I am the Studies Coordinator at a College and we currently have somewhere in the order of 100-200 unit outlines that are created at the beginning of each semester. Those outlines need to have information like:
- Unit Name
- Unit Code
- Course Type
- Assessment Item 1 Name
- Assessment Item 1 Distribution date...
And the list goes on and on. All up there are anywhere between 50-150 pieces of data that teachers enter into their outlines depending on the 10-20 different types of outline they might be creating.
Currently we have staff entering data into one of many different Word documents with editable fields. This works okay, but every time the outlines need to have a change made, you can imagine the work involved. The outlines also look poor because different table rows move across different pages...it's just messy.
We have tried using InfoPath files...maintaining those was a nightmare and the school won't go back to that.
I am contemplating a solution where teachers enter the unformatted/raw data into some kind of front-end (I was thinking an Excel file) and then I write a program that sweeps through the data and generates outlines for me.
I've been experimenting with simply using Mail Merge but this doesn't give me the flexibility to tailor the end result based on the data coming in (different numbers of Assessment Items for instance)
I know how to work with quite a lot of languages and technologies and am willing to use this as a project into something I might be unfamiliar with but I was looking for advice on ways to approach this so that I can streamline the whole Unit Outline process. Any ideas would be much appreciated.