Top 5 Must Have Student Scheduling Features for the New Academic Year

Student Scheduling

Introduction

Preparing timetables is standard practice in any academic institution. However, with a wide variety of schools, subjects, in-class and online lecture combinations, creating student timetables can be a difficult task. Implementing scheduling software could help to manage all of these moving parts. Transforming a once tedious task into useful student engagement data. In this article, we will look at our top 5 features to look for in a future-focused student timetabling solution.

1.      Blended Learning Functionality

Before the pandemic, contrasting views collided over the inevitability of higher education students moving from in-person to online classes. In just one year, higher education has been forced online, making the argument redundant. Students now require unprecedented flexibility in how they interact with their classes and your institution should be equipped to offer it. Offering blended learning to students requires more than online access. It requires the continued support online that would be readily available in-person. Student support comes from visibility. Visibility over potentially struggling students and the ability to intervene in a timely manner.

Reclaiming visibility over your students’ progress begins with a hybrid-ready scheduling software, to go beyond blocking out time slots and begin your students’ success journey.  Here’s what to keep an eye out for:

Room Availability
The ability to check room or lecture hall availability and manage any arising conflicts.

Add Online Classes
The ability to add online lecture access details with ZOOM and Microsoft Teams integrations (among others). So, your students can log-in to their online classes seamlessly, in one place.

Space Management
With a scheduled class of 150, and physical room capacity set at 75, the obvious approach would be to alternative online and physical classes between the students. However, there will be students who do not wish to attend any physical classes, which brings another level of complexity to the whole process. Here is where being able to offer a fluid hybrid learning experience is going to simplify your campus management. Give students the option to reserve their own seat for lectures. Then, when capacity is reached, allow for online attendance.

2.      Placement & Internship Management

Look for capabilities to schedule work experience, clinical placements, apprenticeships and any other off-campus aspects of your students’ education.

3.      Create One-off Events

For unplanned or one-off events, you should be able to create them and notify everyone within just a click.

Add Guest Speaker/Lecturer
An added feature to look for is the ability to add guest speakers or lecturers to your timetable, even if they are not faculty members.

4.      Real-time Notifications & Updates

The importance of having student scheduling software operating in real-time cannot be understated. It allows for live notifications of schedule changes and cancellations. Keeping students and faculty on the same page, saving time and preventing any confusion.

5.      Student Attendance & Engagement Monitoring

What happens after you’ve finalised and dispatched a timetable to your students? Do you have the power to assess each students’ engagement level with their schedule? Are they attending class? Make sure that these questions evoke positive answers by tracking student attendance and engagement. Monitoring these metrics efficiently allows you to identify and intervene with at-risk or underperforming students early, before there is any irreparable damage done.

Look also at your student attendance monitoring system’s campus integration capability. Combine new and existing data for a holistic view of student engagement.

Summary

The new normal is here and higher education institutions need to be in the best possible position to offer a fluid blended learning experience to their students. Find a timetabling solution for your institution that can make adjusting to academic life post-COVID as easy as possible.

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