Changes Recommended for Academic Scheduling

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Five recommendations aim to improve academic scheduling and space use on campus

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The Task Force on Classroom and Academic Scheduling recently released its final report and five recommendations that will assist students in planning their academic careers, better utilize campus resources, and increase coordination of the classroom-scheduling function among academic and administrative units.

Data gathering and feedback activities among faculty, staff, and students included extensive listening sessions and focus groups across campus, results from recent surveys, a literature review and benchmark data from other institutions, and current space-utilization and course-enrollment reports. The task force found that current scheduling practices place considerable burden on the Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. period and take little advantage of the remainder of the day, creating unused campus capacity and inefficiencies in space utilization. Many students, particularly undergraduates, expressed concerns about frequent schedule conflicts and a perceived lack of available classes, which may ultimately impact their ability to complete their degree requirements in a timely manner. Faculty, staff, and students alike expressed interest in technology-supported scheduling practices that are family-friendly and support work-life balance.

The complete task force recommendations are:

  1. Adopt a new daily classroom-scheduling template and associated policies that define allowable times for scheduling of individual courses, incorporating 15-minute breaks between classes.
  2. Develop policies and procedures that include the establishment of “anchor classes,” and best practices for scheduling and registration in Banner.
  3. Establish a permanent joint subcommittee of the Institute Graduate Curriculum Committee (IGCC) and the Institute Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (IUCC) to act on matters related to class and instructional scheduling.
  4. Merge the academic class-scheduling functions performed by the Registrar’s office and class-scheduling functions performed by Capital Planning and Space Management, and centralize both functions in the Registrar’s office.
  5. After a technology audit, make recommendations for strategic investments in technology that support class scheduling, registration, and related analytics.

Although students and faculty are directly affected by scheduling decisions, the processes are not widely known or understood. “There is no ‘perfect’ schedule that matches everyone’s preferences,” said Hughes. “However, by focusing on common goals and working cooperatively, we believe that the current situation can be significantly improved for the Institute community.”

Recommendations are slated to be phased in starting during the next academic term, but will not impact registration and scheduling for Spring 2017. Campuswide town halls, along with focused faculty/staff information sessions, are planned during the coming weeks. (See below for details.)

Additional Information:

Town Hall Presentations (open to campus):

  • Tuesday, Oct. 25, 3 p.m. — Student Center Theater
  • Thursday, Nov. 3, 11 a.m. — East Architecture Building, Room 123 (auditorium)

Invitation-Only Sessions:

  • Monday, Oct. 17 — Academic Associate Deans Meeting
  • Wednesday, Oct. 19 — Deans and Vice Provosts Meeting
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15 — Faculty Senate
  • Wednesday, Nov. 16 — GTAAN
  • TBD — Classroom Schedulers (being organized by the Registrar’s Office)

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School of History and Sociology Student Blog

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Keywords
HSOC Blog, academic support
Status
  • Created By: Kayleigh Haskin
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Oct 13, 2016 - 10:37am
  • Last Updated: Oct 13, 2016 - 10:37am