Recent Posts by Alyssa Thornley

Alyssa Thornley has spent her career working to support schools and communities in providing opportunity to all students. In positions as a teacher, professional development coordinator, and as a volunteer, she has focused on the community’s role in education, and in designing efficient programs that work for diverse needs. Alyssa leads TransACT’s customer engagement and market strategy efforts, and works to ensure innovative programs, guidance, and thought leadership from across the country’s districts are being shared and spread.
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TransACT-RightLabs Sponsors National Philanthropy Day for 11th Year


Continuing Our Tradition of Support as Official Partner of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Edmonton Chapter 

Edmonton, Canada RightLabs (a TransACT Communications brand) the customer-friendly, easy-to-use event registration software is pleased to join the Association of Fundraising Professionals -Edmonton Chapter in celebrating National Philanthropy Day November 21, 2019.  

National Philanthropy Day, organized by local chapters of the Association of Fundraising Professionals across North America, celebrates outstanding commitment from supporters of various non-profit organizations in our community. The event attracts philanthropists, not-for-profit leaders, CEOsboard members, development professionals and business, community and civic leaders. 

Through in-kind sponsorship, RightLabs supports AFP-Edmonton by ensuring tickets to the event are available online to a diverse group of not-for-profit organizations. The RightLabs staff, who are also dedicated to volunteering with local community groups, also attend the awards ceremony to thank those who contribute their time and talents as well as financial support to community organizations throughout Edmonton, Alberta.  

In addition to serving as an official sponsor of National Philanthropy Day, RightLabs continues to collaborate with the Edmonton AFP chapter’s monthly meetings as the official registration partner. 

RightLabs has supported AFP Edmonton since 2008.

About RightLabs  

RightLabs ( is a leader in K-12 and collegiate online forms and fees software. RightLabs has over 10 years of experience in developing online registration and parent engagement forms that enable parents to manage their students’ activities and also support the district in compliance, reporting, and streamlining processes. RightLabs is proud to offer educators and non-profit event organizers of all levels a single platform to securely manage forms, fees, and engagement with simplicity. 

About the Edmonton & Area Chapter of AFP  

Founded in 1996, the chapter is a member of the worldwide Association of Fundraising Professionals. AFP advances philanthropy by enabling people and organizations to practice effective and ethical fundraising. The Edmonton & Area Chapter has grown into a dynamic, thriving leadership group of over 200 members. 

What to see at Educause 2019

Educause brings the best to the table, from top-notch presentations to braindates where you can spark meaningful conversation with other professionals like yourself, and software providers. CampusRight is part of the TransACT product suite, and our related offerings consisting of OneCampusCampusClassifieds, or CampusConfirm will be holding down the fort at Booth 1652, stop in to see a demonstration on the interactive monitors.

To help make your trip go more smoothly, we’ve poured over the agenda so that you don’t have to - Here are some sessions we’d recommend checking out if you’re going to be attending the Educause conference this year. If you’re more of a DIY-er, we recommend narrowing your search by looking at specific programs and tracks being highlighted this year, like: Creating a Culture of Data-Informed Decision MakingManaging and Reducing Information Technology Risk, or Transforming the Student Experience. 




With so many options, it can be overwhelming having to choose. If you’re still not sure where to start, stop by Meet and Mingle for answers to your Educause conference questions on opening day (Tuesday October 15th). 

How College Administrators Can Boost Productivity with School Automation Software

College administrators are used to some of the most rapidly changing environments in the workforce today. Increasing numbers of administrators are investing in school automation software to help them work more efficiently and boost their overall productivity. In fact, all levels of schools—K-12, technical schools, colleges, and universities—have experienced the benefits of using school automation software that integrates with their existing data sources. Below are some of the benefits of utilizing school automation software on campus.

Streamlines Internal Processes

With intuitive self-service options and 24/7, mobile-friendly access, school automation software empowers both students and faculty members to perform administrative tasks with ease. This ultimately frees college administrators up to focus on other daily responsibilities and improves the student experience in the process. School automation software also integrates with student information and general ledger systems, eliminating manual work and effectively automating existing processes.

