Forms in Slate are used for a number of tasks, from collecting data from prospective students to administratively updating specific data points for person records. Furthermore, a form is quite often an integral piece for many of the other Slate modules. 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 send important information about themselves. The information prospective students provide will create and update their records in Slate and also set the stage for more robust outreach efforts using the Deliver module later in Phase I.
- Click Forms in the top navigation bar.
- Click New Form.
- Enter the following Form configurations in the popup window:
- Page Title - The Page Title will display to the student.
- Folder - Put forms in folders to keep forms organized. Select Other to create a new folder.
- Status - Set the Status to Confirmed/Active.
- Click Save.
Click the Light Bulb 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 will display. This page contains administrative tools to manage the form, including editing the configurations, changing the items on the form, and even advanced reporting tools to view and summarize form responses.
Form Registrants - When form is submitted, registration information will display in this area. Additionally, a Slate user may add a registrant administratively by clicking the New Registration link.
The next step when building an inquiry form is to determine what information needs to be collected on the form.
Click Edit Form on the right to begin adding questions.
When form content is edited for the first time, some standard Slate fields will display by default. It is best practice to include these standard fields on most forms.
- Fields may be reordered by clicking and dragging to desired position.
- Edit field by double clicking the field.
- Delete field by hovering over the field and clicking the .
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 which questions should be included on paper first. Make sure the inquiry form is easy to complete and does not preclude prospective students from submitting their contact information by building an overly complex inquiry form with a large number of required fields. It is best practice to collect general information about the student now to establish their record in Slate, and then send targeted communications to request more detailed information later.
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 may be used on a basic inquiry form are explained below. The other items will be explained in more detail throughout Phase I.
- Instructions - Use the HTML editor to add public-facing instructions.
- Text Box - This is generally used for capturing free-text data that is a single sentence, or just a few words, such as First Name.
- Option Buttons - This is used to capture a single response to a field with a few prompt options (e.g. “What is your gender?”). Each prompt option is displayed on the page.
- Check Boxes - This is used to capture multiple responses to a field with prompt options. (e.g. “How did you hear about this institution?”). Each prompt option is displayed on the page.
- Select List - This is used to capture a single response to a field with prompt options. (e.g. “What is your primary academic interest?” ). The prompt options appear in a dropdown menu, so this is preferred for a field with a long list of prompt options.
- Multi-select - This is used to capture multiple responses to a field with prompt options. (e.g.“What are your academic interests?”). The prompt options appear in a scroll-able list, so this is preferred if the field has a long list of prompt options.
- Street Address - This is used to capture an address, such as Mailing Address.
- Date - This is used to capture a date, such as Birthdate.