1 i Link Crew & WEB Database User Guide Database
2 ii 1 Contents 1 CONTENTS...II 2 THE LINK CREW AND WEB DATABASE DOWNLOADING THE DATABASE... 4 Step 1: Login to the Boomerang Project Website...4 Step 2: Locate the Database Download Page...4 Step 3: Save the Installation File to your Computer...5 Step 4: Install the database on your Computer USING THE DATABASE: AN OVERVIEW... 6 Opening the Database...6 The Navigation Bar...6 Steps to Set up Your Database...6 Importing Student Records...6 Importing Leaders...7 Manually Entering Students, Leaders, or Groups...7 Creating Groups Based on the Number of Leaders...7 Assigning Leaders to Groups...7 Assigning Students to Groups...7 Running Reports IMPORTING STUDENT RECORDS... 9 Extracting Data from the School Database...9 Select the File for Import...10 Verify the Fields to Import...10 Hints for Successful Imports USING THE DATABASE CONTROLS Creating New Records Manually...12 Scrolling through Records...12 View Records as a List...12 Finding Specific Records...13 Viewing All Records TROUBLESHOOTING I m having trouble importing students My students with language needs are not grouped with the right leaders...14 How do I browse through my student, leader, or group records? 14 Some of my students are missing When I try to create labels or nametags, I only see one label or nametag How do I search for a student?...15 Who do I contact if I need more help?
3 3 2 The Link Crew and Web Database We built this database to make the process of getting ready for your Link Crew and WEB orientation easier and better. This program will allow you to import your students and leaders and will create random, gender-balanced groups at the touch of a button. In addition students with language needs can be randomly assigned to teachers with skills in the same language. Once your groups are set up, you can print all the documentation you will need to make your orientation a success, including name tags, master lists, and group attendance sheets. 3
4 4 3 Downloading the Database The database is available for download from the Boomerang Project web site: Step 1: Login to the Boomerang Project Website Go to: Click on the Community link and either login or create a free account. Step 2: Locate the Database Download Page To download the database after logging in, return to the community page to find the database download file and instructions. There are two versions of the database, one for Windows and one for a Mac. Choose the appropriate one by clicking on its link or on the download button. 4
5 5 Step 3: Save the Installation File to your Computer A dialog box will appear that will allow you to save the file. Select save to disk. Depending upon how your computer is set up, it will be saved automatically or will ask you where you want to save the file and whether you want to rename the file. Save the file to your desktop and do not rename it. The file is called boomerang_v3_pc.exe (PC version) or boomerang_v3_mac.sitx (Mac version) and the icon for the file will look like the image at right. Step 4: Install the database on your Computer The file is a zip file meaning that the database files are compressed into a small package. The files inside will need to be unpacked, or extracted. Double-click the installation file and a program such as WinZip Self-Extractor or Stuffit Expander will extract the files. If you do not have one of these programs, talk to your system administrator. In some cases, free versions of these products are available. Click Browse to select the location to extract the files. Select the desktop so that the database program will be easy to find. Click Unzip to extract the files to your desktop. A folder called Boomerang will appear on your desktop. Inside the folder are many files. Double-click on the icon labeled boomerang.exe to open the database.
6 6 4 Using the Database: An Overview Use this section to get started quickly. Subsequent sections will elaborate on how to import students, use the software controls, and will provide troubleshooting tips. Opening the Database Double-click on the boomerang.exe file. In the first dialog box that appears (Set Variables), choose either the Link Crew or WEB logo. Define up to 4 custom student fields and up to 2 custom leader fields. These variables can be set at any time by clicking set variables on the navigation bar. The Navigation Bar The navigation bar allows you to view students, leaders, and groups respectively. You can also import records, set variables (logo and custom fields), and access reports. Steps to Set up Your Database Typical steps to set up your database using automated processes are below. Each step is discussed in detail below. 1. Import student records 2. Import or manually enter leaders 3. Create blank groups automatically based on number of leaders 4. Associate leaders to groups 5. Have the system sort students randomly into gender-balanced groups. Importing Student Records (For more detailed instructions see Section 4: Importing Student Records, below.) To import a file of student names generated from your school database, obtain a file with the student information in text (tab-delimited) format or in an excel spreadsheet. A template that provides the correct column headers for importing the file can be downloaded from the Boomerang Project web site. Login first, click on Community, and go to the database downloads page. For more information on required and optional fields and for specific field formatting requirements, see Section 4, below. To import the file, click import on the navigation bar and select whether to import a student file or a leader file. Locate the file on your computer and click open. HINT: If you do not see your file, try changing the Files of Type box at the bottom of the file 6
