Descriptive Codes: What we can do with them

Reminder: Please click "add" after entering  each description code. Without this extra click, the information you entered will be lost! See below for more information on how to add descriptive codes.

The ability to add useful descriptive codes from our own, customized list at the end of a session is still fairly new to AskAway; late 2011 is when QuestionPoint introduced the improvements to this feature. The descriptive codes help us to see how students use AskAway; since we have begun to use the codes more extensively in 2011, we can see that the majority of questions are related to research - a great result! Ready Reference questions generally follow research, ahead of circulation, directional, e-resources access, technical, and other question types. See chart for details.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"512","attributes":{"class":"media-image size-full wp-image-1581 alignleft","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"370","height":"377","title":"Whataretheyasking","alt":""}}]]

Descriptive codes also help us track first-time users, unaffiliated users, and patrons who were turned away or asked to wait because of a "swamped" period.

There is the ability to add up to four descriptive codes per session. It's rare to see that many, but 2 isn't uncommon; research and e-resources access often go together when a student comes in to AskAway for help with research, and receives additional help accessing databases.

Most service providers use at least one descriptive code. We'd love to see this number at 100%, helping us to really get a full picture of how AskAway is being used. Even better would be to see an increase in 2 or more descriptive codes in sessions; with more information about the sessions,  we can share a more complete picture of the service with partner libraries, funders, directors, service providers, and others.

Below is an overview of how to add descriptive codes:

At the end of your session, after you click End Session, you’ll be asked to apply a Resolution code (Answered, Lost Call, or Practise).  Then click on Add Description, and you’ll be given the option to apply up to four descriptive codes to your call – click Add after each one.  Then click on Close to completely close your session.  For more information, refer to the Software Manual on the Portal or the refresher blog post on descriptive codes.

Questions about descriptive codes? Please contact me at the Admin Centre.

- Reece, BC ELN