Countless universities believe that the reason why they are running out of space for scheduling classrooms on campus is because they don’t have an effective classroom scheduling software tool. But at the core, their problems truly begin with the other scheduling processes, like instructor scheduling and time scheduling.
Many information management solutions have failed over the years, but higher education administrations have come to accept their downfalls as normal. We get it. After all the continual upfront financial investments, the sheer amount of faculty time it has taken to implement and run the solutions, and the monumental volume of data being moved around, it can feel impossible to consider another solution. But what happens when those blind spots become too large to ignore? Or when you get the sinking feeling that you are paying for features that will never be applicable to you? What is the best way to build the next generation of the Student Information System?
Let’s face it, registrar-friends, we are highly trained to do something very specific for a very specific population and we, as individuals, often wonder what we could do for a living, if we could do anything else. This is not unique to our industry. What is also not unique is the “sticking to what you know” because it is comfortable. I have spent well over a decade of my career working in Registrar’s offices, in particular, serving as primary Academic Scheduler/Academic Scheduling officer at two large, public universities. I like to believe that I am good at it, too. When you become an expert in something, it becomes part of your fiber. You gain intuition, often serving your community before the community realizes that it needs assistance.
It’s 2019 and let’s face it, your academic scheduling process is not working. We know that academic class scheduling can be frustrating. Course scheduling in Excel, your SIS, or in a system that was built from an older vendor can lead to a ton of administrative manual work and problems with the schedule. To make things even worse, your faculty insist they teach at 2 PM on Monday & Wednesday and there's pretty much nothing you can do to stop them. Compound this with the fact that your institution has not performed a room optimization and is pretty much completely out of space, and you've got a university scheduling nightmare. Here's how to wake up and transform your scheduling in 2019.
Purchasing new software is exciting and presents an opportunity to grow in ways that may not have previously been possible, especially in higher-ed. However, the auspices posed by novel technology can take time to realize and the process of implementing it can be challenging. We sat down with our Customer Success and Integrations team to understand these challenges, how schools can set themselves up for success in on-boarding, and how Coursedog differentiates itself as a partner for schools hoping to improve and become more efficient.
The research on how to effectively structure your college’s academic course scheduling may be scarce, but that doesn’t mean it’s not out there. In January 2018, Hanover Research published Best Practices in Course Scheduling. The report takes a deep dive into course scheduling practices for undergraduate classes at four-year institutions, focusing on public universities, and includes three case studies that highlight innovative and successful approaches. In addition to the Hanover Research report, AACRAO has published findings on course start times and lengths from a 60-second survey that was distributed in March 2016. Some schools have also conducted their own internal reviews and updated their policies accordingly.
Time is one commodity that cannot be saved, cannot earn interest and cannot be replicated. So often, at universities, we talk about cloning ourselves so that we can work smarter, not harder and get more accomplished in a day. “If only there were two of me.” Once we, as Registrars, Administrators, Vice-Presidents, Chairpersons, realize that cloning isn’t an option and that there is still work to be done, we must do one of three things: Seek out class scheduling software solutions, like Coursedog, to help us to find efficiencies, hire qualified staff, use what we’ve got (and hope for the best). Let's examine our options.
The advent of COVID-19 has sent markets, workplaces, and especially higher-ed into a precautionary frenzy. While the outbreak of the virus poses serious risk to communities across the world, Coursedog would like to assure both existing and prospective partner schools that the virus will not pose a threat to the efficacy of the company nor to the services we provide. All of our software (Class Scheduling, Events Scheduling, Catalog Manager, and Curriculum Manager) will all remain fully up and running and supported during the current crisis.
Let’s face it, we trust our SIS’. They are proven, old friends and the record of truth for our institutions. However, the real truth is: many of our SIS’ are slow, built on decades-old programming platforms (some from the 1970s and 80s) and feature-poor when it comes to efficiency. Blend this lack of efficiency with ill-fitting, bolt-on technology such as: not-so-modern, class scheduling software, you have a recipe for gremlins.