Administrator's guide to the doctoral student feedback and profile system


The Doctoral Feedback and Profile System is a flexible, student and faculty-friendly engine for collecting and reviewing doctoral students’ activities related to degree progress, such as research and teaching activities, publications, professional development, awards and more.
 
This easy-to-use and easy-to-maintain data management system gives students and their faculty committee members an all-in-one platform for conducting annual reviews of students’ progress toward degree in a way that is transparent and instructive for students. Additionally, the system gives students a portable dossier to curate materials and accomplishments and create CVs and will provide colleges, departments, and programs with the data they need to identify college, department, or program-wide strengths and areas for improvement.
 
To implement the Doctoral Student Feedback and Profile System campus-wide, we are asking for the support of administrators. The Interfolio-based system, already in use by colleges, departments, and programs, for has been adapted for use in reviewing and profiling doctoral students. helping clarify for students where they stand in their progress toward degree as well as giving them a tool to input activities and experiences related to their academic goals. For departments and programs, the system will enable greater data collection, helping you identify the strengths of your programs and discovering where students may be running into obstacles impeding their progress.
 
Administrators have the highest level of access. They can access documents, email doctoral students and committees, and move cases forward or backward. Administrators are the only users who can create templates, forms, and cases for the units to which they have access.

 

Key Terms Defined

Review, Promotion, and Tenure (also known as RPT) is used to facilitate the review process for doctoral students, based on information auto-populated and submitted by students.
 
Templates create standardized, repeatable processes for all college, program, and department review. They contain all the doctoral student requirements and workflow steps for a review type.
 
Similar to junior faculty members who are seeking tenure, cases represent the lifecycle of a single doctoral student as they progress through their doctoral program. Committees can add documents and review materials as cases progress through the lifecycle.
 
The packet is the collection of doctoral students’ materials (documents and other files both auto-populated and submitted by students) for review. The packet is divided into sections that can be worked on and submitted independently of one another.
 
The dossier is a student’s private, personal online document repository that can be used to store and manage documents and materials. A student can add documents out of Dossier to their packet and documents added to their packet will be copied back to Dossier.
 
In RPT, a Committee is a group of users who can review the doctoral students’ case at a given step of the review process. Committees can be: Standing (managed from the central committee tab), Ad Hoc (case specific) or individual assignment (committee of one). Administrators, can designate committee members and manually add and remove members from committees.

 

Administrative Settings

Select Administration from the navigation bar. On this page you’ll see three administrative settings that you have access to:

  • Student forms

  • Case Data Forms

  • Committee Forms

 

Student forms are designed to collect information directly from doctoral students and are completed as part of a student's packet requirements.
Student forms can be created at any unit in your institution and will be available for use at all units below it in your institutional hierarchy. Once a form has been created, Administrators can attach it to cases or templates to which they have access.
 
Case data forms are designed to allow the Administrator to add data to the form over the course of the case. Case Data forms can be created at any unit in your institution and will be available for use in templates or cases at all units below it in your institutional hierarchy. Only Administrators can create, fill out, and report on Case Data forms. Committees and students have no access to Case Data form questions or responses.

 
To create a form, let’s say a student form, we will select student Form, select Add student Form, enter in the title, description and unit the form will fall at. Next you will enter in the questions for this form. You can choose the different question types: text, paragraph, multiple choice, checkboxes or grid and you can indicate if the question is required to submit the form.
 
Committee Forms are completed by members of a committee. This feature allows Administrators to collect form responses from individuals and committees involved in reviewing a case in order to collect important information about the committee’s evaluation of a doctoral student’s degree progress.

 

Create a Template/Case

While you may already be familiar with this process through your use of Interfolio with faculty, this is a brief rundown of the process. To create a case, we will first go over creating a template. Templates allow Administrators to create a standardized, repeatable process for all review cases in their institution, colleges, schools, and departments. Templates save details like instructions, forms, document requirements and case review steps that can be automatically included as a part of every case built using the template. Templates can be attached to any organizational unit, and can be used for cases created by that unit, or by lower administrative units.
 
To create a template, select Templates from the left-hand navigation. On this page you’ll see a list of templates that have already been created. You can view, edit, duplicate, or delete templates here. We are going to create a new template by selecting “Add Template.”
Now we will enter in a title, such as “Annual Review,” a description, and the unit that this template will be created for.
 
At Step 1 of Creating a template you will indicate the type of review this is and add necessary Case Data forms. Those Case Data forms must be created within Administration.
 
At Step 2 you will provide instructions for the student and add the student’s requirements. You can organize the student’s requirements by adding multiple sections and adding requirements within those sections. Each time you add a requirement you will be asked to enter in the name of the requirement, if it is an actual requirement or it is optional and how many of this type are required.
 
Step 3 is for the internal sections which the student will never see. This step is where you can add requirements for the committee as well as external evaluations. Additionally, you can choose whether this section should appear before or after the student’s section (based on how you want the committee to review the materials.)
 
