Training Feedback Personalised with Forms and Power Automate

Many of us have been using Forms for training and session feedback for a while.  A significant proportion of people have a build a flow using Power Automate to integrate business process into the handling of the responses.  For over a year, I’ve been sending email responses to feedback submission with useful links in. 

As the resources change or I discover new items to share with course delegates manually updating those emails has become too time consuming, so I’ve updated the flow to pull the relevant links from a SharePoint list.

What I need to make this work.

  1. Form to capture the feedback
  2. SharePoint List to store responses in
  3. SharePoint List for the Links
  4. Flow to save form responses to SharePoint & send the email responses

When building the form, be sure to ask for the course and make sure the answer options match the categorisation of the links.  This will help to keep the flow much simpler.  (NOTE:  Flow was renamed Power Automate at Ignite 2019, but we use Power Automate to build flows, like we use Excel to create spreadsheets not Excels).

Step 1 – The Form

Build your form with the required questions.  Things to consider

  • I built my form in 3 sections.  The downside is that users cant see all the questions at once.  But it gave an easy way to put a heading and explanation on the ratings and comments sections.
  • As an MCT all feedback used to evidence performance for renewal needs to include my Microsoft Certified ID number and name.  So even through the form is currently only for one trainer I’ve included a trainer name and the ID number.
  • Rather than course title I went with main topic.  I only allow one to tie in with the links and the flow.
  • Only make the absolute minimum number of questions mandatory.
  • Include a customised thank you message on the form including details of how you use the data.
  • Create the QR code as well as a share link and use a service like bit.ly to shorten the link in case your delegates need to type the address in.  Put all 3 on a PowerPoint slide you can use on any course.

Step 2 – The SharePoint List for Responses

This is the third iteration of this form/flow process for feedback.  The previous two didn’t have a SharePoint list.  This one does, so that I can use PowerBI to report from the data in future including giving feedback to clients. 

Here are some things to bear in mind when building your list:

  • You need a column for every question for your form.  The names don’t need to match and you don’t need to create the choices behind the questions.
  • You can have more columns than just those in the form – for example I have added fields to add in organisation details for reporting.
  • The columns in SharePoint can be made up of more than one question or be partial answers, though it is easiest if they line up
  • All owners of the flow need permissions to contribute to the list, or your flow will fail, so think about which SharePoint site you want to build your list on to make sure all the correct people have access to the information in the list, but no others.

Step 3 – The SharePoint List for the Links

I’ve tried many ways of keeping my favourite blogs and reference links together incl browser favourites, documents, OneNote but a SharePoint list seems the most flexible.  It is important to create this list using a SharePoint list and manually adding the columns rather than using the classic Link list or even any of the link(s) web parts on Site Pages, to give the ability to connect from flow.

Here are some things to bear in mind when building your links list:

  • Make sure you have a course or topic column to filter the links by and that the options here match the course/topic column in your form.  Mine are included at the bottom of this post.
  • All owners of the flow need permissions to contribute to the list, or your flow will fail, so think about which SharePoint site you want to build your list on to make sure all the correct people have access to the information in the list, but no others.

Step 4 – The Flow

Every flow start with a trigger and the trigger is used was when a new form response is submitted.  So once the form has been completed the flow runs automatically.  

If you have a large attendance webinar, you may experience delays as Flow has limitations on the number of consecutive runs it can handle.  Some runs get queued and take longer to complete but so far has worked for me with up to 50 responses from 1 session.  Some runs took up to 10 minutes to complete.

Having made the Trainer field mandatory, this is no longer a formula

The first action is to get the question responses submitted on the form so they can be written into the SharePoint list as a new item, which is the second action in the flow (Create Item).

The third action is to pull in the list of links which match the course for which feedback is being submitted.  To do this you need filter the Get Items action using a substringof in the filter query.  Here I used the topic submitted with the feedback, hence why it was so important to make the options on the form match the categorisation on the Links list.

