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We were recently working with an organization that was hosting a traditional contest with a non-traditional twist. Much like most award programs, they wanted to accept applications from across the board, screen those applications so that the qualified ones made it to the judges/reviewers for evaluation. The judges would then narrow the list of 50 or so applications to 10. This is where the twist came in. Once the applications were narrowed to the top 10, they wanted to have the public vote on these top 10 applications to determine the winner.
ReviewRoom provided all the software tools to all for everything up to the “public voting” part but didn’t quite have something to allow the general public to participate in the process – BUT – we got excited about the idea, and so decided to implement it and so here we are… you can now add a public-voting task for any competition you host on ReviewRoom.
For those of you who already have a ReviewRoom account, here’s how it works:
1) You don’t have to create a separate round for this but we do recommend that you do as it makes sense for the public voting stage to be a different part of the competition altogether.
2) Add a task for applicants called “Get Votes.” Any applicant who has this task will have access to a link within their account that they can then share on Facebook/Twitter to allow their friends to vote for them.
3) You can go to the voting page at any time to see the latest stats.
There are also a lot of options that enable you to configure the public portion of your contest the way you’d like. You can, for example, determine whether or not participants should be able to vote more than once or whether the should be able to change their votes.
The contest software feature is currently a part of ReviewRoom v3.5. If you have any questions or would like to see a demo of ReviewRoom, send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll be happy to show you a tour.
One of the features that users have always loved about ReviewRoom is it’s ability to make assigning applications and submissions to reviewers easy. You can choose which applications are evaluated by which reviewers and there are no limits in terms of the number of applications that are reviewed by each reviewer or the number of reviewers that can review an application.
After working with a number of organizations that had a team approach to reviewing, we decided to add new functionality in the reviewer-assignment interface to facilitate this process. The administrator can now assign applications/submissions directly to a team. When this assigning takes place, all of the members of the team will be assigned to all of the applications that was assigned to the team.
* Please note that this feature is only available on Enterprise Accounts of ReviewRoom v3.5 and above.
1) To get started with the process, head on over to the reviewer interface. If you don’t have any reviewers in the system yet, make sure to add some.
2) Once you have some reviewers, you can then select any number of reviewers and then add them to a team by using the “team” button as indicated in the diagram.
3) In order to be able to see the team-assignments better, click on the “columns” button to add the “Teams” column to your table so you can see which team each person belongs in.
4) Make sure that “assignments” is on – otherwise you won’t be able to do any “assigning” and every reviewer will simply be assigned to every applicant. Now click on the “Manage Assignments” button at the top.
5) In the assignment interface, click on the “view by submissions” button and this will then toggle to “view by reviewers” and if you click it one more time, it’ll switch to “view by teams”.
6) You can then select the team on the left hand side of your page and then choose the submissions that will be reviewed by that team.
While ReviewRoom is a great tool for accepting online applications and submissions, it’s also extremely powerful as a review tool. As a matter of fact, you may be surprised to learn that a significant portion of ReviewRoom clients strictly use the review functionality of the software!
For example, sometimes an organization comes to ReviewRoom when they have already received all of their online applications/submissions and are strictly looking for help in managing the unwieldy review process. Other times, the application material is very specialized or internal in nature and the administrator want to be the person to put up the submissions onto the site rather than allowing applicants to do so. In such cases, it may make sense to strictly use the Review functionality of ReviewRoom. We do encourage clients to use both sides (application submission & review), but what we’d like to convey in this post is that you can, if you wanted to, use one or the other
So, why is it that ReviewRooms’s judge/reviewer section is so powerful? Because we’ve worked with an extensive group of clients, from all walks of life, we’ve heard about all the different ways that organizations like to review incoming applications and so we’ve built into ReviewRoom the relevant functionality to make all types of reviews possible!
Here are a few of the types of reviews that are conducted with ReviewRoom – this list is not meant to be extensive but should give you an idea of the functionality of the product!
1 ) Single stage or multi-stage reviews: No matter how many stages of reviews and how many committees you have, ReviewRoom can accommodate your needs. Some of our clients have just one round of reviews and others have very complicated multi-stage reviews that happen over an extended period of time.
2 ) Multiple Reviewers Per Application: With ReviewRoom’s easy to use “assignment” interface, you’ll be able to choose which reviewer will be evaluating each application. You can have many people reviewing the same application or you can just choose to have 1 person doing the job. The nice thing here is that you can have a different number of people reviewing each application based on your preference. Obviously some reviewers will be busier than others and so the assignments will have to vary based on the availability of the evaluators.
3 ) Multiple Reviewer Groups: Sometimes you’ll have different groups of reviewers that will review different aspects of a given application. For example, you may have technical reviewers look at the technical aspects of a submission and then have financial reviewers look at the financial aspects of the submission. You can then decide on which submissions should proceed to the next stage based on the evaluations from these two different groups.
4 ) Reviewer Groups with Team Lead: Sometimes reviewers will evaluate an application in teams. For example, you may have each member of the review team individually looking and evaluating an application and then have the team lead provide the final set of rankings after having reviewed everything submitted by his team members.
5 ) Collaborative Reviews: One of the other great features that ReviewRoom offers is the ability for reviewers to comment on any portion of an application and the software even allows for the ability to make these comments visible to other reviewers so that they can reply to each other’s remarks. This is an exacellent way to allow for reviewers to start their discussions before an official meeting (i.e. keeps meetings focused if a meeting is needed at all).
6 ) Quantitative & Qualitative Reviews: ReviewRoom has a strong and very flexible scoring system that will allow for basic and even advanced scoring and weighting schemes. If you don’t want to use a scoring system and just want use a qualitative open-text evaluation process, this can be accomplished as well!
7 ) Read Only Reviews: Sometimes, you want to let some reviewers (i.e. members of the board of directors) have access to the review system and have the ability to see any of the applications in the system but not be able to rank/evaluate anything.
8 ) One time or ongoing reviews: In some processes, you will want all applicants to submit their material before a given deadline and after that point have the reviewers come in to do their review. In other cases, applicants will submit their applications at different times throughout the year and the reviewers will need to be notified automatically whenever there is a new applicant to be reviewed – ReviewRoom can handle both cases!
9 ) Anonymous reviews: In some cases, you don’t want the reviewers to know the identity of applicants on the system and so you can even conduct “anonymous reviews”. The administrator, of course, will be able to see the identity of the applicants at any time.
10 ) Auto-Feedback Reviews: In certain cases, you may want the comments/rankings from reviewers to automatically be made visible to applicants on an anonymous basis and in other cases you may want this information to be kept private.
& much more…