The last step, step 4, is the Case Review Steps. The case review steps you add will form a preconfigured workflow for cases built using this template. These steps should match the particular review process of your organization.

Users may need to add other steps to the process, or more committees or individuals to a step when they are creating a case based on the template. You can assign additional committees if multiple committees require access to the packet at the same step.
 
Within each case review step, you can assign requirements for the committees. If you select Required Forms, you can assign a preconfigured committee form to that committee at that step. You will indicate who has visibility to the responses of this form and if you want this form to be completed by all committee members or just committee managers. If you need to adjust this more, such as omit the requirement from some committee members, you can do this once the case has reached that step by selecting “manage respondents” next to the form and omitting the form requirement from committee members.
 

Finally, after you have completed all of the steps, you will review the template summary. On this page you will see a button with the words “Enable Dossier Visibility.” If you enable this, doctoral students will be able to see the requirements for their upcoming reviews in their Dossier so they can begin to prepare their materials ahead of time.
 
Now that the template has been created, this will save us time in the future and we will not need to create each case from scratch. We will jump over to Cases from the left-hand navigation. Now select Create Case. You do have the ability to create multiple cases at once by selecting the downward-facing arrow next to Create Case, but you will need to make edits to each case separately. We will create a case for a single doctoral student for this example.
 
You must first indicate the doctoral student for the case. If they are already a user, their name will appear as you begin to search. Otherwise, you can select to Create User. Next you will decide if the student will be involved in their case and the unit that the case will be at. Next you will select the template to use or create a blank case. Once you’ve made that indication, you will be brought into the case to make all necessary edits.
 
After you’ve made all edits and the case is ready to be sent to the student, select “Return to Case”, then select “Send Case” and finally “Notify student.”

 

Managing a Case

Case Page
  • We will start on the case page to show you the difference between the student packet vs. internal sections.
  • The student packet is what the student submits.
    • Any materials added to the student packet will be visible to the student and available for them to use in their current case. The student will be able to replace or delete any files in an unlocked section before they submit.
  • Internal sections are not visible to student (including external evaluations)
    • These sections are available to committee members reviewing the case and cannot be viewed by the student. Please note that some materials added to internal sections can be shared with the student by an administrator or committee manager.
External Evaluations

The external evaluations are a part of the internal section and can be requested here.

  • Administrators and Committee Managers can add or request evaluations from scholars

  • There are two ways to add external evaluations. Administrators and Committee Managers can upload an evaluation they have on their computer to the student's case, or can request evaluations from one or more external evaluators by email.

    • The evaluator will receive an email with instructions for submitting the document and can upload it directly to Interfolio without having an Interfolio account. 

  • To create a request, you will select “Request Evaluation.”

  • From this page you will fill out the evaluators’ name, email, the subject and message for the email, add any necessary attachments and set a deadline for this evaluation. Note that you can add more than one evaluator from this page.

Once you have sent the request, you will see these statuses:

  • Requested

  • Accepted

  • Declined

  • Completed

You will also have the option to send a note or resending requests and edit access levels.
Case Status
 
You can set a case status by clicking on “Select Status” at the top of the case page. From here you can select a preexisting status or you can create a custom status if you scroll to the bottom of the list.
 
Bulk Functions
 
Some bulk functions you can do from this page include downloading the case materials, or you can share materials with the committee or with the student in case of a response or rebuttal.
 
Read Case
 
To view all of the materials within our Document Reader, select the blue Read Case Button. From the Document reader you can view all of the materials from the student and internal section. You can leave annotations to highlight certain parts of the materials or leave notes to yourself, which can also be exported so you can bring those annotations with you to a committee meeting.
 
Case Page
Back at the Case Page, you can select Case Details to view the list of committee members and send an email, if enabled you can write or respond to comments from the committee and it set up you can also record the committee's review of the student.
 
If there are any requirements for the committee such as documents to upload or forms to complete, you will find those requirements on the Case Details page.
You can also view committee form responses and manage the respondents on this page. When the case is at a step that requires a committee to complete a form, you can omit the form requirement from specific committee members and read the responses. Their responses will also show up in the document reader.
 
Send Case Forward/Backward
 
After you’ve completed your review for this step of the case, you can select the Dark Blue button at the top of the page, Send Case and select to send it the next step of the review. From this button, you can also choose to send the case backwards to the previous review step. Once you select to send the case forward or backward you will be able to include a message that will be sent to that review committee.

 

Help

If you need any support using Interfolio, you have a few resources to help you.

  • For any technical help you need, you can contact Interfolio’s Scholar Services team at help@interfolio.com.

  • You can access the Interfolio knowledge page from within the product when you select your name in the top right-hand corner and then Product Help

  • Contact the Graduate and Professional School’s Doctoral Student Profile and Feedback System team at docprofile@tamu.edu.

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