Another option here would be to use a switch to take each option from the form and then hardcode the Get Items filter.  The image below shows how I used this method in an earlier version of this flow.  But as the number of courses grew, I found this method very cumbersome and would not recommend it.

the Switch used in an earlier iteration of the flow

Once the Get Items action has pulled in the links from SharePoint list, the nest action is to create a HTML table to include in the email.

The table is borderless and can be a bit difficult to navigate on a mobile device, so I decided I needed borders and used @aprildunnam blog https://www.sharepointsiren.com/2019/07/formatting-html-tables-in-flow/.  I’m not totally happy with the resulting email, but it can be read on a mobile device, even if it looks very 1980s style.

The final step was to construct the email.  It’s a good idea to also include details of how you are going to use the data, in the same way as on the custom feedback on the form.  You could always host this information and a web page and link to that instead of detailing it in full within the email.  That would be easier to keep up to date.

Next Steps

For me the next steps are

  • Error trap for when no email is submitted – I had this on the previous version, using a condition and checking if the email question in the form response was empty using a length expression
  • Building PowerBI reports to analyse the data captured
  • Finding a way to make that HTML table in the email look a bit less 1980s style
  • Working out how to add attachments like presentations used in courses to the email in a similar fashion to the links
Error Trap for empty email question

Appendices

Course & Link Categories

  • Certification Prep – MCP
  • Certification Prep – Office
  • Excel
  • Microsoft 365 Champions/Adoption
  • Microsoft/Office 365 Admin
  • Microsoft/Office 365 User
  • Outlook
  • PowerApps
  • Power Automate/Flow
  • Power BI
  • Power Platform
  • PowerPoint
  • Project
  • Project Online
  • Project Online Administrator
  • SharePoint Admin
  • SharePoint Owner
  • SharePoint User
  • Teams Admin
  • Teams Owner
  • Teams User
  • Training Skills/Microsoft Certified Trainer
  • Visio
  • Word

My Links List (Evergreen ;-))

