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ENTS explore evaluation tools
12/06/2010 | COSEE ENTs, (COSEE.net)

Recently the ENTs (Excellence in Networking Tools sub-group) gathered a few of its members to host the second in their “tools that work” webinars on November 19th. This time, the spotlight was on evaluation tools – to highlight some easy-to-use software, tips and tricks and to showcase the possibilities that these versatile tools can offer.

Missed this webinar? View the video here (QuickTime, 26.78 MB).

Carla Companion (OS) spent a few minutes featuring Surveymonkey and Qualtrics, online-based survey tools. Because the tools live online they can be accessed anywhere and that data does not stay only in a file box or on someone’s hard drive. Carla demonstrated the various ways in which OS has applied Surveymonkey – including for event registrations, quantitative and qualitative feedback, content management and workshop “homework” assignments. The ability to quickly create surveys, download data after collection and to filter and sort the data on screen were some of the most positive features of the tool.

Another online-based tool, Qualtrics, goes further than Surveymonkey by offering additional statistics, meta-level data (such as the amount of time a respondent spent answering a question) and more varied question types. Qualtrics has been used by COSEE West to create event registrations and collect participant data. Both tools have a free and paid version, with different levels of features at each price range.

Brittney Marshall (SouthEast) gave a Google-docs based presentation about… you guessed it, Google Docs! Google’s tool includes word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and even drawing. Brittney demonstrated Google documents through an online presentation (similar to PowerPoint). She featured the sharing of documents for online collaboration and creating forms that feed into spreadsheets automatically (and which can be embedded into websites or emails). Files created in Google Docs can also be exported to Microsoft Office and other similar products, making this a flexible tool for collaboration.

Brian McCann took the audience into a more advanced tool. Adobe LiveCycle is a tool that can create active forms. These forms can appear to be PDFs, but can be filled out and submitted by the click of a button, causing the data to feed immediately into a pre-existing database. By eliminating the need to download or enter in event registrations, this tool can streamline the process for large-scale events. Brian also showed the feature that will put a barcode on a document. When scanned, the information contained in the document would go directly to a computer file instead of having to be entered by hand. Both hand-held scanners and add-on software for existing scanning hardware are available for this task.

Though the attendance for this webinar was smaller than the previous ENTs webinar, there was still positive feedback.

“I was already familiar with google docs and survey monkey, but got a few new ideas on their application to other kinds of problems. This was fast paced and to the point. Nice job.”

“I'm well versed on Survey Monkey, so that info wasn't overly helpful, but I liked the intro to Qualtrics and the Adobe software. Great job. Keep the tech webinars coming! Thanks!”

For more information on:
SurveyMonkey: http://www.surveymonkey.com
Qualtrics: http://www.qualtrics.com
Google Docs: http://docs.google.com
Adobe LiveCycle: http://www.adobe.com/products/livecycle/

We welcome your suggestions for the next webinar topics – email us anytime at ents@cosee.net.

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