Increasing Participation

One thing many programs struggle with is getting participation from their learners and teachers. Solving this problem is one of our main missions.

We've worked closely with a number of programs to figure out different ways to increase participation and we've found that strategies to improve participation generally fall into two buckets. The first set of things are features that we can build into the product to make it easier, or more enjoyable, to give or receive feedback. We're constantly investing in these types of improvements. Most of these features apply to each account automatically. A list of the features we've built dedicated to this goal is found at the bottom of this article.

The second set of things are related to a program's culture and how myTIPreport is rolled out.

This article will discuss strategies you can employ for increasing participation, both from a technical and cultural perspective.

While there are many things you can do to attempt to increase participation, these strategies have proven effective repeatedly. We highly recommend that everyone take these steps.

Make sure everyone has the app installed and ready to use

One of the biggest barriers to participation is the simple act of knowing how to participate. Those very simple things like knowing the name of the app, downloading it and logging in. Getting past this simple barrier is both easy and incredibly beneficial.

The easiest way to achieve this is to take 5 minutes at a department conference (such as M&M, Grand Rounds or something similar) and do the following:

  1. Have everyone take out their phone, go to the app store and install the "myTIPreport" app.
  2. Have everyone log into the app. The app is great at remembering your password so doing this once will make future launches of the app seamless. There are a number of ways to log in to the app:
    • When a person is added to myTIPreport, they are emailed a temporary password. Entering this is the simplest way to log in.
    • For those who can't find their initial password, have them choose the "Email me a Magic Link" option. This will immediately send them an email with a link. Clicking that link on their phone will automatically sign them into the app. If someone doesn't receive the email, have them check their spam folder.
    • At any time, anyone can go through the "Forgot Password" flow. You don't need to know your password to do this and going through this flow will allow you to set a new password.

While at this conference, it can also be helpful to demo completing a feedback encounter, though it isn't mandatory.

Make sure everyone knows what is expected of them and configure myTIPreport to help with this

One thing we've found that helps address the problem of lack of feedback is when users know how much participation is expected of them, and they're regularly reminded of those expectations.

Fortunately, myTIPreport has a feature that helps with this. By following the directions here (under Participation Requirements), we'll send reminders to users to remind them how much they need to participate.

We've found that the best place to start here is by placing requirements on your learners first. Learners have a higher incentive to participate initially because they benefit from the feedback they receive. Having them be responsible for initiating interactions, either through feedback requests, or in-person feedback encounters, is a proven way to increase participation. Therefore, by default, new programs have a "citizenship requirement" set up that learners request or complete 4 evaluations per month.

In addition to configuring this feature, we recommend communicating participation expectations with your department, either in person at a meeting or through email.

Allow your upper-level learners to provide feedback on lower-level learners

myTIPreport can be configured to allow upper-level learners to give feedback on lower-level learners. Since learners know the value of feedback, we find that they are more likely to give feedback as well.

This feature can be configured by following the directions here. We recommend at least allowing your learners who will be graduating this year to provide feedback on your first year learners. That said, the more learners who have the ability to provide feedback on their junior colleagues, the better.

Appoint a few myTIPreport champion faculty members

There are likely a few members of your faculty who are excited about the prospect of using a tool like myTIPreport. Ask them to lead the effort of getting participation amongst the faculty members. They can do this by:

  1. Being proactive about providing feedback to learners.
  2. Responding to feedback requests promptly.

By doing these things together, you'll set your program up for success. If you're still looking for other things to try, keep reading.

Other Things To Try

The following strategies have been successful at other programs and may help increase your participation.

Create participation competitions for both learners and teachers and give prizes

This helps introduce people to myTIPreport and get them in the habit of submitting feedback. Prizes can be anything from $5 Starbucks Gift Cards to additional opportunities to attend conferences and should be given to the people who submit and receive the most feedback.

To enable you to do this, we create automatic leaderboards by default. For more information, see our article on Leaderboards.

Create participation competitions between departments and give prizes

Just like in the previous one but this one has a team element and helps build intra-department relationships. Prizes can be team-focused as well!

Send regular email messages to the department that show usage rates and applaud top participants

Some people just love seeing their name on the top of a list - Doctor's especially! Making the "leaderboard" public will encourage your more competitive members to participate even more.

Have your department chair give a strong message of endorsement!

People always listen to the department chair, right? Having your department chair throw his or her weight behind myTIPreport participation is another effective way to get the necessary culture change.

Learn from your teachers and learners who are using myTIPreport regularly

You never know what is going to work for different people. Find out what is motivating your top participants and see if there are ways you can use that information to encourage others.

Other features to help with participation

As mentioned above, there are a number of features that we've built to encourage participation. It's important to know they exist though in case they help solve a problem you're having. Here's a full list of these features:

1. Learner-driven face-to-face evaluations. Have faculty members who aren't good with technology or refuse to download the app? This feature allows a learner to drive a complete feedback encounter on their phone or PC. When the feedback is submitted the faculty member will be prompted for their password to "sign" the feedback (this prevents learners from faking evaluations).

2. Magic login links for the phone app. Do people keep forgetting their passwords? Request a magic login link using the phone app and login by clicking the link that shows up in your email!

3. Admin password resets. Still having issues with people not being able to remember or reset their passwords? An admin can always reset their password for them via the admin portal.

4. Suggested milestones. Are people having trouble figuring out which milestones to provide feedback on? Or is everyone providing feedback on the more common milestones? Turn on the suggested milestone feature! This suggests a configurable number of milestones to provide feedback on each time someone logs in. The milestones which have had the least feedback will be suggested. Go here to read more about configuring this feature.

5. Admin driven evaluation requests. Want to get some specific feedback on a learner? Admins have the power to request feedback for specific learners from specific teachers.

6. Automated rotation requests. Looking to automate more feedback requests? Set up rotations and have summative rotation assessments, along with rotation feedback requirements result in automated requests at the end of each rotation. See these help topics for more information about setting up rotations and automated requests.

7. Feedback request expiration. Are stale feedback requests making it hard for faculty members to identify actionable requests? Make sure you have feedback request expiration turned on. This is configured to 14 days by default. Each program should consider if they want this to be more lenient or more aggressive, but we'd strongly encourage not turning it off completely.

Good luck getting participation from your program! If you find other strategies that work for your department, we'd love to hear about them!