Moving module choice online

Over the summer I worked on helping the administrative team move first year student elective module choice online. The data had previously been collected manually via a paper form given to students. The data then had to be transferred manually by administrative staff onto an excel spreadsheet before the students were enrolled on our student record system, SITS. This was a cumbersome process usually completed at the beginning of the academic year, what was already a busy time for administrative staff. We decided to look at a quick and easy way of moving this process online. I worked with the administrators to find out the type of data they wanted to collect and how they wanted it to display in excel. I then made up a few test forms using googleform for them to check over. Once they had agreed that it would work for them I trained the administrators in how to create googleforms and how to download the data in excel format. This is a very easy process and took very little time for them to learn.

We chose googleforms because it is free, all the administrators could easily get an account, the forms could be distributed via a link sent out by email or on the virtual learning environment (Moodle) and they could also be embedded in Moodle.

I asked the Undergraduate Sociology programme administrator for her feedback on how the change went.

How was the module choice done before moving it online?

The module choice process was previously done on paper. A module choice session was organized between March and May to choose modules that would be studies the following September. Module choice handbooks and forms were distributed at this session as well as information given by tutors about their specific modules.

Why did you decide to move module choice online?

We decided to move the module choice online for first years (2nd and 3rd years had already chosen modules) after the idea was suggested to us by Anna Campbell. The paper forms were a bit cumbersome, so moving to the online method seemed the best thing to do.

How easy/difficult do you find using googleforms for module choice?

I found the process of moving to the online form very smooth, and although I may ask for a little help in setting up the forms for 2nd and 3rd years, I think that using googleforms has improved the process very much.

How did it go?

Because the students were taken through the process during their moodle induction there were very few problems. I have not had very much feedback from them, but usually this can be interpreted as a good thing!

What would you do differently next time?

I think I would label the categories slightly differently for the purpose of sorting, but I would not change anything on a large scale.