7 7 selection dialog box to All Files. A dialog box will open showing how your file s fields (source fields) match those in the database (target fields). Make sure that the box next to Don t import first record is checked. If you have used column headers from the template file, the source and target fields should match perfectly. Between each pair should be an arrow. (If this is not the case, please refer to Section 4 for more detailed instructions.) Click Import. Importing Leaders Leaders can be imported in a manner similar to that described above for students. A template that provides the correct column headers for importing the file can be downloaded from the Boomerang Project web site. Login first, click on Community, and go to the database downloads page. Manually Entering Students, Leaders, or Groups Create individual new records manually by going to the students, leaders or groups page and then by clicking the icon with a green plus sign (+) and labeled new. Records can be deleted individually by clicking the icon with a red X and labeled delete. Creating Groups Based on the Number of Leaders After entering or importing all leaders into the system, blank groups can be created using the create blank groups button on the groups page. This button is only used to create the initial groups and does not function if groups have already been created. One group is created for every two leaders. For example: in a system with 9 or 10 leaders, 5 blank (empty) groups would be created. Assigning Leaders to Groups Create leaders and groups first., then assign leaders to groups by selecting names from the list of leaders on the groups page and clicking the + sign next to select leader. While groups can have two leaders, each leader can be in one group only. Assigning Students to Groups After students are imported, the groups and leaders created, and the leaders assigned to groups, the system can auto-assign students into random but gender-balanced groups using the assign 7
8 8 students to groups button. Pressing this button will automatically assign all students in the database to the existing groups. Students can also be matched automatically with leaders that meet special language requirements. In order to automatically match students and leaders by language needs: 1. The student must have the language listed under language needs. 2. The leader must have the language listed in his/her profile under other language. 3. If the group has two leaders, the leader with the language skills must be listed first. Students can also be individually assigned to groups by clicking the group tab on the student record and entering the appropriate group number. Students can be manually assigned to groups via the student import tool. Simply assign each record on the import file a GroupID corresponding to the group number in the database. Running Reports Various reports, mailing labels, and name tags are available. Click reports on the navigation bar and then use the tabs to see reports and rosters for students, leaders, and groups as well as name tags for orientation or other events. Note that when running mailing labels and nametags, only a sample label or nametag appears. To preview the page as it will appear in print, click preview and print. 8
9 9 5 Importing Student Records This detailed look at importing student records will guide you through the import process step by step. Extracting Data from the School Database Obtain a file of student records from the school database. A text (tab-delimited) file or excel spreadsheet will work. HINT: A template that provides the correct column headers for importing the file can be downloaded from the Boomerang Project web site. Login first, click on Community, and go to the database downloads page. Take note of the formatting requirements listed below for the State, Phone, Gender, DOB (date of birth), and Orientation fields. Column Header Notes and Formatting Requirements Required Field? SchoolStudent_ID The student s school ID. FirstName Yes MI LastName Yes Address City State Two-digit abbreviation of the State (CA, TN, VA, etc.) Zip Notes Phone Include area code, acceptable format is: Gender Acceptable values are: F, M, Female, Male Yes DOB Acceptable format for Date of Birth is: mm/dd/yyyy Yes LanguageNeeds If you are using the auto-assignment of students to groups and if a value is entered here, the student will be automatically matched with a leader who has the same value listed under other languages. See above for more information. address TeacherName Homeroom CustomField1 CustomField4 GroupID Orientation These fields are defined in set variables on the navigation bar. If assigning students to groups manually, enter the group number here and students will be assigned to groups as they are imported Did the student attend orientation? Acceptable Values are: Yes, No 9
10 10 Select the File for Import Open the database and click import on the navigation bar. The import page provides links to both student and leader imports. Click Import Students. The dialog box that appears allows you to find the import file on your computer. Select the correct file and click open. HINT: If you do not see your file, try changing the Files of Type box at the bottom of the file selection dialog box to All Files as shown below. If importing from excel, a dialog box may ask you to select the correct worksheet. Unless you have changed it, this should be sheet1. Verify the Fields to Import After selecting the file, another dialog box will come up asking you to verify the field mapping. HINT: Make sure the box by Don t import first record is checked. Each column in your import file (Source Fields) should match what the database expects (Target Fields). Make sure the importer has matched up the values correctly. Also make sure there is an arrow between each source field and its corresponding target field. 10
