MIS Systems Thread, Report writing - Sims Profiles or?? (something idiot proof ) in Technical; Hi all
Here's the scenario:
School with about 120 pupils run along the lines of a Primary School (i.e. each ...
24th March 2010, 09:46 PM #1
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Report writing - Sims Profiles or?? (something idiot proof )
Here's the scenario:
School with about 120 pupils run along the lines of a Primary School (i.e. each student has a class teacher but also sees specialist tutors for PE, Music and so on).
Current system is that the class teacher writes the main body of the student's annual report and gives it to overworked office staff. Specialist tutors do the same.
(They are unable/unwilling to add to the class teacher's report as this is 'admin' work and they say that their job description/working practices means they do not have to 'do' admin stuff [I have to try hard not to create a mini-rant here as if I only did what was in my job decription.....])
OK so office staff now have to cut and paste (yup - we're really advanced) the reports for 120 kids, print, review, reprint, photocopy times eight yadda yadda.
2010 we're going to have to this - 2011 I would like to have some sort of automated system in place where the teaching staff will directly edit the student's report. Looking around (OK mainly EduGeek) it looks like Sims Profiles may fit the bill. However we use Sims as a Primary School may do - no attendance or assessment data gets entered, no teachers are Sims users - it's entirely an Admin resource.
So - is it feasible to setup Sims Profiles to handle this or, as I am thinking, is it a sledgehammer to crack a nut (given that I can foresee lots and lots and lots of my time being 'wasted' in holding the hands of teachers) and should I look for some simpler method of doing this? Some sort of collaborative report writing package where I could just dump in a csv of students would ( I think) be ideal but I have no idea of where to start.
Current network boasts Windows Server 2000 and Office XP - staff IT know how would be about 3 on a scale of 10.
IDG Tech News
24th March 2010, 10:25 PM #2
SIMS profiles is good but certainly not idiot proof.
The writing of reports is part of all teachers job descriptions or at least should be part of their terms and conditions.
Would it be easier to have templates setup on a shared area and teachers type the students reports into the particular section of the template - sounds very crude but it may work in your smallish school.
24th March 2010, 11:06 PM #3
We've previously used mailmerged word templates to handle our reporting - I had it down to a tee before we switched to profiles, the main advantage was collation - before we'd have 1 word document for each class/subject, as each student has reports for upto 17 subjects it could take 20mins or more to collate a single report.
We expected teachers to write around 190 words per pupil, print and pass the printed pages to the pupils form tutor who would then put the pages from subject teachers into the correct order, proof read and then pass the completed set to the head for further proof reading at which point many get returned(he's pretty picky about grammar etc).
Now that we have profiles we expect the teachers to enter upto 190 words per pupil, once the deadline has been reached form tutors proof read the reports and pass a printed copy to the head for further proof reading(he'd do it on screen but found looking at the screen for that long difficult)
25th March 2010, 12:29 AM #4
Profiles only works if you have a timetable set up for the classes, if there is no timetable for them then you won't be able to create a reporting session to pull them in.
Also, on a side note, SIMS isn't supported on Win2k and the use of Office XP isn't supported either so if you have any problems with templates for example, you'd most likely get told to upgrade before anyone would even look at the problem.
Thanks to Sarconia from:
sakwoya (25th March 2010)
25th March 2010, 09:34 AM #5
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Thanks for this - that certainly wipes Sims out of the equation
Originally Posted by Sarconia
25th March 2010, 01:50 PM #6
SIMS allows you to create reports based on a class; it is used successfully by lots of primary schools. It is true that for the specialist areas a timetable is ideal but it isn't strickly necessary.
25th March 2010, 02:17 PM #7
I've just read your post and it sounds eerily familiar. We're a small private school which had handwritten reports until a couple of years ago.
We now have reports generated in word that use mail merge to produce a document of reports for each class. The origional form was something I put together for my old school ( a state primary)
The merged document is saved onto a memory stick (1 for each class). The teachers sign the stick out, add their bit, return it to the office where the office backs it up before letting the next teacher have the stick. It could equally be done using a network share folder, but we don't have remote access to our network and teachers are allowed to take the sticks home.
At the end, the office does a bit of tarting up (checking all the boxes have been filled) and adding attendance figures, before returning the sticks to the class teachers for printing a copy to proof-read. Once corrected, it goes back to the office for printing on posh paper, signing and distribution.
I've already emailed my sample out twice today, so it's going as an attachment here!
28th March 2010, 10:09 AM #8
Look around as there are much easier things to do, but don't totally dismiss SIMS. It's very easy to knock out a dummy timetable just for reporting purposes. We have 5 different day structures in our primary school (ages creche to Y6) and i squeeze them all in for the purposes of reports.
Main teacher is automatic via the pastoral structure, and specialists get timetabled, you only need one period a week to make it work, but it would take setting up.
It's a pain if your teachers don't use SIMs, but you can use either Profiles or Assessment Manager, so long as you don't mind the comment being restricted to 1000 chars. If we need to go over we use multiple comment boxes.
I think from both you can export the recording sheet so data can be input offline, then make it an admin task to reinput or certainly with assessment manager marksheets you can reimport.
At least by using SIMs, it's all in one place and can be stored against the child. You can pull out relelvant info such as attendance (?), names of course, contact details etc...
Worst case you can use it to make the template pre-filled with class info, and the pass that document to the staff to fill in. Round Robin - ARGH!
I can see what they say about admin tasks, but that would be if you were asking them to manipulate recorded data and or repeat something. If the school is asking them to write a report, surely the school can stipulate the method that takes, if it happens to be take this word document and add to it, then they should do that...
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