Working Smarter to manage ‘change requests’ remotely

By Sarah Butler, Curriculum Team, UCD Registry

This Summer, my team were faced with the task of figuring out how to best gather information from Schools and Colleges during the busy registration preparation period while working remotely.

What we wanted was to reduce paperwork and make the process as smooth as possible for all those involved. We felt that an online form could help us by getting the information we needed in a consistent format and making information readily available to colleagues.

What we thought colleagues in Schools and Colleges needed was to get the changes done as quickly as possible so that they could continue preparation for registration and the upcoming academic year. Given the fact that we’re all working remotely, we also felt that it would be important to reduce the delays that could be involved in processing a paper PDARF form.

The team already had an online Structure Change Request form, built using Wufoo (an online form builder), as wufoo seemed like it could capture what we all needed and make it possible. I will add here that I consider myself a newbie when it comes to Wufoo form creation. In fact, as I spend most of my days now working remotely with my dog beside me, I must admit to having often referred to them as Woof Woof forms, which is completely normal.

My first experience with Wufoo was to review and edit the existing form and I must confess, I didn’t really know what I was doing and fumbled through it. Thankfully, most of the work had already been done, and it was fairly easy to pick up!

With a new sense of confidence (and some competence), I decided to introduce a new form for module changes: the Module Descriptor Change form. I started this one from scratch, seeking initial guidance from the USM project team. After some ad hoc training I was able to happily go about building my form as I saw fit.

Once I had completed the form I shared it with some colleagues in a few different Schools so that they could review it from the user’s perspective. I worked with the USM’s Remote Working Group to do this.

People are engaging with the forms – we’ve received 212 Structure Change requests and 151 Module Descriptor Change requests. From the lack of feedback it seems that the forms are quite user friendly! Even in the cases where requests have been queries, the request has generally been resolved quicker because we’ve been able to capture the required information we need from the get-go.

All in all, I’m a Woof Woof fan (and a Wufoo fan) and would happily use it again and also recommend it to others! Happy form building.