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Northwestern University

Online Forms

What is the project? 

In response to student and staff demand, Weinberg IT developed and launched an online forms engine to move student-centered academic processes to an electronic format. The forms are routed electronically to the appropriate administrators for approval so students no longer need to visit multiple offices across campus for signatures.

From the idea's inception, Weinberg IT has approached online forms as a University-wide tool and has worked closely with NUIT, University Enrollment and undergraduate schools to develop the service. Now sponsored by Sean Reynolds, Vice President of Information Technology, and Mike Mills, Associate Provost for University Enrollment, the online forms engine is part of the University's new federated approach to technology services, promoting innovation and collaboration across Northwestern.

How does this project benefit Weinberg College?

Online forms allow for increased efficiency for students and administrators. Students can fill out and submit forms online rather than making multiple trips to schools' administrative offices. Staff can approve or request additional information more quickly, eliminating lag time due to student schedules or campus mail.

The online forms engine additionally demonstrates the benefits of cross-University collaboration not only to Weinberg students and faculty, but to all members of the University community. The engine can be used to enable forms in any number of administrative areas, managed by any unit at Northwestern.

What is involved in completing this project?

Weinberg IT has worked closely with members of the Office of Undergraduate Studies and Advising, the Office of the Registrar, and undergraduate schools to develop forms that would meet their specific needs. Several aspects of the current design were derived from user suggestions. As more forms are moved to electronic format, Weinberg IT will continue to solicit staff and student feedback in the design process. Weinberg IT will also continue to partner with units across campus to launch new University-wide processes and forms electronically.

What does this mean to me?

Online forms can cause an increase in usage due to simplifying the process for students. In some cases this may lead to increased staff time needed to process forms. As new forms are created, Weinberg IT will continue to ensure that the underlying process changes are understood by staff and students who engage in each form's workflow.

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