Automates Forms and Payments

A school automation solution like CampusRight automates form management and payment collection. This provides students with an easy, mobile-friendly way to fill out forms and make payments, eliminating the need for college administrators to chase down paper forms and cash payments from students across campus. Integration with general ledger (GL) systems allows for digital fee collection, decreasing the risk of cash misappropriation and reducing manual work.

Improves Cross-Campus Collaboration

School automation software improves cross-campus collaboration by offering helpful features such as automated notifications and workflow approvals. These features allow administrators to communicate more effectively across departments on campus—not to mention that the ability to coordinate student information saves time and helps avoid delays resulting from manual approval processes.

Eases the Burden of Reporting

School automation software saves a significant amount of time that would otherwise be spent entering, tracking, and collating student data. Automated data collection helps to reduce errors that occur as a result of manual data entry and offers administrators a holistic, big-picture perspective for reporting capabilities.

Simplifies Event Planning

From invitations to ticket sales, school automation software simplifies the entire event planning process by automating all event-related tasks within one centralized platform. This type of solution frees up time that would otherwise be spent on manual event management tasks, such as verifying graduation statuses across departments and distributing graduation tickets to students allowing college administrators to work more efficiently and deliver a better experience for students.

The right school automation software can boost productivity and improve internal processes, from workflow approvals, to form management, and executing the perfect campus event. However, creating well-designed web forms is easier said than done. Download our free guide, Top Five Tips for Creating Effective Web Forms, to learn how to build forms that are easy for administrators to create and for users to fill out.


3 Ideas for Improving Efficiency for College Administrators

College administrators manage some of the most complex work environments in our society today. Beyond being on the front lines of academia, research and innovation, administrators must tend to everyday tasks from helping with dropped classes to updating student forms. With so much to stay on top of, administrators can feel challenged to be as efficient as they would like to be each day.

In an effort to improve efficiency, college administrators are turning to workflow automation software to streamline internal processes and improve the quality of their work. Digital solutions automate tasks and help do away with manual work, such as compiling and collating student data and manually entering it into different internal systems. In this article, we cover some of the key ways to empower college administrators to be more efficient.

Digitize School Forms

Paper forms are not only inefficient and hard to keep track of, but they are also bad for the environment. Digitizing forms allows administrators to switch to a paperless system and improve their operational efficiency by eliminating manual processes such as collecting paper forms and entering data into a system.

Creating, tracking, and updating digital forms is simpler for college administrators than traditional paper forms. Using digital forms is also more convenient for the student population as it enables them to complete forms where they're most active, on their mobile devices. Student data is stored digitally and no longer requires manual entry or updating—not to mention that information is easily accessible to all of the departments across campus. SIS integrated solutions prevent information from being lost due to misplaced paper forms.

Automate Workflows

Outdated manual processes do nothing but slow administrators down—which is why automation is a game-changer for increasing efficiency. Automating the workflows associated with forms, payments and approvals allows administrators to streamline processes and work more efficiently. Automated notifications and workflow approvals eliminate the need to repeatedly reach out to managers and other departments for approvals and help administrators avoid any delays caused by slow approvers. Automation also helps improve communication and collaboration across departments.

Integrate Systems

Integrated systems create data silos and inhibit productivity by forcing manual processes. A workflow automation solution such as CampusRight integrates seamlessly with your student information system (SIS) and general ledger (GL) system to remove silos and reduce the need for manual data entry. Seamless integration also eliminates the need for administrators to manually pull or cross-check data in disparate systems and improves collaboration across departments on campus.

College administrators can improve their productivity and increase their efficiency in the workplace—but they need the right solution in place to help make change happen. Digital solutions such as CampusRight empower college administrators to make these improvements by helping to eliminate manual work, automate processes, and streamline workflows.

Does the manual data entry associated with paper form management keep you from completing the work you're most passionate about? Download our free guide, Top Five Tips for Creating Effective Web Forms, to learn how to build forms that are easy for administrators to create, deploy, manage, and track—and for students to complete.

