Put simply, Coursedog is easy to use. We built Coursedog first and foremost as a user-centric platform because we noticed poor user experience was something most scheduling software in Higher Ed had largely taken for granted. Our interface is intuitive and inviting, and was designed with a self-service ethos; you shouldn't have to be technically proficient or reliant on support or even a manual to know how to use Coursedog, regardless of whether you're an infrequent end-user managing miscellaneous tasks from time to time, or a deeply-involved super admin facilitating a high degree of customization to meet your business needs.
Why is usability so important? For one, it'll save you time, which is likely one of the reasons you bought a scheduling tool in the first place. Hours spent navigating clunky software or rectifying technical issues aren't efficient uses of your time. Moreover, usability will drive adoption among department schedulers and your staff–what will you do when your users don't know how to navigate your scheduling platform, or worse, refuse to?
Though CollegeNET has a reporting tool, X25, it's disjointed from the scheduling module and reportedly difficult to leverage in a meaningful way.
Coursedog houses an extensive suite of reporting and analytics tools that are accessible to non-technical end users, update in real-time, and are embedded directly into the rest of the platform. Identify scheduling bottlenecks, assess seat utilization, and leverage enrollment heat maps and registration monitoring functionality to ensure course offerings align with student demand.
Moreover, Coursedog provides demand analytics at the section level that can help both department schedulers and registrars plan for coming semesters. As a result, you can better use data to make informed, strategic decisions about course offerings moving forward.
By actively flagging likely bottlenecks or possible errors prior to optimization, Coursedog proactively ensures that the results from optimization are clean and actionable.
Moreover, by providing schools with the ability to actually customize the weightings of certain criteria taken into consideration in the optimization algorithm, we offer a room scheduling solution that is more flexible to meet the acute needs of each institution–it seems hard to say that optimizing room assignments is a one size fits all operation.
Also, because our room optimizer is able to take in the more advanced components of section scheduling that are unique to Coursedog (see more below), the tool is better equipped to produce room assignments that require no manual clean-up after-the-fact. Consider what the impact of your room optimizer being able to reconcile scheduling policies and instructor preferences, for example, would be.
Room optimizers like 25Live/CollegeNET only solve a part of the problem institutions face in scheduling courses. Section scheduling–the process of determining which courses to offer, when to offer them, assigning instructors, and enforcing relevant policies–is a central piece of the puzzle. Coursedog provides a unique set of tools that both streamline and enhance the section scheduling process. To learn more about section scheduling, check out our Section Scheduling infographic.
For one, Coursedog houses smart instructor preference forms that are highly customizable and allow schedulers to collect a litany of information on faculty, like preferred courses, rooms, and meeting times, back-to-back preferences, needed room features, or any other custom information that might be useful. This information then feeds directly into the instructor assignment modal to ensure best fit.
Coursedog also automates the process of policy enforcement at the department level. Rules can be created to mandate standard meeting blocks, reduce prime-time congestion, or to accommodate more institution-specific criteria based on any and all data at the section level.
When rules are violated, or changes are submitted after-the-fact, requests are routed through dynamic workflows to a centralized dashboard specific to each user. Appropriately permissioned admins can then either approve, reject, or suspend the request, and all changes will be reflected in Coursedog and the SIS instantaneously.
Lastly, Coursedog automatically surfaces best fit times, rooms, and instructors based on all available inputs when editing sections, making the process more efficient all while generating a schedule that works better for students, faculty, and administrators alike.