Updating Student Files in Bulk

#1

I am wondering if there is a way to search for and update the files of a group of students at one time? We have 300-400 students and as they are taking multiple classes, I seem to have to add the class to their student file one at a time. Or add the students to the class file one at a time. 30 students in each class. Is there a bulk way to do this?
Thank you!

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#2

If you have a Pro account, AT has a block for that:

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#3

As @Mac mentions, the Batch Update Block may be all you need. On the other hand, there are data models you won’t be able to update using that block.

When you say

are you talking about adding a value to a list of existing values — for instance, selecting an additional option in a multi-select? Or are you talking about adding another linked record to a field already linked to one or more records — for instance, linking a [Students] table to a [Classes] table? Or are you talking about something else entirely?

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#4

Thank you for your help!

talking about adding another linked record to a field already linked to one or more records — for instance, linking a [Students] table to a [Classes] table?

Yes - I am linking a table of classes to a table of students. For instance there are 300 students. And about 25 classes. If Jane (and 20 friends) decide to take the new class being offered - she and her friends need to be linked to that class. So I can link them one at a time. From the class table, by creating the new class and linking the students (1 by 1, serching for their names), or going to each student record and then linking the new class.

I would like to be able to import a spreadsheet and have each student’s file add the new class. Can’t seem to get it to just update/add that one link of the class to their record.

Thank you!

Christina Dechen
Mobile: 404-606-4525
christina@sohaonline.org

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#5

Oh, there’s a relatively easy way to do that. It requires some manual intervention – but nowhere near as much manual intervention as linking each student individually!

Here’s a read-only link to a demo base. Duplicate it into your workspace (copying the records), open the base, and follow along as we add a new class to 25 of the students.¹

  1. The [Students] table contains two fields in common (at least in spirit) with your [Students] table: {Name} and {Link2Classes}. You’ll need to add the other four fields to your table, most likely hidden in most views:

    • {Add class?} - check-box
    • {New class} - single-line text
    • {Combined classes} - formula field with formula
      IF({Link2Classes},{Link2Classes}&',')&{New Class}
    • {Scratch} - single-line text

    Actually, {Add class?} and {Scratch} aren’t essential; their functionality can be provided other ways. I want them there, though, for my own convenience.

  2. There are two views defined in [Students]:

    • <All students> - unfiltered grid
    • <Add 2 class> - grid filtered on {Add class?} = :white_check_mark:
  3. To begin, in the <All students> view, indicate which students will be adding the new class by checking {Add class?}. Check as few or as many as you like; the number of students doesn’t change the process.

  4. Once you’ve selected the students, change to the <Add 2 Class> view. Only the checked students should appear.

  5. Select {Scratch} for any row and enter the name of the new class. Once you’re done, re-select the cell and press Ctrl-C to copy the value. (Note: This truly is a scratch-pad field; it’s used only as a convenient place to enter the class name. Feel free to do away with {Scratch} and copy the name from elsewhere.)

  6. Select the header cell for {New class}, highlighting the entire column, and press Ctrl-V to paste the copied value into every cell in the column. You will notice {Combined classes} is updated to reflect {New class}.

  7. Select the header cell for {Combined classes}, marking the entire column. Press Ctrl-C to copy the column. Select the header for {Link2Classes} (ditto), and press Ctrl-V to paste the contents of {Combined classes} into {Link2Classes}.

Et voila! You have now added all the checked students to {New class}. (If there is no record in {Classes} by that name, one is created.)

You can now clear {Add class?}, {New class}, and {Scratch} to prepare them for the next class to add. (Easiest way is to select the header cell and hit Delete; you can also configure a Batch Action Block to clear each cell.)

Caveats: You’ll probably want your class name to include year and quarter/semester to ensure each class has a unique primary field. Also, be careful not to copy-and-paste {Combined classes} twice — it’s unfortunately easy to forget and paste it again — or you will create duplicate links to a class.

Give it a shot; in practice it’s a lot less clunky than the description would have you believe. It took me less than 5 minutes to add 25 to 35 students to each of 3 classes. (Admittedly, it would have taken a bit longer if I wasn’t simply assigning them at random…)

I hope this helps, or at the least points you towards a workable solution.


  1. No student privacy was harmed in this base; the names are courtesy FakeNameGenerator.com, of which I cannot say too many good things…
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#6

THANK YOU!!!

Christina

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