Report on PGR Toolbox Survey February-April 2013

Thank you to all of you who completed this survey. The aim of this survey was to gain information on how PGRs use this software and to learn of any specific problems with the software that we needed to address. Your comments have provided useful feedback that we will use to help inform future development of this software and informed us of bugs that have been passed to CSD.

We had completed forms from 159 respondents and the results can be viewed in the documents below (UoL password required).

Summary Report
All written responses

What is happening Now:

Bug fixes: A number of bugs have now been solved, including an issue with dates in the Portfolio of Activity that we were unaware of.

The ‘save’ facility in the post-meeting record should now work without any loss of text.

However, while the survey suggested that a number of PGRs have problems with the Outlook facility in the Record of Supervisory meetings, we do not have sufficient information to report this onto CSD, but would be happy to pursue these problems if you contact us at pgro@liv.ac.uk.

Character count issue in the Post-meeting record: CSD have now increased the word length for components of the Post-meeting record to make this 1000 characters for most fields and 4000 characters for the final section, which you may use as a general meeting report if the other parts do not meet your needs.
The layout of these fields has also been improved in the emails and should display line breaks correctly.

New Guidance notes:  Many respondents requested more advice on using the software, particularly for the new Portfolio of Activity. Other comments implied a confusion over the requirements or seemed unsure of features currently  implemented in the software. Consequently, we have now created new 1 page help notes that supplement the videos and information on web-pages and which hopefully will clarify many issues:

Record of Supervisory Meetings
PGR Portfolio of Activity
Record of Formal Training.

Spider Portal:  A new portal for spider is in preparation by CSD that we hope will be released in Aug-September. The portal will provide a more modern interface for spider and make the components with spider easier to navigate. Significantly there will be a direct link to the PGR Toolbox on the list of tabs on the opening page.

The new portal will also include a new design/interface for the toolbox, which should will includes news and information sections, through links to directly relevant web-pages or recent blog posts, in addition to the required access to the key components currently in the PGR Toolbox.

Ongoing work: We expect to progress on further issues for the coming year. We are in dialogue with CSD to  allow meetings to be recorded with the ‘Whole supervisory team’, although we do not expect this to be available before June 2013. We will also be reviewing the need to enter supervisory meetings chronologically since this is proving an issue for many PGRs.

If you have any further questions, or want to report bugs in the software, please contact  PGR Development at  pgro@liv.ac.uk.