Helping your students hit “submit”

Congratulations! You’ve got a new website! It comes with all sorts of excellent tools to help you reach your students, now they just have to use them!

We’ve blogged before about our form builder, how it works, and when you should use it. But even after all this, you still have a huge hurdle to cross: encouraging your students to fill out and submit the forms you need them to. We’re here to help you in any way we can, so we’re here to share some of our top tips for writing forms your students will actually complete.

1. Make it easy.

Our very first rule of thumb is: if you want your students to submit your form, make it easy. If you feel exhausted by the length or complexity of your own form, there’s a good chance a lot of your students will simply walk away.

2. Give them a reason.

Don’t make filling out your form a favor. If the form is important to you, make it important to your students as well by offering them something of value. We’ve even built Collegiate Reward Points into our product as an incentive for your students to help you along!

3. If it’s not a survey, don’t make it one.

Be wary of needlessly turning your form into a survey—the longer your form is, the less likely it will be completed. Be critical of the fields you’re including and cut anything that’s not relevant to the end goal of your form.

4. Split it up.

If you’re worried you’re asking for too much information all at once, consider dividing it into multiple forms. If you’re collecting info for an event you’re hosting, you may need to know about any special dietary concerns, but you probably won’t need to know their year of graduation or course of study.

5. Don’t put up roadblocks.

Make sure your form doesn’t defeat itself by assuming a narrow set of answers: if you’ve provided a series of check boxes and made it a requirement to check one, be sure that anyone filling out your form has at least one they can check. Don’t be afraid to add options like “other,” “maybe,” and “I don’t know.”

So there you have it! We hope this has been of use to you, and if you have any questions or ideas for further support posts, let us know!

Published 12/01/15 by Laura Lynch