selected Lists.
ParentPaperwork allows you to create a School Form and send it to multiple staff members for completion. An obvious example would asking a group of staff to accept an ICT usage policy.
Create the Form
To create a copy of the Form for multiple staff select the School Form template, and change the drop down ‘This Form is for me’ to ‘No’. Select the names of the Staff who need to complete the form. If there is a file that needs to be attached then click Add Files.
When ready click the Save New Form and a Draft will be created. If all details are correct click the Complete button. A copy of the Form will be created for each of the selected Staff.
Notification to Staff Members
An email notification will be sent to each of the selected Staff members, with a link to their copy of the Form.
Staff Open the Form
When the Staff member clicks their link their copy of the Form will open, with the Form assigned to them.
Staff Edit the Form
The Staff member edits the Form as if they had created it, they click the Edit Form button, enter information into the fields, and click the Save Form button.
Staff Complete the Form
Once the Staff member is happy with the information they have entered they click the Complete button to submit the Form.
Note you can set up additional workflow steps, for example, to send a notification to other Staff on submission, or to request Approval.
The online form submissions from parents using ParentPaperwork can now be analysed with charts and graphs. We have reorganised the Parent Slip page and added three tabs – Slip, Responses and Analysis.
This displays the Slip preview/overview as before.
The list of Responses for a Slip that previously hid at the bottom of the page now has its own tab, making it much easier to access, you don’t need to scroll all the way down the page anymore – something a number of people had commented on as being a little annoying.
The Analysis tab will display a chart for each ‘closed response’ question on the Slip. So select lists and checkboxes which have a closed list of answers will automatically have bar graphs created. There is a Print button that will open a new page wiht the charts formatted for printing, one chart per page. You could also screen shot a chart if you need to include it in another document in Microsoft Word or Powerpoint as part of a presentation.
The top chart will always be the ‘Contact Response’ – the mauve field in the Form Template Designer, the main question that must be on all Slips. The rest of the charts will then display in order below.
You might be using ParentPaperwork to survey parents, or capture their orders for fundraising products – but we know that most people respond positively to visual representations of data. It’s fine giving you Excel exports and lists of numbers and values, but a chart offers a simple and effective way of quickly analysing the results of your parent’s online form submissions – whatever the questions you asked.
We’re looking at further opportunities to utlise the data you are capturing and reporting in ParentPaperwork, we believe there’s much more that can we can do to help you understand and interpret the data, and we think everyone will agree this new analysis feature is a great step forward.
Student Lists are a great way to organise groups of Students to whom you will be sending Parent Slips. The Lists could be the students’ home rooms, the swimming team, the brass band – whatever you like. A Student can be assigned to any one or more of the Student Lists, and you can maintain as many Lists as you like. If we have a live connection to your student management database then ParentPaperwork can be reading any student groupings you might have in the database as well.
We have introduced the ability to archive Student Lists that you are not actively using, but which you wish to maintain for future reference or use.
When viewing the list of Student Lists select one or more by clicking the corresponding checkbox, then click the Action drop and select Move Selected to Archive. The Lists will no longer display by default in the ‘Current’ view, but you see them anytime by selecting Archive from the dropdown in the search bar and clicking the Search button.
Recently we introduced the ability for your school to select the header and footer colours in the notification emails sent to parents advising them of new Slips they need to complete. The school logo is already displayed in the emails and this change meant the email branding could be completely consistent with the school’s style guide.
We’ve had a great reaction to this update so we’ve taken it a step further, and you can now select the header banner colour at the top of the online form page where the parents complete and submit their Slip.
Click on your user name at the top right, click Settings from the menu, the from the Settings page select Customise Parent Slip Response Page.
By default, if you do not select any colours, the banners will be in the ParentPaperwork corporate purple shade – you can click the Reset button to return to the purple.
This week we sent out our first ‘Weekly Update’ to all the main Administration Contacts for ParentPaperwork schools.
The Weekly Update is summary of activity for the past seven days on your ParentPaperwork account, including the the number of Slips sent, response rates, Broadcasts and SMS messages. It includes a measure of whether these statistics have increased or declined from the previous seven day period.
Also highlighted are the number of ‘spammed’ emails – emails that the recipients, or their email system, have flagged as spam. This is important because ParentPaperwork will cease delivering email to those addresses to avoid a degradation of our email delivery reputation.
You can check which email addresses are affected by logging into ParentPaperwork, clicking your user name at the top right, and selecting the Email Bounce Log option.
The Update also contains a list of the most recent ten Parent Slips you have sent and a count of all SMS texts including those sent via Broadcasts and those used to notify parents about new Slips.
The Weekly Update is a great way to monitor your ParentPaperwork activity, and we’ll continue to look at ideas to augment and improve the information it contains.
Schools are continuing to implement ParentPaperwork’s School Forms module to handle internal paperwork and improve administrative processes, and giving us fantastic feedback. This week we have launched a powerful new feature as part of the Form Template and Workflow system – locking and unlocking fields on sections of a Form as it moves from one User to the next through a workflow.
Take the use case of a Professional Development form, where a staff member wishes to attend a seminar or undertake some other PD. The workflow might be:
- Staff member completes information about the seminar
- Staff member forwards form to Department Head for them to confirm budget line; append notes about requirements for another teacher to cover the absence.
- Department Head forwards form the Deputy Principal for Approval
- Deputy Principal may Approve or Not Approve, and append their own notes.
Thus there are three groups of fields on the form, each which can be managed by a different person on the workflow.
Assign Fields to Groups
Fields on a Form Template can be allocated to a Group. When you edit a Field you will see an option to allocate the Field to a Field Group (if this option does not display please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure this feature is enabled). Group 0 means the field is not allocated to a Group.
If you allocate Fields to a Group this will be displayed in the Form Builder after you Update the Field.
Lock/Unlock Field Groups on Workflow Steps
Once you have Fields allocated to Groups, you can manage those Groups from the Workflow. When you edit a Step on the Workflow you can decided to Lock or Unlock a Field Group. For example in the screenshot below Group 1 is unlocked and thus editable on Step 2, whilst Groups 2 and 3 are Locked and would not be available to be edited by Users on this Step.
The ability to lock and unlock fields offers a powerful way to control a Form as it moves through any number of workflow steps.
Paper forms are a major resource and labour expense in schools, and recently we embarked on a quest to create some rough estimates of just how much the cost would be – both cash and to the environment.
If we look across all ParentPaperwork’s customers in 7 countries, on average schools are sending home 30 forms per student per year- so in a school of 1,000 students that’s 30,000 paper forms being managed between school and parents annually, let alone all the paper forms used internally by staff.
In dollar terms the forms sent home to parents for 1,000 students are probably costing you north of $16,000 a year. ParentPaperwork is very significantly cheaper than that.
ParentPaperwork will also obvious substantially reduce paper usage, resulting in strong environmental outcomes.
We’ve created a handy online calculator allowing you to see just how much you could save by using ParentPaperwork’s online forms platform to improve your school’s management processes.
Check out the new calculator!