Following extensive user testing from schools who had been using the reference letter tool for some time we identified three main issues that were causing inefficiencies in the management and tracking process.
- The process of assigning report writers was repetitive and time consuming at large scale.
- Report writers only had a one-time use link to write their reports.
- Advisors didn’t have a simple way to check on progress of specific reference letters or report writers.
Building a smooth and efficient process around reference writing is critical in order for careers advisors and university counselors to maintain control of the guidance process, of which teachers are an important part! Many of our counselors and advisors tell us that coordinating teacher subject references and letters of recommendation is a painful and time-inefficient experience, describing a process that involves a great deal of back-and-forth, multiple drafts, and allround poor collaboration.
For international university applications, the process becomes even more complicated, as it requires managing different deadlines, documents and formats for each reference. Staff members writing student references need to access summarised information on a student’s academic and personal history, and those coordinating the process need to collaborate with and track the progress of report writers.
We’ve improved our reference writing process to create as smooth and efficient a tool as possible for the administration, writing, tracking and completion of reference letters.
Your school may already be using the new process as you compile reference letters for the next cohort of applicants. Previously, assigning report writers for students was time-consuming and repetitive, and writers could not go back and edit their sections. Moreover, advisors needed to be able to see who they’d previously invited to write sections, and to track their progress. The new reference letter tool addresses all these issues.
You can now have two different types of staff in a school: Advisors, who have full access to the platform, and Report Writers, who only have access to the Reference Letters tool. Staff can be both Advisors and Report Writers. Report Writers can’t look at other elements on the platform, such as Strategy Advisor or Student Tasks; their experience of BridgeU is completely centred around writing the reports that have been requested.