The Open University Surveys Success using ReadSoft

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The Open University, the UK's largest university with over 200,000 students, is using ReadSoft FORMS, now part of the ReadSoft DOCUMENTS Automation Platform, to streamline the processing of over 150,000 student survey forms a year.

Nick Haycox, the Open Universitys Survey Office Manager, explained: We dont have any students on site, so to get feedback on courses we send out around 150,000 survey forms per year. We used to send out surveys to a bureau so that the data entered onto the forms could be keyed in, but we wanted to automate the processing so we could handle it in-house, spread the workload across the year and deal with requests for ad hoc surveys.

After reviewing a number of software options, the University selected ReadSoft FORMS, now part of the ReadSoft DOCUMENTS Automation Platform. ReadSoft FORMS automatically captures data from all types of documents in any format, including: paper forms, fax forms, Internet forms and electronic forms. The fact that ReadSoft FORMS can process any type or format of survey was a very big plus point in the Universitys selection of the software. Also it offered complete integration with its other internal systems.

The University can scan in questionnaires on the day they come in and produce the results next day for analysis on its intranet. We now have more control of what we do, said Haycox. We have two stand-alone ReadSoft FORMS systems and we can decide quickly on our forms processing priorities if one survey suddenly becomes a priority we can push that out quickly.

Using ReadSoft FORMS has also helped the University with forms design. It has led to a rethink in terms of what the questionnaires actually look like - they now look more pleasing to the eye, capture data more accurately and as a result the University gets much better responses. That in turn helps it to improve the quality of its educational resources.

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