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A New Look for CampusRight's Website

TransACT is proud to launch a refreshed web presence for CampusRight,

ActivityRightInviteRight, and CampusRight recently joined the TransACT portfolio of software services so that we could expand our services to educators. 

The new website has improved loading times, an updated design, and mobile responsiveness for an all around great experience.  We will continue to expand our resources and the resource center to deliver the most updated and relevant information for the alumni coordinators, event coordinators, commencement officers, and registrars.

To stay connected with our latest post-secondary blog posts, ebooks, and updates on social media, follow us on 
TwitterLinkedIn, Facebook.

If you have any questions or feedback you would like to share with our team, please do so by filling out the form on our Contact Us page.

We look forward to staying connected. 

Approval Workflow – the next step in automation

What is Approval Workflow? Approval Workflow is a new feature that allows Organizers to set up an approval process, requesting specific users to review the submission, and either approve or deny the application. Use CampusRight to facilitate and store the entire process, so that you avoid the risk of lost paperwork, or missed checkpoints, along the way

Approval Workflows can help you automate your processes, making them both more consistent and more efficient. The Approval Workflow lets you route documents to one or more people for their approval.

The demand for Automation

There’s been a need especially in the university space for automating approval forms. Approval forms can be any form of request that needs to be signed (or approved) by certain entities within an organization. As an example, a student requests for permission to enroll on a specific university course. Such activity requires approval from several governing bodies due to certain policies that institutions have put in place. The student then has to physically forward the approval form to these governing bodies which makes it time-consuming. With the new Approval Workflows, the process becomes much simpler!

No more hustling around campus, with your form in your hand, trying to get your approvers to sign your form. All you need to do is setup an Approval Workflow, and the system will do the rest for you!

Lowering stress using reminders

Imagine this: you have set up a registration form with us, and everything is going very well. Suddenly, you hear from your venue that they have to do urgent renovations and they will move you to another room. You are 2 days away from your event, and you have sold 2000 tickets. After getting over the wave of panic, how do you let everyone know?!!!

Enter Reminders! Using this feature, you can contact all your guests at once, and even customize the message to include their specific registration details!

A reminder is a quick and easy way for you to:

  • Contact attendees via Email and/or SMS
  • Notify your guest list of date or location changes
  • Prompt attendees about dress code or items to bring like their tickets
  • Ask guests who haven’t paid, to send payment
  • Have guests update companion or team information

With reminders, you can also:

  • Add personalized items (ex. guest’s first name, event location, table number) similar to a mail merge
  • Schedule your reminder to a future date (set it and forget it)
  • Allow guests to update their response.  For example, ensuring that you have collected allergies and dietary restrictions for every attendee
  • Filter who receives the reminder based on responses to questions asked during registration, or have the reminder sent to specific groups within your guest list
  • Send yourself a test reminder to yourself to ensure it’s perfect, and you can even send it to your supervisor so they can see how perfect you are too

So hop on over to your Reminders tab in the Admin area and get in contact with your attendees! Here is a cool video to help you, so your panic wave can float away…

Top 5 tips for building effective web forms

Using CampusRight, you can customize your forms. You have a lot of flexibility when building forms with us, but it’s important to spend some time in developing the forms. But what kind of content should you create? What are the must-haves for forms to get results? 

Forms that get results

Does the form below inspire action or dread? 

Can you tell what school this may be for? Does the design scream “Fine Arts”? Can you tell what the purpose of the form is? If you answered “no” to any of the above, you probably wouldn’t be thrilled to have to fill it out. When it comes to online user experience, standards have come a long way in just a few years – and so have expectations. People simply don’t want to deal with awkward and cluttered forms anymore. If you want to get people actually using your forms and save yourself a ton of admin time, you need to start thinking differently about how to build them.

A well designed form…

Plan first, design second

At a glance, your forms will either invite users to complete them or make them cringe and abandon them. Even the slightest moment of user hesitation when completing a form can significantly hurt the response rate. Before you begin building your form, spend some time planning how to request and collect  information.

