Project Update – 9 March 2017

Scientia Connect Testing

The user acceptance testing for Scientia Connect is still on track with phases one, two and three completed. Information Services are currently working through the final phase of testing before the system goes live and timetabling activity begins.

Scientia Connect will be used to pull information from SITS, Planon and HR Connect so Syllabus Plus is pre-populated with key module, student, space, and staff data. This will ensure data integrity and consistency while reducing manual entry.

Timetable Requirements Gathering

The School Support Service are currently collecting the teaching requirements and staff availability information for trimester 1 2017/18. This information is being collected on two forms (Module Teaching/Timetabling Requirements Form and Staff Availability Form) which are available from School Offices. The deadline for all completed forms is 24 March 2017.

While some schools are making good progress, over a third of staff still need to collect their forms. The percentage of total forms returned for each school is currently:

  • School of Applied Sciences – 19%
  • School of Arts and Creative Industries – 7%
  • School of Computing – 63%
  • School of Engineering and the Built Environment – 27%
  • School of Health and Social Care – 3%
  • The Business School – 34%

Entry of timetable information will commence 27 March so it’s important the information is provided on time to ensure preferences and constraints are captured.

The School Support Service will be working with School Academic Leads and Deans of School to ensure forms are completed and returned by the deadline.

Exceptions to Automatic Student Allocation

The Department of Learning & Teaching Enhancement (DLTE) have been working on the academic policies and processes required to support individual timetables for 2017/18.

In particular, DLTE have been considering the automatic student allocation process and have asked School Academic Leads (SAL) for Learning & Teaching to identify areas where exceptions may be required.

Automatically allocating students to activities such as lectures, tutorials, workshops etc. will ensure the individual timetables process is simple, accurate and efficient. DLTE will continue to work with SALs and other academic staff to consider where exceptions to this approach are needed from a pedagogical perspective.

Staff Training

Information Services and School Support Service Staff involved in timetabling have now completed the first set of training on Syllabus Plus and new functionality to deliver individual student timetables. This training has upskilled staff to ensure there is a consistent knowledge set across the University. Training has so far covered:

  • Introduction to Syllabus Plus (timetabling software)
  • Introduction to Enterprise Timetabler (timetabling software)
  • Activity Templates – this is the key functionality of individual timetables as it links individual students to activities such as lectures, tutorials, workshops etc.

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