Fall/Spring First-Year Advising Questionnaires

Fall First-Year Advising Questionnaire

Brief Description

A questionnaire for First-Year students using FormAssembly forms that integrates into Salesforce. Students need to submit the questionnaire to be placed into their first courses, living communities, etc.

Planning implementation and achieving results

Back in 2010, a former employee designed a custom eform system for people to submit forms. This system may have been adequate for those times, but it became infamous in the IT department for being extremely hard to work with. In 2014 the University rolled out Salesforce as our main CRM system, so we also purchased FormAssembly for their form integration with Salesforce.

These questionnaires were among the first to migrate from the old custom eform system to the new system. We created a custom eForm Object in Salesforce with fields for the questionnaire, designed the new form, and mapped the answers from the questionnaire to the custom object in Salesforce so that people could run reports about who submitted a questionnaire.

My responsibilities were to design the form and create the connector to Salesforce. The end users were extremely pleased with the results. They have mentioned that this new process saves them a lot of time and money.

Influencing, communication and teamwork

The first iteration was a straight copy of the questionnaire from the old eform system to FormAssembly. This was relatively easy. However, USD introduced the Living Learning Communities (LLCs). Without going into specifics, LLCs are topics that a student chooses to focus and also determined who they are housed with. For this we had to have several meetings with academic users to make sure that we are asking the right questions and that Faculty Advisors can make decisions quickly and thoroughly. It was quite pleasant to work with them. Often they did not understand the technical limitations of the system, but we worked with them and designed a solution that worked for all of them.

I also worked with a few colleagues in ITS. We were all new to Salesforce, so mapping fields from a questionnaire was something new to all of us. Luckily both the Salesforce and FormAssembly was quite good and their support people are also very knowledgeable.

Analysis, problem solving and creative thinking

The hardest part was the AP Scores section. Students can submit an indefinite amount of AP Scores in subjects that may not be common. Also, a student could submit an anticipated score instead of an actual score and their placemenet can be impacted by this. We solved this issue by adding radio buttons indicatinf if the score was actual or not and then we had repeatable questions for all the subjects. The student could hit a button to keep adding scores. In the backend, the connector concatenated all their responses into a string and inserted them into a field in the custom eform object. I couldn't have done all of that without the very good FormAssembly documentation.