Deakin University recently engaged consulting firm Madison Cross to review its timetabling processes. The purpose of this review was to determine how our timetabling processes could be improved to benefit students and staff whilst optimising our located learning spaces.
Modelling by the Facilities Services Division projects Deakin's growth to 2020 as requiring innovations and improvements in how we schedule and allocate events to spaces. With limited scope for capital developments in the form of new buildings, the University must consider other strategies to provide a quality learning experience for our students.
Currently timetabling is managed by each Faculty and School for their own activities, with some central coordination provided by Facilities Services. We have opportunities to build on our current processes to improve the student experience, support staff and ensure our located learning spaces are used efficiently and effectively. The processes will also integrate planning for premium located learning spaces with LIVE: The Future's agenda.
What did the Timetabling Review find?
Following the review in January, Madison Cross developed various recommendations to improve processes. Facilities Services and each Faculty General Manager discussed each option and their pros and cons. The resultant model features a single timetabling unit with two tactical and coordination hubs (one for Burwood; one for Waterfront, Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool).
This model addresses the primary issues associated with current processes that were identified in the review:
- Competing objectives associated with timetabling
- Multiple management layers and directions
- Differing approaches / processes to creating a timetable for room booking vs space optimisation purposes
- Sub optimal use of the University's timetabling software, Syllabus Plus
This model also create opportunities for improvement that would be otherwise unattainable:
- Improving the Student and Staff experiences with consistent timetabling processes across the University
- Integrating and rationalising software systems and key information flows associated with timetable production
- Maintaining and building strong Faculty / School based relationships
What happens now?
The Business Case is being developed ready for presentation to the Deakin Portfolio Board in May 2014. A summary of the Business Case will be published on this page once complete. Please contact Terry Roche if you have any questions or concerns.