Timetabling @ Leeds Beckett: The story so far Auto-scheduling and beyond Agenda • • • • Who we are How we timetable at Leeds Beckett Journey so far Future developments Leeds Beckett University • New name! • 190-year history of education • Founded in 1824 as Leeds Mechanics Institute • Customer Service Excellence • Investors in People Gold • RoSPA Gold • Stats – 28,000 students – 2,900 staff • Estate – Headingley Campus – City Campus The timetabling planning process Timetabling stats for a typical semester Mar Input timetable requests into Data Capture Database Apr Input timetable into CMIS May Run auto scheduling process Jun Consolidation period Jul Aug Publish! How the timetable is constructed Parameters The timetable is constructed within the current agreed timeframes as per our current Timetable Policy: • Mon, Tues, Thurs between 09.00-18.00hrs • Wednesday 09.00-12.00hrs • Friday 09.00-17.00hrs The majority of events are auto-scheduled using our timetabling software CMIS. Although some events including sessions that run outside the above timeframes are manually scheduled. How the timetable is constructed Constraints The following hard constraints are applied during the auto scheduling process: • 1 day free from teaching (staff & students) • No more than 4 hours consecutive teaching • Approved staff availability forms NB – faculties can also add additional constraints such as specified days (event specs), event orders and timings (orderings and blocks). How students access their timetable • Google Calendar on Mobile device or PC (at least twice a day) • On-line timetables via Student Portal (updated in real time) • Student guidance here • Staff guide here Journey so far… Pre-2009: Timetabling devolved to faculties / manual process Small, central “help desk” team based in Registry Poor space utilisation 2009 AIMS consultancy report recommendations: New central team created Move Timetable Support to Estates Auto-scheduling project launched Why improve? • Pre-2009… – Individual student timetables – Eportal – staff/students can view timetables online 24/7 – Google Calendar – student timetables can be exported to student calendar • Drivers for change… – Student Experience/NSS – Space & Utilisation – External market Why auto-schedule? Follow Sector Best Practice Improve Student Experience NSS results: “timetabling” a common theme Student Union on board Consolidate Mixed Practice Inconsistent timetabling methods Over-reliance on manual scheduling Evidence shows full autoscheduling is essential to address room utilisation and enhance the student experience Benefits • Common system for collecting timetabling data • Work to the same deadlines • Provide a consistent student experience • Utilise teaching space usage more efficiently Objectives • The University develop a new timetabling process using auto scheduling in a single set of operations for all faculties. • Information on course and module management be held in Banner/CMIS tables and that these be the definitive master records, rolled over and verified annually. • Data for timetabling is collated using consistent processes across the University for Data Collection. • All faculties adopt the same procedures for timetabling. Issues to address • • • • • • • • Profile Data Quality Protocols and principles Timetabling policy Data collection (Timetable requests) Constraints Staffing Communications The Timetabling Project 2010 • Timetabling Project to automate the timetable – Objectives – Guiding principles – Benefits • Project Board established • Working groups created to focus on: – – – – Data Quality Data Collection Timetabling Policy Academic Work Planning • Raised profile (CMT/SU) • Communications strategy/model Communication Strategy Audience Nov Milestones: Concept launch Support Staff •Timetablers •Course Admin •COO’s Update meetings with timetablers (TUG) Stakeholders •IMTS •RSO •Project Board •Estates Jan Meet with Deans ---Meet with COOs ---FLT meetings Project Board ---Working Grps Feb Launch of data collection process TUG Academic Delivery Planners Training / TUG FLT meetings AET CAF FBL HSS Project Board ---Working Grps ---Estates Newsletter Mar Apr Data Collection Window TUG / COO’s TUG / COO’s Meet with STARS Open Forums Open Forums Meet with Subject group leaders ---Data collection workshops Data collection workshops ---Feature in staff magazine LS126 Faculty Newsletters VC Newsletter Project Board ---Network events Project Board ---Estates Newsletter Project Board Project Board ---Estates Newsletter External •SERCO Others •Trade