FAQs


Login Issues

You access the system through the OIE website (see Activity Insight Login in the left sidebar). Use your Mercer ID and password to login and you will be taken to a landing screen, where you'll need to "Click here to enter":

Click Here to Enter

MUSM Clinical Affiliate Faculty (CAF) have a separte login that isn't tied to a Mercer ID number. If you're CAF, you can login via the web here.

If you experience difficulties logging in, it may be that you don'tt have an account with Activity Insight. We intend to create accounts for full-time CAF in the Spring of 2018.

There are a couple of things that might be going on:

1) The system is down for maintenance. If this is the case, check News & Alerts in Activity Insight Resources in the left sidebar. Digital Measures always announces when the system will be down well in advance.

2) You aren't logging in through the right portal. If you time out, the system will kick you to an external login not managed by Mercer IT. If you enter your Mercer credentials here, you won't be able to login. Always use the link through OIE.

Contact the Activity Insight Administrator, Ellen Byron.

If you're a new faculty member, we may not have created an account for you yet. Please be patient.

If you're an adjunct faculty member, we probably don't have you in the system yet. Adjuncts will be added once the system is fully implemented for all Colleges and Schools in the University.

Manage Activities

You should see a screen that is divided into separate sections: General Information, Teaching, Research/Scholarship, and Service. Some units will have sections on Librarianship and Tenure, Promotion, and Review.

 

Base Screen

 

Select the screen on which you want to add a record. If you're interacting with the system for your annual review process, be sure to consult the guide for your review (see Guides and Training Materials). You don't need to add records to all screens in the system.

You have opened the Summary Screen. Once you create records, a list of those records will appear on the summary screen.

In the upper right hand corner of the summary screen, you will see this image:

Add New Item

You must click + Add New Item to open the record screen.

The short answer is no. 

Review the guide developed for your annual review process (see Guides and Training Materials). Only those fields listed in that document must be completed to create a meaningful record. However, you're strongly encouraged to add as much information as possible. Think of Activity Insight like a digital filing cabinet. Information and files stored in this system will be available to you for any kind of documentation you need to create.

On the Summary Screen, you can select the item you want to copy and click the duplicate button.

 

Duplicate

 

This will open a duplicate record that you can modify. For instance, if you attend the same conference every year, simply duplicate last year's record and change the date and location.

Trash it.

On the summary screen, check the box next to the item you want to delete and click the trash button.

Trash

There are two save options:

Save and Add

Clicking Save will take you back to the summary screen. Clicking Save + Add Another will open another record screen. If you have multiple records to add (e.g., two different seminars you attended), choosing Save + Add Another will save you some time.

Two possibilities:

1) You didn't complete the date field. The system requires a date for almost every record. No date. No save.

2) You didn't complete the required fields. Several screens have questions that must be answered. All required fields have an asterisk in front.

Copying, Importing, Linking, and Uploading

PasteBoard is a utility that allows you to copy large amounts of text into the system.

PasteBoard

When you click on PasteBoard a light yellow box will open. You can copy up to 20,000 characters into the box, and it will travel with you throughout the system. Then it's matter of dragging and dropping text from the PasteBoard into relevant fields. Toggling between Word and Activity Insight takes more time than using PasteBoard.

We import records from HR, Campus Nexus, your College or School, and IT. Errors in the information loaded to the following screens should be reported to the Activity Insight Administrator, Ellen Byron.

Personal Contact Information - these records come from HR and IT. You can add your preferred name, office number, and endowed position, if any.

Permanent Data - this screen captures you history at the University. If you have a complicated history (numerous start and end dates), there may be errors in your permanent data. 

Yearly Data - this screen captures your department and current rank.

Degrees - degree information comes from Compliance Assist or from your college/school.

Workload - not all units have workload information loaded. Workload is provided by your college or school.

Academic Advising - these records come from Campus Nexus. If your advising data are incorrect, they should be fixed in Nexus first and then contact Ellen Byron about changing it in Activity Insight.

Scheduled Teaching - these data come from Campus Nexus. Note that courses offered for variable credit will appear as multiple records.

