Common timetabling platform
- A four year project to create electronic timetabling and room booking University wide
- To work with the Support Process Review to establish a central Timetabling team working with staff in Faculties to deliver the University timetable.
What is the project about?
The Common Timetabling Platform project will provide a single platform by 2011 for managing all teaching space. Approved users can now access Scientia Enterprise Suite (previously known as Syllabus Plus).
The project is sponsored by Lynn Robinson, and has been approved by UPARC with all Deans agreeing to ensure that the project is implemented in their area.
What has the project delivered?
Since the project was initiated it has delivered:
- A University wide common timetable, compiled using a shared application of Syllabus Plus, which provides a schedule for 24,500 taught activities for 16,000 students, 2,500 academic staff, and 700 rooms, and has complex constraints relating to combinations of units studied by students, patterns of study, staff availability, and room availability, capacity and access.
- Personalised online timetables for staff and students.
- Set-up and training of an operational timetabling team, with timetablers at Faculty level – this was achieved in conjunction with the University’s Support Process Review (SPR) organisational and process restructure.
- A common overall process and annual cycle for timetabling. There is still a significant variation in timetabling process across Schools and Faculties to take account of the variations in programme structures, organisation, and local practice, but there is scope for the operational team to make further process changes over a period of time now that there is a common timetabling platform and an operational timetabling team.
- Automated dataloads from primary data sources required for timetabling – SITS, UPID (Unit and Programme Information database), and PIMS.
- Generic timetabling reports providing programme and unit timetables, timetables for Open Units, administrative reports, and room booking reports.
- Web Room Booking, which provides online booking of central teaching space for non-teaching activities.
- Operational and project websites containing user help and support pages.
- Over the course of the project, there have generally been around 150 timetablers and room bookers involved in the process and requiring access to Syllabus Plus at any given time. The project team have provided training and support for this user base over the course of the project, training up new staff as needed.
What is the project still to deliver?
There are some deliverables that the project team are still to deliver before the project closes:
- Web data collection Tool
- Outstanding Timetable reports and usability improvements to existing reports
- Full support handover to the operational Timetabling team