Slate uses Forms for a number of tasks, from collecting data from prospective students to administratively updating specific data points for person records. The form is quite often an integral piece for many of the other Slate functions. A well-developed form can play a crucial role in marketing efforts, record management, reader review, events, and interviews.
An effective way to begin learning about Slate forms is to build an Inquiry Form (sometimes called a “Request for Information” form). Include a link to the inquiry form from an admissions website to allow prospective students to easily convey important information about themselves. The information a prospective student provides will create and update their record in Slate and will also set the stage for more effectual outreach efforts using the Deliver function.
Build the Form
Click the Slate Scholar Lightbulb in the top left corner for a complete listing of all setting descriptions.
Does a Form need to be active to test?
Yes, even when a form is active, it is not accessible to the public until linked on a website or URL is published.
After saving form configurations, the Form Management screen appears. This page provides administrative tools to manage the form, such as editing the configurations, changing the items on the form, and using advanced reporting tools to view and summarize form responses.
Registrants: When a form is submitted, registration information appears in this area. Additionally, a Slate user may add a registrant administratively by clicking the New Registration link.
The next step in building an inquiry form is to determine the information that needs to be collected on the form.
Click Edit Form on the right to begin adding questions.
Edit the Form
When form content is edited for the first time, some standard Slate fields appear by default. It is best practice to include these standard fields on most forms.
- Fields may be reordered by dragging to the desired position.
- Edit a field by double clicking the field or by hovering the cursor over the field and selecting the pencil icon.
- Delete a field by hovering over the field and clicking the X icon.
There are a number of form design tools available on the Edit Form page. Some of these are crucial to building an inquiry form, while some are more nuanced.
Other tools will be covered later in the Phase I Events and Data Entry section.
Make a User-Friendly Form! Before building an inquiry form, plan on paper the questions that should be included on the form. Make sure the inquiry form is easy to complete and that it does not preclude prospective students from submitting their contact information by presenting an overly complex inquiry form with a large number of required fields. It is a best practice to collect basic, general information about the student now to establish their record in Slate, and then send targeted communications to request more detailed information later.
Form Fields Palette
When building a form, use the Form Builder Palette to drag in the type of content to be added.
Make it Compatible!
Be mindful when selecting the tools from the Form Builder Palette. It is imperative that the compatible tool is selected for the field. Use the descriptions on this page to help determine the appropriate tool for form fields.
Items that might be used on a basic inquiry form are described below. The other items will be explained in more detail other knowledge base articles.
- Instructions: Use the HTML editor to add descriptive or instructional information on the form.
- Text Box: This is generally used for capturing free-text data in a short sentence or phrase, such as First Name.
- Option Buttons: Captures a single-option response to a field with visible prompt options (such as “What is your gender?”).
- Check Boxes: Captures multiple responses to a field with visible prompt options (such as “How did you hear about this institution?”).
- Select List: Captures a single response to a field with prompt options (such as “What is your primary academic interest?”). The prompt options appear in a dropdown list, so this is the preferred type of field when offering a long list of prompt options.
- Multi-select: Captures multiple responses to a field with prompt options (such as “What are your academic interests?”). The prompt options appear in a scrollable list, so this is the preferred type of field when offering a long list of prompt options that may need more than one option selected.
- Street Address: Captures an address such as Mailing Address.
- Date: Captures a date such as Birthdate.