Section Scheduling is a complex, multi-step process that often involves numerous stakeholders across campus. For a refresher on the components of section scheduling, check out our Section Scheduling Infographic.
Regardless of whether an institution practices centralized or decentralized scheduling, many legacy scheduling processes necessitate scheduling data be passed through numerous hands, and manually entered into multiple systems. Each of these exchanges creates an opportunity for data to become misaligned, inaccurate, and a potential threat to administrative efficiency and ultimately student success.
The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) found that over half of institutions do not leverage scheduling software, and of those that do most do not utilize an end-to-end tool that encompasses all stages of the scheduling process. What this means is that the majority of institutions continue to rely on disparate communication chains, like email and paper forms, to communicate scheduling decisions and changes.
This information sharing method creates silos where disjointed scheduling data not only becomes a headache to administrators, but also begins to lack any credibility. The question then becomes: what impact does a lack of a single source of truth for scheduling data have on a school’s ability to make effective business decisions? What effect does it have on students? The answers to these questions are best exhibited with an example.
Most schedulers are familiar with the onslaught of after-the-fact change requests that arise after the schedule has been built, past the schedule submission deadline. Given the late-stage nature of these requests and the multi-step workflow that they initiate they can make the schedule particularly susceptible to errors.
After-the-fact change request example-
While this is just an illustrative example, it is closely aligned with many synopses shared with us by our partnering institutions detailing errors that can occur at any stage of the scheduling process prior to transitioning to an end-to-end scheduling solution. Each instance in which scheduling data is transferred outside of an end-to-end scheduling solution poses a risk to data integrity due to human error, creates unnecessary back-and-forth for administrators, and prevents institutions from accessing a birds eye view of accurate scheduling and enrollment data. Taken together, manual data entry and information silos often act as barriers to institutions accessing the accurate data they need in order to make informed scheduling decisions for the benefit of students.
If the above example resonates with you, an end-to-end scheduling tool may be the solution your institution needs to enhance scheduling for both students and administrators.