This past summer we kicked off an Early Adopter Program (EAP) to improve the admin experience in Admissions Scheduling, part of Blackbaud’s onBoard Enrollment Management System. Nineteen schools answered the call to take part in the program; since getting involved, they have been able to:
- Proactively schedule visit and interview openings using a timesaving recurrence feature;
- Overlay general school and athletic events onto a new Admissions Scheduling Calendar, which provides whole-school-connected insight into the best days for prospective families to visit campus;
- Trigger automatic confirmation and reminder notifications upon scheduling a Visit or Interview on behalf of a family.
EAPs are critical to our development process. We get to validate the direction of an initiative and make sure there aren’t any workflow issues before our general release. During this EAP, we used the Blackbaud K-12 community forum to collect feedback from the 19 participating schools. Having a centralized hub where schools can learn from each other while communicating directly with Product Management has been a tremendous improvement to the EAP experience.
Through the forum, we’ve collected many enhancement requests that will be incorporated before the general release, including:
- Better visual queues when visit or interview openings are all filled for a given day;
- Additional Notification placeholder options;
- Adding agenda and participant options to Interviews (not just Visits).
In addition to responding to EAP feedback, we've also started coding the Self-Scheduling option in Admissions Scheduling. This feature will enable prospective families to choose pre-approved school visit and interview dates and times from a list. A series of administrative notifications will alert selected admissions staff if a date has been requested, rescheduled, or canceled. You’ll also be able to choose if you want to incorporate an approval process into your workflow OR automatically confirm and schedule the appointment.
Once the Self-Scheduling piece is available to EAP schools and we’re able to validate that it’s meeting expectations, we’ll announce the general release to our onBoard full-edition schools.
A huge THANK YOU to our 19 EAP schools for helping us create better software!
About the Author
As a Senior Product Manager, Jackie Christensen has been a member of Blackbaud K-12's product development team since the inception of the ON products. In fact, she was on site with the first school to launch onCampus and onRecord. She has loved the journey of working with schools and our UX and technical team to bring ideas to life with each release iteration. Jackie lives in NH with her husband Mark and 3 boys. Depending on the season, you’ll either find them at the lake or skiing.More Content by Jackie Christensen