April 21, 2023

Updates based on Fellows feedback

Happy spring! Here are some recent developments we’ve made at Our-Sci, based directly on feedback from the OpenTEAM fellows. The fellows program began in 2022, with a goal of  “embedding systems of support to connect land stewards to the OpenTEAM technology ecosystem, simultaneously refining tools.” 

Genna Fudin, the fellow working with Quivira Coalition and Point Blue, identified a need for more transparency for users if there are changes to a farmOS instance in Surveystack. As part of a larger package of work involving improving admin tools, we added email notifications that automatically inform a user if their farmOS instance is modified, added to a group or mapped to an instance. We’re also taking Genna’s thoughts on multiple avenues for communication to heart, as evidenced in this post. Thanks, Genna! 

You can read more about Genna’s experience in the Fellows program here. 

As the Pasa fellow, Jeanne Lurvey has been a crucial contributor to everything from Common Profile improvements to data import for the CoffeeShop. As well as the routine work of bug testing and documentation, Jeanne has provided a creative and insightful perspective toward solving user problems. 

In a recent conversation about error reporting, we talked through an upcoming feature we’re developing– the ability to create a PDF output of survey results. Jeanne observed how useful it would be if a PDF could be created at the point of survey review, rather than after submission, so we could capture what’s been entered into a survey that fails. We passed this along to the developers, they assessed feasibility, and now the PDF output feature is going to include this option. 

Along similar lines as Genna, Jeanne also suggested ways we could improve communication to users by talking about updates and changes through multiple channels. Based on her feedback, we created a video walkthrough for updating surveys that contain question sets, as well as for a few other commonly asked how-to questions: 

Our-Sci on Youtube

Jeanne also reflected on a few of these questions in a recent blog post for OpenTEAM. You can read her thoughts here: Connecting Farmers to Digital Tools

The process of feedback and development can be challenging. It’s tough, sensitive work to identify and communicate what needs to be changed in a system of interconnected constraints. Engaged, critical feedback from our partners is a vital resource for our work, and that’s why we love working with the OpenTEAM fellows. 

We want to hear from you! If you have suggestions, questions, or project ideas, write to us at info@our-sci.net, post on the GOAT forum, or find us on Hylo–the discussion in the OpenTEAM group is always vibrant.