Managing users throughout the academic year is an important practice to ensure that reports from your faculty activity reporting system are always current. Make certain that your newest faculty can input their teaching, publication, research and service activities and faculty who have retired or left the institution no longer appear on your reports. We’ve outlined three best practices that can help you this this task.
1) Create and Update Users on a Schedule
The exact point during the academic year to create and update the users in your faculty activity reporting solution will vary from university to university. For example, you might schedule adding and updating users at the outset of the academic year, as well as the beginning of each quarter. Choose timing that works for your university calendar, then set a routine of managing user records at those intervals. Adhering to a user maintenance schedule ensures that your faculty activity reporting remains current, allowing accurate reporting regardless of the time of year. This is helpful for accreditation and ad hoc reporting, which may not coincide with annual reviews or promotion and tenure.
2) Determine Who Should Have a User Account
Before faculty and administrators can capture their activities, they need to have an account in the system. Without an account, a person cannot access your faculty activity reporting solution nor can they track their information. When creating user records, spend some time thinking about who is appropriate for this access. Individuals to consider include:
- Current faculty members
- Users no longer with the campus but who have activities that must show on historically accurate reports
- Staff who do not have tracked activities but who may be entering data on behalf of others
- Extension staff, who may teach or perform outreach on behalf of the university though not as faculty members
- Anyone tasked with entering data for another person, such as temporary data entry clerks or students hired for this purpose
- Anyone serving as a system administrator at any level
A quick note for administrative users: be sure to grant them the appropriate access based on the type of interaction they’ll need with the system. Administrators of your faculty activity reporting solution will likely be running administrative reports or assisting with managing data. Because of this, there is no need for these users to track their own activities or for their activities to appear on your reports.
3) Choose the Best Way to Add and Manage Users
While this may be different depending on the faculty activity reporting solution you use, you generally will have two options for adding users: one-by-one or in bulk. As you can imagine, entering a larger group of users one at a time, such as at the beginning of an academic year when many new faculty join the university, can lead to data errors. If you have just a handful of users to add to the system, this approach shouldn’t pose any issues. However, if you are adding many users to the system at one time, consider using bulk actions for efficiency and reducing the likelihood of mistakes.
Before completing any bulk actions, take some time to review all the information that you plan to upload or update. Get a feel for who currently has access, who needs it, what permissions each user needs, any data errors and so on—then make your updates.
Are you a client of Digital Measures? You can find specific instructions on how to create and manage your user records in the Resource Center within Activity Insight. Sign in, then search for “User Accounts” for help center articles, webinars and more.