Unions •HR •CMT May Jun Auto-scheduling process Timetable Support Training / TUG Meet with SU Student •SU •STARS •All students Academics •Deans •Assoc Deans/COO’s •Academic Champions •Subject group leaders •All staff Dec Student newspaper story Jul Publish Timetables Portal Announcements Consultancy Period CMT update Meet with HR & Unions ---CMT update CMT update CMT update CMT update CMT update CMT update CMT update CMT update What happened next? • February 2011 – On-line data collection system launched – Timetabling Policy established – Staff availability process agreed • April 2011 – Deadline for receipt of all timetable requests • May 2011 – Auto-scheduling for the first time 2011/12 • September 2011 – Semester one timetable published 1st September Lessons learnt • Data Quality: – Students not tied to modules on Banner – Course structures not set up on Banner – Incorrect data entered into CMIS • Events created with too many multiple conflicting constraints • Event specs used to manipulate event start and finish times • Deadlines for timetabling and staff information not met or of poor quality • Data added to on-line data collection system after module had been finalised by timetablers • Excessive teaching hours for staff • Software (bugs) Recommendations • • • • • • • • • Software upgrade More time for data validation Enhance on-line data collection system Review stages/order of auto timetabling Create a separate dataset for each semester Review staff time constraints Review course structure information/module data Remove Friday 5-6pm slot Consider new approaches to make timetables more student focused in relation to student experience. If at first you don’t succeed… • • • • • Jan 2012 Dec 2012 Aug 2013 Dec 2013 Apr 2014 – – – – – Refocus of UG curriculum 1st Student survey on timetabling Timetable support moved to Registry 2nd Student survey on timetabling Launched Timetabling Strategy & Development Group (TSDG) • Successfully completed 8 auto-scheduling exercises to date! Plans for 2015 • Student Experience Themes (TSDG) • Revise Timetabling Policy • CMISGo – Improve service/accessibility – Annual Timetable/Single dataset – CMIS upgrades • Growth – Space Refurbs – Scenario planning/modelling Change the culture • • • • • • • People NOT systems Psychology of timetabling Students – survey data conflicting requirements Staff – feeling of losing ‘control’, what else? Debunking the myths Keeping people “on message” Unpicking perceived “timetabling” issues to identify the real issues • Sanity tip – create a “crazy TT requests” email folder! Student Feedback As usual with this university i have once AGAIN recived notice of my timetable being avaiable for next semester online however once AGAIN, this is not the case and im left in this akward situation where im no longer in Leeds, i have no intention of returning to Leeds until my lectures etc begin however due to the false rather pathetic emails stating i can access something which you have failed to provide for your students. I do regret to have to send this rather negative email however, the issues within this university are beyond belief for a education facility and if this continues i shall be making a formal complaint via the vice chancellor of Leeds Met. I do hope it doesnt come to this and i hope you can Rectify your mistakes. Please understand that as a student here we NEED this information early and without it, like at the beginning of this academic year i missed 3-4 weeks of a module due to the poor organisation of the staff involved with organising and handing out timetables. Please for your sake and all the students within Leeds Met............FIX THIS and stop wasting our time. This was an email from a student who had in fact got a timetable: Was is in for 3 days and had no more than 2 hour gaps between sessions. In other words, the perfect timetable – published earlier than ever on December 12th! Staff Feedback I will ask Timetabling if we can adjust anything directly and perhaps swap things between I will also pursue with HR and the guidelines for deployment as I do think there are 'right to a family life' human rights issues here. It is unfortunate the timetable has fallen this way and for most staff most of this time this doesn't happen. But we must pursue this and make some changes for the reasons you state. It may be that some early or later starts are needed but not both on all 3 days. This was an email from a member of staff suggesting a time constraint amounts to an infringement on their human rights! Any questions?