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A timetabler’s perspective

A timetabler’s perspective

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A timetabler’s perspective

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  1. A timetabler’s perspective how to throw away the paper and pens and still stay sane Kate Steele School of Economics, Finance and Management

  2. EFM timetabling over the years • the olden days: a month in Cornwall • 1999 – 2004 paper, pens, post-it notes • 2005-06 implemented Syllabus Plus (S+) – rooms and staff only • 2006-07 – added students • 2007-08 – students’ timetables on web • 2008-09 – staff timetables on web

  3. Committed resources • 1 x senior administrator • 1 x IT officer • 2 days’ Scientia training course • support & knowledge from other Depts • 1 x day’s dedicated consultancy from Scientia • Scientia help-desk support

  4. Planning, planning, planning

  5. Teaching plans • WHO teaches what? – teaching loads • WHEN are they available – constraints • WHAT do they like? - preferences • HOW do they teach? - patterns • WHEN do they teach? - timings

  6. Benefits:Academics, Administrators, Students • single, comprehensive information system • detailed, accurate information • desktop availability to all admin staff • online timetables for staff, students • easy to see possible alternative slots • easy to change student options • dispenses with indispensibility

  7. feeds Blackboard and new Student Feedback System • guaranteed 2 research days for academics • easy to accommodate special constraints • academics can get live class lists • easy to export information e.g. for Faculty room requests; analysis; etc • better use of rooms (alternative slots) • roll-over year on year • direct imports from SiTS, datahub

  8. So if it’s that brilliant why hasn’t everyone done it? • requires cultural shift • initial set-up is resource-intensive and painful • complex and demanding system • all consuming activity • requires last minute leap of faith