External Activity Report

Screenshot of the application

The External Activity Report is an annual report required of all full-time faculty at Boston University/. Historically, the report was printed on paper. Faculty members printed and filled out the report, then submitted it to their deans for review.

The electronic version allows faculty to fill out the report online, perhaps copying and pasting information from past reports (in the case of ongoing activity). Since faculty login to access the application, it avoids unnecessary data collection like "Name" or "Department" (since the application already knows that information), and focuses only only on the information administration needs.

The data entry process is also simplified. For example, faculty can enter specific dates in which they engaged in activity and a number of hours per day, per week, or per month, letting the application calculate the total amount of activity for the period.

Faculty interact with the application through a single jQuery-enhanced page, adding, editing, and deleting activity from their report without ever visibly navigating away. Changes are saved as they're made, so users can close the application at any time and return later to fill out a report in multiple sittings. Faculty can even work on their report throughout the year, adding activity as it occurs.

Deans access a separate view of the application and can quickly visualize faculty activity, looking for outliers, adding comments to reports, and tracking which reports they've reviewed.

The PHP portion of this application doesn't do much. It stores data, and provides very simple reporting. But by automating a previously manual process, it saves countless hours of human effort every year.