Published works can be imported to the system. Click the Import button in the upper right corner of the Summary Screen.

Import

Once you click import, you'll be taken to a screen where you will select the method of importing, There are two ways to import publications to Activity Insight:

  1. Create a BibTex from a reference manager or database; or
  2. Search a Third Party database and import directly from that database

BibTex Imports

BibTex files can be created using the following reference managers or databases (the link will take you to detailed instructions):

EndNote X6 (for Mac) or X7 (for Windows)    Mendeley Desktop for Windows
EndNote Web Ref Works
Google Scholar Zotero Online
HeinOnline Zotero Standalone

Third Party Imports

You can search the following databases and import directly to Actitivy Insight without exporting your publications to a text file (the link will take you to detailed instructions).

Web of Science Crossref PubMed

Step by Step Instructions

Instructions are availble through the Digital Measures website. You'll learn how to :

Step 1. Upload the BibTex file or Import from a Third Party

Step 2. Handle Duplicates - the system will recognize if the publication has already been imported.

Step 3. Identify Collaborators - here you will be able to link the publication to other Mercer faculty.

Step 4. Finish Your Import

During the import process, one of your colleagues identified you as a collaborator. Once she/he links your name to the publication, presentation, or grant, it automatically appears in your account. You can quickly identify those records added by others on the summary screen. In the example below, Dr. Janine Chalk can see that her colleague, Dr. Craig Byron, has entered a publication on her behalf.

 

linked publications

 

The summary shows who entered the publication and displays a lock icon by the checkbox. The lock indicates that you cannot make changes to the publication (presentation or grant) imported by someone else. If there are errors or omissions in the record, you will need to contact your colleague to amend the record.

If your professional name differs from the name provided by HR, it's likley that publications, presentations, and grants will display the wrong name. In order to change this, you or your colleague (for linked records) must add your preferred name, as shown in the example below:

 

Maiden Name

 

If a colleague has linked you to a publication, presentation, or grant, but did not update your preferred name, do one of the following:

1) Contact your colleague and ask her/him to update your name.

2) Contact Ellen Byron and ask her to fix your name on linked publication/presentation/grant.

The ability to upload files has been added to many screens in the system. There are options to upload single or multiple files. The example below comes from the Scheduled Teaching screen and shows a single file syllabus upload. Click "Choose File..." and then select a file from your computer.

Single File

Once you have uploaded your file, a link will appear, as you can see in the example below. If you upload the wrong file, you can replace or delete it by clicking the appropriate button.

uploaded syllabus

 

On several screens, you can upload multiple items. This option exists near the bottom of screen and looks like this:

Multi File

 

Once you "Click here", a pop-up box will open that allows you to upload multiple files:

Upload DSA

You can select the number of additional documents to upload by entering a number and clicking +Add (indicated by the arrow above).

Uploaded files are visible on the screen for single file uploads only. The example below shows a syllabus uploaded to the Scheduled Teaching screen:

uploaded syllabus

 

If you uploaded files through a pop-up window, you won't see them on the record screen unless you "Click here":

Multi File

 

Once the pop-up opens, you'll see your files:

new course uploads

Data Fields

The data in that particular field has been coded as Read Only. It will appear to you with either an "R" or a lock symbol. We have made some data read only to maintain integrity across systems. For instance, if one of your course records contains an error, we want to make sure it gets corrected across all systems, not just Activity Insight. If those fields were open, you would be able to amend the record, but it wouldn't be corrected in the source system, Campus Nexus.

When trying to save a record, you may have received a message that asked. "Please complete all required fields." There are several screens with required fields, like Scheduled Teaching, Faculty Development Activities, and more. You know a field is required if you see a red asterisk in front of it.

Required fields can be annoying (we know this), but they allow the University to understand the breadth and depth of certain initiatives, like the QEP or service learning.

Many screens within the system allow you to capture a record within a record. What does that mean? Let's use Directed Student Learning as an example:

During AY 16-17, you had two students whom you supervised in your lab or another creative activity. Rather than creating two records, one for each student, you can capture both students and their projects or work in one record.

