At Coursedog, we talk a lot about "end-to-end scheduling." It's something we care deeply about; we think it's the direction in which academic planning in higher ed is, and should be. End-to-end scheduling means aligning absolutely all components of the course scheduling process in order to better meet the academic needs of students and to make more efficient, data-driven decisions. It means that all involved–administrators, faculty, and execs–agree that satisfying student need is the primary objective and ultimate outcome of scheduling, and that they understand their role in this endeavor. It means participants and stakeholders collaborate in a unified platform with consistent standards of data integrity and communication throughout the entirety of the process.
For us, it makes sense to integrate everything: reporting, demand analytics, section scheduling, instructor preferences, policy enforcement, room optimization(s), and change requests are all a part of scheduling with Coursedog. End-to-end scheduling, then, means broadening higher-ed's understanding of the scheduling process so as to embrace its necessarily holistic and ongoing nature. By doing so, by higher-ed administrators can position themselves to more substantively and consistently meet the needs of students. In this way, embracing end-to-end scheduling is as cultural as it is technological!
Certainly, adoption of new software is a part of the journey, but the changes in business processes and status quo can't be understated. In a world where faculty availability ranks first among the factors considered in the undergraduate scheduling process, with ~90% of higher ed schedulers citing it as either very important or important (AACRAO 2016), the change we're helping schools make is a big one.
De-prioritizing habits and norms that, in many cases, have been around for decades is a challenge. By leveraging best practices in change management, garnering diverse, multi-functional buy-in, and delivering on a mission that should be motivating to all, Coursedog is empowering schools to clear this hurdle. We're improving the experiences of admins, reinvigorating operating efficiencies, and providing students the experience they paid for. At Coursedog, we offer higher ed an opportunity to actualize this vision.