4 Ways to Use Approval Workflow in Higher Education

Written by Formstack on October 22, 2013

Posted in Education, Form Hacks

Last week, Formstack launched a new feature called Approval Workflow. Basically, that’s our official-sounding title for the ability to approve, deny or comment on form submissions.

With Approval Workflow, Business and Max plan users can simplify communication and collaboration, but we know that showing you ways to use this feature is much better than just simply telling you how awesome it is. So this week, we will be highlighting real-life applications of our Approval Workflow feature for three industries: higher ed, human resources, and franchising.

Today, we’re shining our approving (get it?!) spotlight on the higher education industry. A great thing about this feature is that it gives you and your team the ability to quickly see and agree on certain information about your students or employees. Here are 4 ways your department or university could use this function to organize student and faculty data:

  1. Admission Applications. I’m not a higher ed administrator,  but something tells me that selecting which students are admitted each year is not a one-person job. With Formstack’s Approval Workflow functionality, you can set the members of your selections committee as “Approvers” in Formstack. Then, when it comes time to review prospective student applications, the committee members can go in and approve the submissions they want to accept.

    You can also go in to each submission and see who has approved or denied that particular application. If some committee members approved a certain application while others denied it, these students could be placed on a wait list.

  2. Content Approvals. One of the best ways to promote your university to prospective students is by asking current students to blog on behalf of the school. It’s a great way to learn about the university through the eyes of someone who already goes there. That said, it’s probably dangerous to just give a student your official university blog’s password and let them post what they please.

    With Formstack, the student can submit their blog content via an online form. Then, your team can review and approve the content before your blog moderator submits it to be posted. This prevents any accidental posts on your blog about that crazy party the student went to last weekend. You probably don’t want the parents reading that one.

  3. Scholarship/Award Applications. Like admission applications, your institution probably has a committee for selecting scholarship or award recipients. The Approval Workflow feature is great for quickly narrowing the scope for an award. Additionally, you can also approve and deny submissions via email. So, if you’re on an award committee and happen to see a great application while browsing your inbox, you can immediately approve that submission without needing to log into Formstack. This prevents the dreaded “write down to log into Formstack and review submissions. quickly forget.” scenario that happens to all of us.

  4. PTO Requests. If you report to multiple people, the Approval Workflow functionality is helpful for making sure everyone is on the same page with vacation time. If each of your bosses has Approver status in Formstack, you can use our Email Logic modification to ensure the requested time off is not confirmed via email until all of your supervisors have approved the submission. Likewise, you can set up an email via Email Logic that is sent if the request is denied as well. (NOTE: Check out this type of form on our Templates page.)

From the first applicant to the most tenured faculty member, there is a way to manage every employee and department using Approval Workflow. And if you’re worried about where those “denied” submissions go, don’t worry. They stay in our database and in your account.

This feature is currently only available for our top-tier, Business and Max plan users. Ready to take advantage of this new feature?

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Are you interested in learning more about this feature or the ways you could use it at your university? Fill out the form below, and a member of our team will be in touch!