We’re big fans of Google Forms here at Roompact. We use it ourselves for meetings and whenever we’re gathering feedback from our team members. It is a really user friendly and simple tool that gets the job done. Within residence life and residential education, it has become more apparent that Google Forms is king. It is by far the most heavily used tool for reslife departments across the country. Whether it be for duty logs, program proposals, guest registration, or one on one conversations, it is widely used by almost every school that I speak with.
Now there are many alternatives to Google Forms. Whether it be, Wufu, Formsite, Survey Monkey, Qualtrics, or some type of homegrown system, we see it all. The reason why we prefer Google Forms is that it’s free and easy to use. There are probably many professionals out there that would agree with me on that.
When we think about the day to day work of our student staff and pro staff members, even five to eight years ago, most of the work was done on paper. We’re talking about processes like duty logs, weekly reports, roommate agreements, and room condition reports. We’ve been able to digitize these things to some degree thanks to tools like Google Forms.
On the other side, there are many schools that have not digitized their processes. For those folks, we actually made some Google Forms templates that you can copy and edit for yourselves. These templates are some of the example templates that come prebuilt in Roompact. If you want to use any of the templates, click the link below, and it will prompt you to make a copy. Then the template is yours to edit!
Now if you’ve read up to this point, let’s talk about where Google Forms may fall short in the context of residence life and residential education. When we begin to use form builders for intentional conversations, one on ones, or program evaluations, Google Forms can do specifically one thing. Gather data. This is a critical piece because you can download that data into an excel format and view the data in aggregate. But what happens if there are two or three versions of a duty log? What if each Resident Director creates their own separate intentional conversation for their RAs to use? You can already see that this can lead to as one Associate Director said “an abyss that is my Google Drive”.
If you’re asked the question, “How is the resident John Smith doing?”, how many different forms or spreadsheets do you need to go into to figure that out? Google Forms are still separate and will always be separate. Schools that have already digitized what used to be on paper are running into new challenges. How can we have a student centric way of understanding our residents without piecing together this puzzle of dozens of different forms? The information is there, but it takes too long. You may be able to consolidate the information for one or two students at a time, but when you have to do it for 5000 residents, you’re faced with an impossible task.
WARNING! Now I am going to talk about Roompact briefly!
If you’ve read to this point, I really appreciate it! In the situation mentioned above, imagine having a tool that does all of the consolidation of data for you. Imagine every duty log, one on one conversation, or program survey lives in a single timeline for a specific resident. Imagine we’re able to add the context and history of roommate mediations, from notes on homesickness and student involvement to involvement in different programs. Roommate agreements, program surveys, intentional conversations are milestones of your departmental initiatives. History of roommate mediations, notes on homesickness, and academic success provides a context and fills the gap between these milestones. This allows us to paint a holistic picture of the resident’s experience and allows pro-staff members to see how educational initiatives result in certain outcomes. This is what Roompact can do for you.
If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help, please reach out to one of our team members at firstname.lastname@example.org