 

dsl single student

 

The student information box is what's called a dynamic sub-answer or DSA field, and you'll find versions of a DSA on the all scholarships screens (where you can add Mercer related colleagues), scheduled teaching, and university service. On screens where you'd like to add Mercer colleagues as collaborators, you select her/him from a dropdown menu, as seen in the example below:

 

linking-to-mercer

 

If your colleague publishes or presents under a different name, you will need to update the name in the name fields, as seen here:

 

Maiden Name

Run Reports

Click Run Reports in the left hand menu.

runreports

 

When the Run Reports screen opens, select the title of your Annual Review from the menu. You will be taken to a screen where you can select report options. Defaults have been put in place, but you are free to make your own selection. The screen shot below shows all report options; it's unlikely that all will be available to you.

 

runoptions

Notes on Options

1) Date Range: Choose your date range carefully. If you annual review runs on an Academic Year, you must change the dates to match the year in review. For reference, the Academic Year runs from August 16-August 15. Some units run their reviews on a Fiscal Year, which is July 1-June 30. If you don't select the right date range, the report won't pull all relevant activities.

2) Whom to Include: Most of you will not have this option This option is available only those who have clearance to run reviews or see reports of others.

3) Report Options: For some units the citation style has been predetermined, so you won't be able to choose a format. We strongly encourage people to leave options b) and c) as they are. Option b) determines how much detail is displayed in your report. Option c) allows you to eliminate sections that don't have activities associated with them. For instance, if you didn't have a media interview to report, you wouldn't want a "Media Appearance and Interviews" section to appear in your report.

4) File Format: The default file format for all annual review is Microsoft Word. You can also run the report as a pdf or webpage (.html).

There are two kinds of reports in Activity Insight: Custom and Ad Hoc. Custom Reports are visible in the Run Reports menu. Your role in the University will dictate what reports are available to you. If you are faculty with no other administrative duties, you have access to the annual review and vita reports. If you have an administrative role, like a dean or department chair, there are other custom reports available to you.

To run a custom report, select the report from the Run Reports menu, as seen below in a screen shot for CLA faculty reports:

 

Reports Menu

 

Once you select the custom report you want to run, you'll be taken to a screen to select report options:

 

runoptions

 

After choosing report parameters (date, options, file format, etc), click the Run Report button and a file will be downloaded to your computer.

Ad Hoc reports are addressed in the next question.

Ad hoc reports allow you to create reports on your own data or, if you're a chair or dean, the data entered by others.

From the Run Reports Menu, click "Create a New Report":

Create Button

 

A box will appear with three options:

 
report style

 

To create an Ad Hoc report, you must select the Spreadsheet option. Don't worry, you'll be able to select the way you want to export your data. A screen will open with several options you must select. The first selection is the Date Range. You can choose to run a report on all dates or select a range. Note that if you want to run a report on an Academic Year, you must enter August 16 as the start month and day and August 15 as the end month and day. 

 

Date Range Select

 

Your second selection will be Whom to Include. The default is All, but if you click "Change Selection", you'll be able to select a subset of users or an individual (choosing a subset is addressed in the next question).

 

Whom Default

 

Your third selection will be Data to Include. Like Whom to Include, the default is All data.

 

Data Default

 

It's unlikely that you would run a report on all data, so click "Change Selection" to choose what screens you would like to pull data from. You must click Save before continuing.

 

Data Choice

 

Options 4 and 5 relate to Grouping (do you want to run a report on all departments for instance) and Keywords (to run a report that looks for data with the Keyword only).

 

Group and Search

 

Finally, you can choose the file output type. The default setting will be csv spreadsheet, but other common formats are available.

 

file format

 

Once you've made all selections, you can choose to Save the reportt (if you think you'll run it in the future) or simply click Run Report. A report will download to your computer.

 

save or run

You can run a report on a college, department, group, or individual by selecting them from "Whom to Include" on the Report Options sceen . Note that your role within the University will dictate whom you can run reports on. Faculty can run reports on themselves, chairs on those in her/his department, and so on.

