College of Education Tech Center

December 30, 2019

Placements Revision

Paul Hanisko

In Autumn 2019 we implemented a major revision to student placement data in the college Student database. Here are the motivating factors.

  • Additional fields need to be tracked for Washington state PESB reporting.
  • Placement data has substantial set of tools and reports and these were difficult to find within the Student database menus and links.
  • Important fields only appeared deep in the interface.
  • We want to delegate management of placement data to programs. Placement edit form was hard to use.

Placement Context

To begin addressing these issues we moved “Placements” out into its own application context. This means a view of the application that has a Placements title, menu, and home page. Within the Placements context we can make assumptions about what the user is trying accomplish and provide focused navigation and support.

Career Data

Historically we had treated outside “Career” data as a type of placement. The Career records could theoretically contain any external positions of our students (e.g. alumni jobs). In practice these records are almost entirely based on import of Washington state OSPI public school teacher and administrator data.

To support career data we have added several fields to described jobs at schools. These fields were rarely useful for actual student experience placements and resulted in a long form with a lot of optional fields, distracting from the important information.

To resolve this, we have moved Career data into their own set of records, leaving the existing Placement records focused on learning experiences of current COE students.

Placement Report

We added a general placement report. User can filter this report to specific academic quarter and placement type.

Student View

Previously, in the college Student database, Placements were represented as a custom block. As placement lists got long this view was hard to scan for important information.

The revised version lists Placement records as a table view with the few critical fields highlighted. When a table row is clicked on a slide-out sidebar shows the details of that placement.


Notes can be attached to a placement record. Notes are visible in the placement detail sidebar.

Placement Form

The Placement add/edit form has been cleaned up to make it easier to use.

  • Fields related to career records are removed.
  • Placement periods styles (quarter, academic year, dates) can be changed.
  • New institution can be added within the form.
  • Mentors can be edited within the form.

Help Pages

Added a system to display help articles as slide-out sidebar. This allows us to give users access to extra explanation and instructions where they need it.

The system is initially used for the new Placement Form.