Do you really need it? 

One of the biggest reasons people abandon forms is that sensitive or too much information is being requested. A form to buy football tickets doesn’t need 12 questions and a form to sign up for a newsletter doesnʼt need a date of birth. People are already resistant to give up their information online, so donʼt give them a reason to walk away.

By eliminating unnecessary form fields, you can significantly increase your response rate. In a study by Unbounce, an 11-field contact form was replaced with a 4-field version, resulting in a 160% increase in the number of forms submitted while the quality of submissions stayed the same. Editing back on the information you collect can be difficult, but as you plan your questions, ask yourself if you really need it, or just want it.

Take advantage of display conditions to keep your form clutter-free

Web forms have a big advantage over paper and PDF forms with dynamic fields which can adjust to the user’s responses. If, for example, a user selects “Yes” to having something mailed to them, a new field will be automatically added to the form for the address.

By only showing showing fields to people who have a need for them, you can keep your form short and sweet.

 Form style matters

A first impression is important. When respondents see your form for the first time you want them to have a positive reaction and not get scared away. Forms are, by definition, asking something of users so if you want them to provide information they need to feel comfortable and secure doing so.

Make sure your brand is well represented

Sounds pretty obvious, but there are plenty of forms out there that have no visual link to the organization that created it. In an age where online phishing and fraud is increasingly common, your logo, colors and styles help inspire confidence in the user. You donʼt need to be a Photoshop master, even a simple banner at the top with your logo goes a long way towards making it yours.

Clearly state the purpose of the form

The first thing anyone will read on your form is the title. It should be succinct yet specific, and the purpose of the form should be immediately clear. Generic phrases such as  “Registration” or “Sign Up” arenʼt terribly helpful – registration for what? Where possible, try to use active language that invites users to get started.

Use fonts types and sizes that are easy to read

Thereʼs a time and place for fancy fonts but your form isnʼt one of them. Users will be completing their forms on desktops, tablets and phones so using a clean, common font will make it easy to read. Fonts that display well on all screens include Arial, Tahoma, Trebuchet and Verdana. 

Your fonts also have to be big enough to be legible across all devices. 14 pixels or 16 pixels is typical but when in doubt, bigger is always better if space allows.

Vertical, not horizontal

Forms with a simple vertical layout are always better than multi-column layouts. This is a little more difficult with paper and PDF forms where space is at a premium, but in general users complete forms from top to bottom. Web forms have a clear advantage here, but the following guidelines can be applied to any medium.

Avoid multi-column layouts

One of the problems with form fields in multiple columns is that your users are likely to interpret the fields inconsistently. Multiple columns introduces the possibility of different interpretations in regards to where to start and what to complete.

A usability study by the Baymard Institute found there were 5 different ways to interpret how the fields relate in just a two-column layout, all pathways to user confusion:

  • Are the fields related?
  • Should they only fill out one column? Or both?
  • Is there a certain sequence to the fields?
  • Peopleʼs eyes want to look down to the next box, not to the next column.

Single fields versus split fields

Split fields are the bane of the web user. These are the fields that break up information, such as a phone number which gets divided into three fields (area code, central office code, and subscriber number).

While the intention is good, these fields are difficult to both understand and interact with and many users will get it wrong on their first attempt. Even simple zip or postal code fields are often completed incorrectly as users will only glance at the first field and make an assumption.

A recent study found that when a form uses a split field, it tends to be where the eyes focus first because itʼs seen by the brain as an unexpected element. Split fields also cause extra frustration on mobile, as users will likely tap each field separately to complete the form.

Using a single field for the name, phone number and postal or zip codes reduces interaction issues and allows the users to move seamlessly on to the next field.

Create Sections

Grouping your form content in a structured way provides users a way to easily scan information required at a high level, and can provide a sense of how information within a form is related.

Create a visual hierarchy with snack-sized segments

People will scan through a form in seconds, so creating clearly defined sections will help create a visual hierarchy thatʼs easy to understand and follow.