 

Whom Default

The default option is All users. If you want to select a subset or individual, you must click "Change Selection", which will open a pop-up window:
 
Whom Choice
 
After selecting users to include, you can choose other report options and run your report.

Customizing your CV is the latest utility released by Digital Measures. Go to their website to watch an informational video with step by step instructions.

Other Questions

Names were loaded from HR and, for consitency across systems, we've used the names they provided. You have the ability to add your preferred name on the Personal Contact Information screen, but unfortunately, it won't display on other screens.

We have built the reports so that your preferred name will be displayed in the annual review documents.

Courses are loaded at the end of the semester. We do this for a couple of reasons:

1) We want the data we load to be accurate. For instance, things like enrollment change from the beginning to the end of the semester. If we load courses at the beginning, we would likely need to update the data several times over the course of the semester.

2) The Stetson School of Business and Economics imports grade data into the system, and we don't have that information until the close of the semester.

While you're in the system, you can send a message to the Administrator by clicking Help in the left sidebar.

 

help

 

If you're having trouble creating records, please reach out to Ellen Byron. She can show you tips and tricks that will simplify data entry. And remember that the first year is always the hardest. Duplicating records, using PasteBoard, and importing publications will maximize your time in the system.

Common Mistakes

If don't know what screen you should choose to add a record, look for the instructional text at the top of the screen.

We commonly see errors on the following screens:

  • Administrative Assignments – this is for assigned administrative roles, not committee assignments.
  • Awards, Honors, and Honor Societies – don’t enter tenure and promotion here. Those records are captured on the permanent date screen, which loads directly from HR.
  • Academic Certificates – these are certificates that were awarded with credit. Non-credit certificates should be logged on the Faculty Development Activities screen.
  • Faculty Development Activities – this screen is for activities you attend, not lead. If you have an organizing or leadership role in an activity, it should be recorded on the appropriate service screen.
  • Directed Student Learning – if you are an advisor to a student group, capture your role on the University Service screen.
  • Teaching Innovation and Curriculum Development – don’t put your teaching related committee work on this screen. It should go on the University Service screen.
  • Contracts, Grants, and Fellowships – don’t enter your own fellowships on this screen. This screen captures funded fellowships conducted in your lab or department (e.g., a funded postdoctoral fellow doing research in a Med School lab). Enter your own faculty fellowships on the Faculty Development Activities screen. Enter your graduate and post-graduate fellowships on the Graduate and Post Graduate Fellowships and Training Appointments screen.
  • Presentations – we sometimes see media interview added to this screen. Those belong on the Media Appearances and Interviews screen.

We see this occur on screens where most of the information has been loaded for you:

  • Academic Advising – you must open the record and add your time and a description.
  • Scheduled Teaching – you must open each course record and complete additional fields, like contact hours, course evaluations, etc.
  • Publications – after importing, open the record and complete the peer review and QEP fields. Check the authors to ensure that the names are correct.

We often see that people have entered dates incorrectly or incompletely.

  1.  For one-day activities, enter the end date only. People often enter the same start and end date, which is unnecessary.
  2. For on-going activities, enter the start date only. You need only add an end date when you have concluded the activity.
  3. Provide as complete a date as possible. If you enter the year only, the activity may not display in whatever report you're running. For instance, if the activity occurred in the Fall of 2017, but you only note the year, it will appear in any report run for the 16-17 Academic Year.
  4. Choose your dates carefully when running reports. You must know whether your annual review is conducted on a calendar or academic year. Remember that the academic year runs from August 16-August 15. One of the most common help requests occurs when someone chooses the wrong date range for her/his report and is alarmed when an activity doesn't appear.

Almost all screens allow you to select "Other" from a drop down menu provide an "Explanation of Other" to describe your role or involvement, as seen in the example below.

 

A note of caution: if you find yourself often selecting "Other", it likely means that you are either logging that activity on the wrong screen OR you didn't see the option in the drop down. Examples include, adding "Committee Member" as an "Explanation of Other" to the Administrative Assignments screen or adding "Abstract" to the Publication screen instead of choosing "Conference Proceeding from the drop down.