TitleCourseLinkDescription
Audit Logs in Microsoft/Office 365Microsoft/Office 365 Adminhttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/compliance/turn-audit-log-search-on-or-offThe audit log is off by default.  Visit https://protection.office.com/unifiedauditlog and turn it on if you need it.  If part of your subscription then the same audit logs are available in Cloud App Security See also https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-app-security/getting-started-with-cloud-app-security
Beginners Guide to PowerAppsMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#Microsoft/Office 365 User;#SharePoint Admin;#SharePoint Owner;#Teams Admin;#Teams Owner;#Training Skills/Microsoft Certified Trainerhttps://s3.amazonaws.com/media.collab365.community/Summits/PowerApps+Virtual+Summit+2019/Beginners+Guide+to+PowerApps+eBook+-+v2.pdfFree and updated the PowerApps Beginners Guide Incl licensing changes from Oct1st 2019 (take a look at page 24) from Collab365
Conversational GeekMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#Microsoft/Office 365 User;#SharePoint Admin;#SharePoint Owner;#SharePoint User;#Teams Admin;#Teams Owner;#Teams User;#M365 Championshttps://conversationalgeek.com/read/EBooks
Creating Users in Microsoft/Office365Microsoft/Office 365 Adminhttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/admin/add-users/add-users?view=o365-worldwide 
Guidance on the Microsoft 365 Compliance CentreMicrosoft/Office 365 Adminhttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/compliance/In practice start with Compliance Score: https://compliance.microsoft.com/compliancescore
Guidance on the Microsoft 365 Security CentreMicrosoft/Office 365 Adminhttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/security/start your journey with the secure score: https://security.microsoft.com/securescorepreview?viewid=overview
Hybrid AD GuidanceMicrosoft/Office 365 Adminhttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/enterprise/set-up-directory-synchronization.  
Labelling in Office/Microsoft 365Microsoft/Office 365 Admin;#SharePoint Admin;#Teams Adminhttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/compliance/sensitivity-labelsSee also https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/compliance/labels
Learning PathwaysCertification Prep – MCP;#Certification Prep – Officehttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/customlearning/ 
Microsoft 365 Admin RolesMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#SharePoint Admin;#Teams Adminhttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/admin/add-users/about-admin-roles?view=o365-worldwide.Admin roles available in Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 licensing diagramsMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#Certification Prep – MCPhttps://github.com/AaronDinnage/LicensingM365 licencing diagrams.  see also https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/unpacking-microsoft-365-aaron-dinnage/
Microsoft Adoption ResourcesMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#Microsoft/Office 365 User;#SharePoint Admin;#SharePoint Owner;#SharePoint User;#Teams Admin;#Teams Owner;#Teams User;#Microsoft 365 Champions/Adoptionhttps://resources.techcommunity.microsoft.com/adoption/ 
Microsoft DocsCertification Prep – MCP;#Certification Prep – Office;#Excel;#Microsoft 365 Champions/Adoption;#Microsoft/Office 365 Admin;#Microsoft/Office 365 User;#Outlook;#PowerPoint;#Project;#Project Online;#Project Online Administrator;#SharePoint Admin;#SharePoint Owner;#SharePoint User;#Teams Admin;#Teams Owner;#Teams User;#Training Skills/Microsoft Certified Trainer;#Visio;#Wordhttps://docs.microsoft.com/docs.microsoft.com is the home for Microsoft documentation for end users, developers, and IT professionals.
Microsoft Docs – User & Admin GuidanceMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#Microsoft/Office 365 User;#SharePoint Admin;#SharePoint Owner;#SharePoint User;#Teams Admin;#Teams Owner;#Teams User;#M365 Champions;#Word;#Excel;#Outlook;#PowerPointhttps://docs.microsoft.com 
Microsoft365 RoadmapMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#Microsoft/Office 365 User;#SharePoint Admin;#SharePoint Owner;#Teams Admin;#Teams Owner;#M365 Championshttps://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/roadmap?filters= 
Office365 Groups Admin GuidanceMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#SharePoint Admin;#SharePoint Owner;#Teams Admin;#Teams Owner;#M365 Championshttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/admin/create-groups/office-365-groups?view=o365-worldwide 
Office365 Profile – Admin GuidanceMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#SharePoint Adminhttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/manage-user-profilesGuidance for Administrators on Office365 Profiles
Office365 Profiles – User GuidanceMicrosoft/Office 365 User;#M365 Championshttps://support.office.com/en-us/article/view-and-update-your-profile-in-office-delve-4e84343b-eedf-45a1-aeb9-8627ccca14ba?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=USOffice 365 profiles guidance for users on their profile
OneDrive Set UpMicrosoft/Office 365 User;#SharePoint User;#Teams User;#M365 Championshttps://support.office.com/en-us/article/Sync-with-OneDrive-bb89981b-e382-4969-b8fd-d413a90b6db3#ID0EAABAAA=Set_up.User guidance on setting up OneDrive App on devices to work with Office365 content
