Outstanda Pulse Training Manual
Section 5 : Outstanda FAQ
This area is for frequently asked questions, based on users, prospects and schools who want to know more about how Outstanda Pulse works and how to use it in the best way in their school. This read is frequently updated as we get more good questions.
Can I Use a Personal Mobile Phone Number?
On setup, we use a number we register for the school. This assures consistency in the case of a staff member leaving. However, we can configure that your phone gets copied on message replies if you want a more immediate response to replies via SMS. We also forward voice calls to your main switchboard or to any valid phone you prefer. We do not recommend publishing this number because non-registered replies will be rejected from the system.
Can I Change Monthly SMS Credits?
Yes. Simply open a ticket to us and we will call you to get a charge card or invoice you for added monthly credits. We cannot increase credits until payment is made, so it is always a good idea to have overflow credits in the system for an emergency message send.
My students do not have time to do daily surveys. Can we do less?
You can schedule surveys as often as you would like, and they can auto-send each day of the month as you configure. Normal surveys take under 30 seconds to complete. They average 2 to 5 questions and only take a touch to answer each one. The goal is to do frequent, short surveys and get people used to giving feedback. It also helps you spot trends if things are getting better, worse or if there is suddenly more concern about an issue in the school.
Can I Build my own survey?
We try to standardize surveys across schools, which provides you more benefit as we occasionally provide benchmarking reports to our member schools. This is only possible if we can compare responses to the same questions across many schools. However, we can build a custom survey for you to use as well. Our team will work with you on questions and messaging. It does take some time to set it up, so leave a few days of planning and review for use to help you implement. In an emergency, you can always build an online survey with a free survey system (Google, Survey Monkey, Etc) and send the link out via our messaging service.
Can I use Outstanda Pulse for Emergencies?
Our system uses a third party for hosting the cloud software, as well as another third party for registering phone numbers, sending and receiving SMS. We cannot guarantee perfect uptime of services as we do not have managed control over these systems. Our messaging service would work well for a local need to send out a quick SMS message. However, it does not take the place of a system used for critical emergencies.
What should I do if I identify a problem with a student?
Your school should allow quick access to data for professionals who work with the student body. Oustanda Pulse is just one tool and is not a substitute for having a meaningful discussion with students. An intervention Specialist can use the data to identify people to talk to, and topics to address, to help the student be more successful and create a better atmosphere in the school.
Can I send different surveys by grade or gender?
Yes, we have a tagging system that allows you to send surveys to different groups, based on tags and priority of the survey. Your tags could be graduation year, for example, like 2024. Or they could be male, female, or special-ed. Each audience member can only get one survey per day, and if you schedule a survey for one grade, for example, then the second priority survey goes to “all students”, but it would not get sent to the initial grade people because we do not want to interrupt people more than once a day.
While segmenting is handy, keeping the system simple is a good idea unless you have a very good reason for complex segmenting.
What about students who do not have mobile phones?
We offer three categories of audience. Students, Parents, and Teachers (staff). If your population does have a significant number of students who do not have phones, you can send parents surveys, asking about observations of their child. This can also help parents pay attention more to details about their child’s education. It can also foster a better relationship with the student’s parents. You can also send teachers regular surveys asking about key areas of concern in classrooms.
Can students block surveys?
Anyone replying “stop” to a text will also not receive new messages. If they reply “start” they will be reactivated. You can see which students have blocked the SMS and you can have a discussion with them if you want. Let them know how important data and feedback is, and ask them to be open to the survey.
Pricing: How much does Outstanda Pulse cost?
We work with schools of all sizes and your pricing depends on the size of your student body, whether you include parents and staff, the number of times per week you want to send surveys, and the number of overflow credits you want, in case you want to send extra messages some months. We work these details out in our initial consultation with you.
There is a one time set up fee. After that, usage and the size of the school drive cost. Most schools would pay Annually from $2000 to $3000. Maybe higher for very large or very text-active schools.
Contacts are 12-month contracts, paid annually. Quarterly payment terms are available via automated credit card only.
This section contains information about account set up, users, a strategic overview and how your custom school phone number for messaging works.
This section contains all the information you need to know about managing your audience, including uploading, tagging, unsubscribing, tracking response trends over time, etc.
How to message your audience, message portions of your audience, and how to see replies from audience.
This is where we document updates and our roadmap of development as we improve the interface and add more tools like advanced reporting and AI-driven intervention recommendations to make analysis a breeze.
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