In general, humans like to find patterns and group the things they see. Even when looking at two identical circles, our eyes will scan for any possible differences. This is our innate desire to “classify” objects.

Form design works in the same way, especially if you need to ask for a lot of information. Creating sections by grouping related information together and applying color shading, extra white space or a subtitle makes completing the form much more palatable. Instead of a 15-field form, the user now sees a 3-part form with only 4-6 fields.

Tell users what happens next

People like to be in control. Submitting the form without knowing what exactly is going to happen creates uncertainty. Uncertainty causes friction. The user has taken the time to complete your form and a simple “Submit” button doesnʼt give them a lot of confidence in the steps after submission, it only raises the question “what now”.

Create a helpful call-to-action

A call-to-action (CTA) is marketing lingo for the phrase you use to provoke the user to complete an objective, or for our purposes, to complete and send a form. It can reinforce the purpose of the form itself, give direction or even provide a way to measure the success of your form by testing different CTAs and seeing what gets the best response. If you have trouble deciding on your CTA, take a look at other forms on the web. CTAs are that important that many larger companies have put considerable thought and research into finding ones that get clicked.

Confirm receipt of information

Youʼve filled out a form with all of your private information, clicked the button and your details go out into the ether. But what if they donʼt arrive at their intended destination? Did you forget to include something? Can you prove you even sent the form? If youʼre not sure, youʼre likely to email again or pick up a phone to verify the form was received. Not the best use of anyoneʼs time.

An emailed confirmation puts the user at ease and can greatly reduce the number of questions to the organization. They also provide the user with a sense of completion, along with a way to reference the details they submitted.

The Bottom Line…

You can add all the content you like on a form, but if it’s not presented appropriately, you may end up loosing a few users. Using the tips above, you can build effective web forms, and get the results you want!

Capitalizing on your form capabilities

Standing in a room full of university registrars, Ken challenged them to prove him wrong when it comes to the general acceptance of forms. 

No one corrected him when Ken said that if you asked 100 people if they like filling out forms, a vehicle to collect student information, they would likely receive 100 No’s.

OK, to be fair, maybe 98 would say ‘no’ because there’s probably some people like Ken who have an unhealthy obsession with forms.

Ken was at the recent Upper Midwest Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (UMACRAO) and the week prior at the Pacific ACRAO where he addressed the topic of form design and how poor design impacts admin time and student interactions. He was fortunate enough to present form design tips and hints to people who are alert to ‘why’ form design matters.

No one likes filling out forms because they represent a barrier between us and the goal we are trying to achieve. Forms are an obstacle and human nature is to get through them as quickly as possible.

In the world of Higher Education this couldn’t be more true. 

If you want to attend college, you fill out a form. Want to challenge your grade, change your name, update personal information, graduate or become an alumnus? Fill out a form!

A captive audience

Sure, students have no choice but to fill out these forms in order for their request to become fulfilled, but if the form is confusing exceptionally complex, they will seek help. They will appear at the registrar’s office counter. They will call or email and that means valuable staff time being tied up helping them when staff could be focused on more important tasks. All because the form was not  designed with the user in mind.

CampusRight helps the student data collection process be more bearable for students and staff. Our mission is to help registrars and admissions professionals, frustrated by manual processes, move to a world of easy automation. If you think a custom demonstration would help understand how CampusRight, a mobile platform for students and staff with forms and approvals, could help you, email

University Business Top Product Award for CampusRight

University Business is the most widely received, most regularly read publication for higher education leaders at two- and four-year colleges and universities nationwide. Every year, they solicit nominations from these institutions for the top products that they’re using to operate more efficiently and enhance students’ experiences.

CampusRight was nominated by our clients in 2015, and we’re pleased to announce our smart forms were selected as a Top Product!

We want to say thank you to everyone who nominated us. It’s so exciting for our team, who live and breathe development and user experience, to be recognized as one of the very best!

Thank you again, and we’ll keep making CampusRight the best platform we can.