Periodic Table of Office 365Microsoft/Office 365 Admin;#Microsoft/Office 365 User;#Certification Prep – MCPhttps://app.jumpto365.com/ 
PL-900 Study Guide from Jens KofodCertification Prep – MCPhttps://www.linkedin.com/pulse/exam-prep-guide-pl-900-microsoft-power-platform-jens-kofod 
Power Apps BlogPowerApps;#Power Platform;#Microsoft 365 Champions/Adoption;#Microsoft/Office 365 Adminhttps://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/ 
Power Apps CommunityMicrosoft 365 Champions/Adoption;#Microsoft/Office 365 Admin;#PowerApps;#Power Platformhttps://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Power-Apps-Community/ct-p/PowerApps1Connect with peers, share ideas, and learn from experts
Power Automate BlogMicrosoft 365 Champions/Adoption;#Microsoft/Office 365 Admin;#PowerAutomate/Flow;#Power Platformhttps://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/ 
Power Automate CommunityMicrosoft 365 Champions/Adoption;#Microsoft/Office 365 Admin;#PowerAutomate/Flow;#Power Platformhttps://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Power-Automate/ct-p/MPACommunityConnect with peers, share ideas, and learn from experts
Power BI BlogMicrosoft 365 Champions/Adoption;#Microsoft/Office 365 Admin;#Power Platform;#Power BIhttps://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/ 
Power BI CommunityMicrosoft 365 Champions/Adoption;#Microsoft/Office 365 Admin;#Power BI;#Power Platformhttps://community.powerbi.com/Connect, learn and discuss with business intelligence experts and peers.
Privileged Identity Management GuidanceMicrosoft/Office 365 Adminhttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/active-directory/privileged-identity-management/pim-getting-startedConsider assigning administrators the Global Reader role and use Privileged Identity Management to grant administration roles at point of need.  This helps limit risk from Phishing attacks.  NOTE: PIM is an advanced feature and requires users covered by Azure AD Premium P2 or Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) E5
Roadmap WatchMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#SharePoint Admin;#Teams Admin;#M365 Championshttp://www.roadmapwatch.com/ 
Role based Certs Presentation of RoutesCertification Prep – MCP;#Certification Prep – Office;#Training Skills/Microsoft Certified Trainerhttps://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RWtQJJ 
Shane Young Power Apps You TubePowerApps;#Power Platformhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7_OGRP8BYvtGB8eZdPG6NgVideo guides from one of the top PowerApps Blogger and MVP.  See also https://twitter.com/shanescows
SharePoint Community DocsMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#SharePoint Admin;#SharePoint Owner;#SharePoint User;#Teams Admin;#Teams Ownerhttps://github.com/MicrosoftDocs/microsoft-365-community/blob/master/Community/TOC.mdCommunity written documentation on using and managing SharePoint sites incl Teams. See blog announcing https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-sharepoint-blog/announcing-the-microsoft-365-community-docs/ba-p/1288203
Site Designs GuideMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#SharePoint Admin;#Teams Adminhttps://laurakokkarinen.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-sharepoint-site-designs-and-site-scripts/Ultimate guide to site designs by MVP Laura Kokkarinen
Taking a Fundamental ExamCertification Prep – MCPhttps://microsoft365pro.co.uk/2019/09/09/an-mcts-perspective-on-taking-a-microsoft-fundamental-exam-faqs/Blog post on taking a fundamental exam, what to expect.  Also gives guidance on how the new style exams work and what the experience is sitting them. Useful if you are taking any of the modern role based exams.
Teams User TrainingMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#Microsoft/Office 365 User;#Teams Admin;#Teams Owner;#Teams User;#M365 Championshttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/MicrosoftTeams/enduser-trainingOffice Guidance for Teams.  Especially useful are the quick starts.
Tech Community BlogsMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#SharePoint Admin;#SharePoint Owner;#Teams Admin;#Teams Owner;#M365 Championshttps://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/custom/page/page-id/Blogs 
Usage Reports in 365Microsoft/Office 365 Admin;#SharePoint Admin;#Teams Admin;#M365 Championshttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/admin/usage-analytics/usage-analytics?view=o365-worldwide 
User Management in Microsoft/Office365 with PowerShellMicrosoft/Office 365 Adminhttps://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/enterprise/powershell/manage-user-accounts-and-licenses-with-office-365-powershell 
Whitepaper/Guide to building Enterprise ready flowsMicrosoft/Office 365 Admin;#SharePoint Admin;#SharePoint Owner;#Teams Admin;#Teams Owner;#M365 Championshttps://clouddamcdnprodep.azureedge.net/gdc/gdc5fzAoK/originalProvides detailed guidance and strategy on how to efficiently and easily create flows. The whitepaper is organized around the lifecycle of a flow (Plan, Design, test, deploy, troubleshoot, maintain), offering a formalized, step-by-step approach to designing and building flows.

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