With the onset of a new academic year, your new course material is ready and students are trickling back onto campus. But have you checked in on your faculty activity reporting solution since last year? Now may be the right time to ensure everything is in line. The first thing to think about is user access. Do new faculty have access? Have you disabled the accounts for retired faculty? Is the basic information for these users up-to-date? Here are three best practices for creating and managing users in your faculty activity reporting solution.
1) Get into the Practice of Creating and Updating Users on a Routine Basis
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. But this should be a best practice that you adhere to on a routine basis taking into consideration faculty hires and departures. It might be at the outset of every academic year, the beginning of each semester or the start to each quarter While the time at which to do this will vary, the reason you should is the same. Getting in the habitat of checking that the right users are in the system and are current will ensure that the right people have access to the right information. Managing your users’ records will lead to greater success with your faculty activity reporting solution—from data accuracy to comprehensive reports.
2) Determining 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 who may need access 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
- 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) Choosing 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 each user one at a time may be tedious and lead to data errors. If you have just a handful of users to add to the system, this approach shouldn’t pose any issues. But if you are adding many users to the system at one time, consider adding these users in bulk. Using a bulk action will be more efficient as well as lessen the likelihood of errors.
Before completing any bulk actions, take some time to review all the information that you may be uploading or updating. Get a feel for who has access currently, who needs it, what permissions each user needs, any data errors and so on—then make your updates.
Taking the time to create and update your user records is just the first step. Stay tuned for more blog posts coming in September on how to prep your faculty activity reporting solution for the 2016-2017 academic year.
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. To find this information: head to the Resource Center from within Activity Insight. Then, search for “User Accounts” for help center articles, webinars and more.