Additional Fields exist in Engage so that administrators have the ability to keep track of additional information about events, organizations, finance requests, and users. The value of additional fields is that administrators can:
- Choose which fields are filled out by the user versus which are for administrator use only.
- Choose to show certain fields as public or community-wide information.
- Choose to include additional field information on reports.
Additional field information cannot be imported in bulk and must be filled out by either a user or an administrator. These fields can be created for the User Profile, the Organization Profile, Events, Funding Requests, and Purchase Requests. Instructions for accessing and creating additional fields are the same for each aspect of the site.
Creating additional fields
From your Admin View in the Switchboard tools, select the Configure dropdown and then select Additional Fields. From this page, you can view your additional fields of any kind using the "Show Additional Fields for:" dropdown menu. Descriptions of each type of additional field are below.
Organization Profile: When an organization completes the "Profile" step in the registration process, you can prompt users to answer additional fields about their organizations in addition to the hardcoded profile questions.
Event: When users submit event requests, you can prompt them to answer event field information that is separate from the information collected in the Event Custom Fields. In most cases, additional fields for events are used to collect information you would like to make public with the event details.
User Profile: User profile fields will be included as a part of each user's personal profile information and you can request your users fill out this information when they first log in.
Funding Request: These fields will be included when funding requests are created.
Purchase Request: These fields will be included when purchase requests are created.
To create an additional field, select the type of field you want to work with and click Edit Fields.
You will be taken to a page that looks like the basic form builder where you can build out the questions you would like to ask. Read about the various question types here. Click "Back to Additional Fields" when you are finished adding new additional fields.
Changing access for additional fields
Once your fields are created, you can determine who will be able to see and edit this additional field information. Next to each field, you will see a list of show/hide options for various types of users and situations. Details about each visibility option are listed below:
Logged-in Users: Determine whether the field will be shown or hidden to other users who are authenticated in the community.
Anonymous Users: Determine whether the field will be shown or hidden to public users who are not logged in. Note that User Profile fields will always be hidden to anonymous users.
Manager/Owner: Manager/Owner refers to the user who will "own" this field, usually referring to the user who is filling out the form that contains this information. If you want the user to be able to fill out or complete this field, it must be set to "Edit." When "Manager/Owner" is set to "Show," the owner will be able to see the field and any answer entered on their behalf, but cannot enter or change an answer. When "Manager/Owner" is set to "Hide," the user will not see this field or be able to enter an answer, nor will they see any answers entered on their behalf. "Hiding" fields under manager/owner is a good way to ensure the question is for administrative use only.
Reports: Determine whether this field will be shown or hidden in reports that include Additional Field information.
Community Directory: For User Profile fields only, you will also determine whether you want these fields to be shown or hidden in the community directory. Users can still choose to hide information that you allow to be public in the directory, but they cannot show information you have chosen to hide. Read more details about the community directory here.
Click Update at the bottom of the page.
Removing Additional Fields
From the Additional Fields page, select the component of the site the field is associated with from the drop-down menu. Click Edit Fields. Then, click on the individual field that needs to be removed and select the trash can icon on the far right. Confirm that you want to delete the field along with the data that field has collected. If you want to deactivate a field from collecting information but keep the historical data in tact, we recommend you set all settings to "Hide" but do not delete the field itself. This will prevent users from filling out or seeing the field.
When should I use additional fields, and when should I use a form?
In the case of the event request and organization registration processes, you have the ability to integrate both forms and additional fields into those processes. Here are some best practices we recommend when deciding which questions to build as additional fields, and which to build into a form.
For events, consider building any field you would want to be public information into additional fields. While Engage does allow building of the Event Form, all event form details are only seen by administrators and are for the purpose of approving or denying the event. If you want to collect information that would need to be publicly accessible, such as what students should bring to the event or whether or not the event costs money, we recommend asking for that information as additional fields.
For the organization registration process, additional fields will be integrated into the "Profile" step of the process. You can also build additional forms to integrate with the process, but these forms, when submitted, will live and operate separately from the registration. If you have information you would like to collect about your organizations that you would like to remain as data tied to the organization in reports or when reviewing organization requests, consider building these as additional fields. Similar to events, you can also choose to make these additional fields publicly visible, such as when and where the organization has its meetings. Other forms such as advisor agreements, forms for users in positions, or organization fair sign-ups, should be created as admin forms and then integrated into the organization registration process.
You should always keep in mind that additional fields are configured to be campus-wide, meaning every event or organization will be asked these questions. When you build your fields, make sure the questions you ask are relevant to the entire community, and not only the organizations or events in one branch!