11 11 If the fields don t match: If one or more source fields do not match a target field, the fields will have to be manually matched. Click on the up/down arrow next to the target field name and drag the target field to the correct source field. If there are arrows missing: If there are arrows missing between the source field and the target field, these fields will not import. Click on the blank line between the fields to toggle between the arrow and the blank line. If there are fields you do not wish to import for some reason, toggle the arrow back to the blank line. Once all fields are matched and all fields you wish to import have an arrow, click Import. Click Import on the next dialog box to accept the default Import Options. The importer will now begin to load the records into the database. After the import completes, a summary screen will appear to confirm the number of records imported, the number of records skipped due to errors, and the number of fields skipped due to errors. Example: In the example to the left, one record was added and no records were skipped. One field was skipped. In this case, the State field was skipped because the field listed Washington instead of the required two-digit State abbreviation, WA. Field skipping can often be traced back to fields that lack the correct formatting. See Extracting Data from the School Database above for fields with special formatting requirements. Hints for Successful Imports Many problems will be avoided by following a few guidelines reiterated here. 1. Download and use the template that provides the correct column headers for importing the file. The file can be downloaded from the Boomerang Project web site. Login first, click on Community, and go to the database downloads page. 2. The import file should be either a text (tab delimited) file type or an excel spreadsheet. 3. Check that all fields with specific format requirements (ie. State, Phone, Gender, DOB, etc.) are formatted correctly. (See above for formatting rules) 4. When importing, make sure that you specify Don t import the first record on the Import Field Mapping dialog box. 5. Check the field mapping carefully to make sure the Source Record matches the Target Record and that for each field you wish to import, there is an arrow between the source and target column. 11
12 12 6 Using the Database Controls The Link Crew and WEB database have a variety of icons, buttons, and controls that help view and manage data. Creating New Records Manually To create new records manually, use the icons pictured below for creating or deleting records, on the students, leaders, or groups pages. Scrolling through Records To scroll back and forth through records whether for students, leaders, groups, or pages of a report, click the pages of the open notebook icon on the far left. Beneath the notebook icon shows how many records are currently being browsed. If you perform a search for a subset of records, only those records will be visible using the notebook icon. See the section Finding Specific Records. View Records as a List The two tabs on the same line as the magnifying glass (see below) allow you to toggle between viewing your records individually or as a list. 12
13 13 Finding Specific Records To find one or more records that match certain characteristics, click the magnifying glass icon and then use the blank screen to type in your search criteria. The search at the right would return all the records for which language needs were identified as Spanish, gender was identified as male, and attended orientation was yes. After selecting the criteria, hit the find button on the far left. After finding a subset of records, only those found can be browsed until you click view all records. Viewing All Records After performing a search in which a subset of records is returned, only those records in the found set can be seen. Note in the example below, it shows on the left hand side that 123 of 343 records are currently found. To revert to all records, click the View All Records icon, shown below. 13
14 14 7 Troubleshooting In addition to these troubleshooting tips, the Boomerang Project office is available to help answer your questions and can be contacted by at or by phone at either (831) or toll-free at (800) I m having trouble importing students. Follow the instructions in Section 4 above remembering to follow the 5 tips for successful imports. 6. Download and use the template that provides the correct column headers for importing the file. The file can be downloaded from the Boomerang Project web site. Login first, click on Community, and go to the database downloads page. 7. The import file should be either a text (tab delimited) file type or an excel spreadsheet. 8. Check that all fields with specific format requirements (ie. State, Phone, Gender, DOB, etc.) are formatted correctly. (See above for formatting rules) 9. When importing, make sure that you specify Don t import the first record on the Import Field Mapping dialog box. 10. Check the field mapping carefully to make sure the Source Record matches the Target Record and that for each field you wish to import, there is an arrow between the source and target column. My students with language needs are not grouped with the right leaders. In order for students who have special language needs to be grouped with leaders who possess language skills, several things must be true 1. The language the student requires is listed in the student profile under language needs. 2. The language (spelled exactly the same way) is listed in the leader profile under other language. 3. The leader with the language skills appears as the first leader associated with the group. How do I browse through my student, leader, or group records? On the far left of the database window, you will find an image that looks like an open notebook. Clicking on the pages will allow you to scroll forwards and backwards through the records. Some of my students are missing. If you have searched for students and returned only a subset, you may need to click view all records. See Viewing All Records in Section 6, above, for more information. When I try to create labels or nametags, I only see one label or nametag. When creating labels or nametags, the system first shows an example. To preview the printed page either click the Preview and Print button or look at the bottom of the screen where it says browse and change that setting to preview. Change the setting back to browse in order to print the labels or to return to the report menu. 14
15 15 How do I search for a student? Click the magnifying glass icon to search for a record or a subset of records on the student, leader or groups pages. A blank record page appears on which you can enter search criteria. For example: you may enter Spanish in the language needs field and select female in the gender field. Click find on the far left of the screen. The system will return any female students with Spanish language needs. To return to all students, click on the show all records icon. (See Viewing All Records in Section 6, above) Who do I contact if I need more help? Contact the Boomerang Project at or at (831) or toll-free at (800)