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Action Project Two – Scheduling
Annual Update Report to AQIP
Note: The AQIP explanation of each question is italicized blue at the bottom of the question.
#1. Describe the past year's accomplishments and the current status of this Action Project.
Action Project Two on Scheduling has a team of eight members (two faculty and six staff) who met regularly in the winter and spring quarters after the Action Project Kick-off event on January 6, 2006. The Scheduling Action Project had some immediate goals related to SSU’s semester conversion and some longer term goals related to efficient scheduling using computer software and improved communication among departments.
The team collected information about peer institutions, had demonstrations from software vendors, and developed a list of scheduling assumptions for the semester calendar. After reviewing a number of scheduling blocks, the Action Project Team recommended a semester scheduling system to the institution. The scheduling times in the model allows for a variety of semester credit hour class types and increases the efficient use of all time periods. The university should see increased classroom use as a result of the semester conversion and adoption of the scheduling model.
The Action Team completed its short term goals during the winter and spring quarters 2006.
Describe concrete achievements: meetings, data gathered and analyzed, plans made or implemented, changes in processes, and measured results. If you haven’t made much progress, explain why you think things are moving slower than planned.
#2. Describe how the institution involved people in work on this Action Project.
With recommendation from the university-wide Budget and Academic Quality Improvement Planning Committee (BAQIP), the President appointed members of the Action Project Team and provided a charge and timeline for the project. Dr. Michael Fiske, Chair of the Math Department and Chair of BAQIP, agreed to Chair the Action Project Team.
Meeting minutes have been placed on the institution’s AQIP web pages. The Action Team members have met with numerous individuals and groups on campus as they collected information and data about scheduling. Information from peer institutions was helpful in examining schedule blocking models. Regular reports concerning the Student Advising Action Project progress were made at the monthly meetings of BAQIP.
AQIP wants Information about motivation and communication: how you kept this Project on the institution’s priority list, how you maintained general awareness of the importance and progress of the Project, and how you kept those working on it directly active and motivated.
#3. Describe your planned next steps for this Action Project.
The Scheduling Action Project will continue to examine information and data collected in early 2006 to refine the scheduling process at Shawnee State University. The Action Project Two team will particularly be looking at processes to improve communication among departments to minimize scheduling conflicts for students. Continued examination of software solutions will also be a goal of the team. The Action Project Team plans to evaluate its recommendations and solutions by collecting data related to student and faculty satisfaction concerning scheduling, room and time block usage, and schedule conflicts.
One "mini-project" within the Scheduling Action Project is to use the new blocking model for scheduling along with the new semester curriculum in each academic program to build a mock schedule for the fall of 2007, the first term when Shawnee will be on the semester calendar. The Action Project Team has worked with the Registrar to obtain a draft schedule from each department chair over a year in advance of the transition. The registrar will use the department chair’s input to create the mock schedule to test for room use efficiency, use of time blocks, avoidance of conflicts, and student friendliness. The Action Project Team is also encouraging departments to plan schedules for a full year along with tentative schedules for two year and four years into the future to assist students in their academic planning.
Be specific about the next critical steps you are planning to move the Action Project ahead. If your planning is vague or there is no planning at this point, explain why.
#4. Describe any "effective practice(s)" that resulted from your work on this Action Project.
One of the goals of the change to the semester calendar is improved use of time and space at Shawnee State. Under the current quarter calendar, there is predominately a Monday/Wednesday and Tuesday/Thursday schedule with little use of Friday. The Action Project has proposed a scheduling block model that will increase the use of the full week. It is hoped that this will result in cost-savings, reduced competition for classroom space at high demand times, and increased satisfaction of students. The short-term results of this project may be of interest to other institutions going through a calendar or other major scheduling change.
Share practices (or processes, policies, procedures, or initiatives) that could be adopted or adapted at other institutions. AQIP is most interested in practices that would give value (better educational services, cost-savings, improved morale, more satisfied stakeholders, etc.) to another institution if they copied your innovation. If you believe that your work on this Project has little or no value for other institutions, explain why.
#5. What challenges, if any, are you still facing in regards to this Action Project?
In one sense, the easy part of this project has
been completed with the adoption of a scheduling block model,
although there was a lot of discussion and give-and-take related to
this short-term goal. The challenge of increasing communication
among departments to reduce schedule conflicts and increase
efficiency of classroom utilization awaits the Action Project Team
in the fall. The Action Project may want to consider expanding the
membership of the team or find some other way to engage academic
leaders on campus.
#6. The optional question: