As part of ongoing TLSE development, and in the name of workflow economy, I am putting together and developing what I grandly call a programme "Master document".
My target for this is to bring together a number of day-to-day admin and programme leadership active documents; with the desired effect being to reduce time spent accessing disparate areas of information across a variety of locations, both native or cloud based.
In addition to day-to-day management (e.g. attendance, time table) the Master document has proved valuable in annual management stages such as timetabling input and end of semester reviews by external examiner.
The Master document is, as with everything else, a work in progress and can be added to and adapted as the academic year moves ever forward.
In its current for it contains: Timetables for each year group Attendance for each year group Formative grades for each year group Summative grades for each year group Assessment calendar
One of the key 'issues' that I hope to tackle with this document, is that across every programme, teams are each having to devise their own systems to manage the same key areas - regardless of course or subject, each team needs, for example, to arrange a timetable, and to present this to students; each team needs to record attendance and grades, to find student email addresses or student numbers, to access students online work etc. It was my experience that it could be overwhelming, confusing and time-expensive to access this information in the myriad of places that it's kept. For example, in order to find a student number I would go to cumbria.ac.uk, log in and click through to staff hub, from there I would go to ICON, log in again, enter student name, click student and then I'd have their number. One instance of this could be frustrating, but over the course of a day it could become problematically disruptive.
At present each programme is creating each of these components from scratch which represents an incredible waste of hours. This is compounded by the 'once a year' nature of many of these tasks (at least in their initiation). 'Once a year' tasks tend to be done as though for the first time, every time; they require a period of time to relearn and never benefit from any sophistication or fine tuning brought by ongoing development.
If we think about these tasks as being represented by the hours put in to their creation and then we multiply those numbers by the number of programme teams carrying them out, not only across an institute but across a university, it's easy to see that we're working hard but not working clever.
Speaking as a programme leader who, on an annual and ongoing basis has to create these systems, refresh this systems and then work with these systems, I never felt that being left to work them out for myself was a benefit (it often felt like this was how our management saw it. "You each know how you run your course. We don't want to get in the way of that"). I have no reason to believe that any of my colleagues felt differently.
I would like to propose that with some fine tuning a blank template be made available that we each populate with course specific details.
The video on the right will walk you through the doc and a copy can be download from the link beneath.
I need your help
Would you please download the file and watch the video.
I would like you to think about any content that is currently missing that might be useful (think about the sort of tasks you find yourself doing over and over again).
One thing that has already been mentioned is individual links to student's ICON pages. I've not cracked this yet - I did, foolishly, embed ICON links for an entire year group, only to find that the links lead to a sign-in page, even when I'm signed in.
Once you've had a look and a play, I would really appreciate your feedback which you can post into the Form to the right.
Also, please feel free to share this with members of your team so that we can get broad feedback.