Brigham Young University: Moving on from Home-Grown

Explore the case study
Brigham Young University: Moving on from Home-Grown
Powered by

BYU needed a tool that could enforce scheduling policies, schedule for multiple terms at once, support departmental faculty scheduling, optimize rooms, visualize actionable scheduling analytics and integrate tightly with their SIS.

Institutional Overview

Location: Provo, UT

SIS: Homegrown

The Challenge: Scheduling Policies & Room Optimization Difficult to Achieve With Limited Functionalities

BYU used a homegrown schedule planning tool to manage their section and room schedule. However, it was challenging to enforce rules, there was required manual oversight, and there was limited workflow functionality within the tool. 

“We were thrilled to see that Coursedog could enforce standard meeting patterns because we weren't utilizing our space very well.” Coral Taylor, Associate Registrar

As a campus that scheduled for multiple terms at the same time with over a hundred schedulers and a complex priority room system, BYU realized that it had some scheduling challenges. Consequently, BYU recognized a need for a solution that could enforce scheduling policies, schedule for multiple terms at once, support departmental faculty scheduling, optimize rooms, visualize actionable scheduling analytics and integrate tightly with their SIS.

Solution: Adopt a Platform That Handles Every Aspect of Scheduling at an Institution

BYU explored the idea of procuring Coursedog's end-to-end Class Schedule Planning Platform. BYU found Coursedog able to handle the entire scheduling process from faculty scheduling preferences through room scheduling. They also liked the idea of working with a team that was flexible to adapt their solution to BYU’s unique needs. 

“We found Coursedog open to product solutions and feedback from us. We've been able to communicate our priorities for those product suggestions. Another thing we appreciate is that Coursedog has been good at sharing release notes. We have a weekly meeting to go through them and see what's coming down the pipe. We are very happy with the responsiveness from Coursedog.” Coral Taylor, Associate Registrar

Coursedog's intuitive, modern user interface was an important factor to help ensure buy-in across campus.

Implementation Process: Customized Fields & Workflows Built Out to Meet Campus Needs

The implementation involved a collaboration with both sides on the SIS integration, policy creation and updates to Coursedog. First, BYU worked to develop rules to enforce time-block policies. Coursedog and BYU then collaborated together to extract data out of AIM (BYU’s custom SIS system) to create a bi-directional integration with Coursedog’s RestAPI.

“Being able to have a workflow for requests is wonderful. We can work more efficiently and effectively with our campus partners.” Coral Taylor, Associate Registrar

Last, BYU had many custom fields and processes that needed to be accommodated from a scheduling tool, and Coursedog used custom fields and dynamic filtering, including accommodating priority rooms. They also set up Coursedog’s configurable instructor preference forms to map their campus dynamic. 

“The departments that use them really like the preference forms in Coursedog. Some of them were previously using paper forms to gather instructor preferences and laid it all out to try and get them into the schedule, so they have liked the forms." Laura Chapman, Curriculum and Class Scheduling Specialist.

Through weekly meetings, dedicated support and participation, the implementation from when IT resources were deployed took about four months.

Results: Enforceable Scheduling Policies Optimized Space Utilization & Course Offerings

BYU enforced scheduling policies for the first time, including an evening hour policy and a timeblock policy.  According to Coral Taylor, BYU Associate Registrar, “being able to enforce business rules was so appealing. We could actually utilize our space well on campus. We can offer more classes and more activities and events if we schedule more wisely.”

Additionally, fewer after-the-fact scheduling errors and change requests that needed to be manually accommodated via email helped the Registrar’s Office and department schedulers save time and provide better visibility and transparency into the schedule for administrators.

We really like the fact that Coursedog is instantly validating our rules, and showing the conflicts. I really like the data reports – it's live data.” Laura Chapman, Curriculum and Class Scheduling Specialist

While BYU previously had to make 500+ manual room assignments per term, Coursedog's optimizer automated this process and helped improve space utilization on campus.

“In our previous system we would have to run reports after the fact and clean up. The fact that there's instant validation and checking for room conflicts or rules not being met helps us on the front end get those cleaned up. Schedulers can see for themselves if there's something they need to fix right away.” Laura Chapman, Curriculum and Class Scheduling Specialist

Download the Case Study

Click here to access the full case study.