Timetabling

Timetabling

1. What is 'Student-Led' timetabling?

Student-Led timetabling is a timetabling approach where students select the modules (subject to the rules defined in the approved programme specification) they wish to study and the University schedules these choices with the intention of producing a clash-free timetable prior to the start of the next academic year.  There would be no cap on the number of students who can take a module

2. Why are we moving to student led timetabling?

The decision to move to this model is broadly based around student and staff feedback received via the National Student Survey and internal university evaluation and survey mechanisms.  In response to student feedback, the University wishes to improve the experience for students when they select their modules.

Some modules are very popular but have had a small maximum number of students which has meant that a number of students experience disappointment when they are unable to select a preferred module(s) because it is full.  If students select their modules first, the University will make significant efforts to meet these requests. 

Because the timetable is generated in advance some modules will clash and therefore students have to make a difficult choice between two modules when they would have preferred to have able to select both of them.  We currently don’t know how extensive this problem is because students have to make a choice between these clashing modules.  If students select their modules first, the University will make significant efforts to meet these requests. 

Because the timetable is created using slots, some students have been dissatisfied because they always end up in the same slot.  Students who frequently get the Friday afternoon slot during their studies have expressed dissatisfaction to staff.  If students select their modules first, the University will be able to generate a timetable without the need for these slots. 

Many students would prefer to study between 9am and 5pm and most students do. It is however necessary for some sessions to be scheduled during the evening.  Timetabling after students have selected their choices should mean a more effective timetable and fewer evening classes.

The University discussed the proposed changes during 2014 and 2015, when all Institutes and the Students’ Union were consulted.  It was clear at that time that many students supported a change as it would mean they would be able to select the modules they wished to study and the University would use its best endeavours to generate a timetable based upon these selections.

3. Do other Universities timetable like this?

Yes. A large number of other Higher Education Institutions timetable using the student led model.  University staff visited a number of institutions who timetable in this way as part of the scoping process

4. How long will module selection be open for each year?

Module selection will be open for two weeks every year, as is current practice.

5. What happens if I don’t select my modules?

If you don’t select any modules then you will have to wait and select your modules after the timetable has been published  You may find that modules you would have liked to study are not available because you did not meet the deadline.

6. What happens if only a small number of students choose a module?

It may be the case that modules with very small student numbers will not run, but this would not be a change as this is what would happen with the current timetabling arrangements

7. When will my own timetable be published on SOLE?

We aim to make your timetable available to you at the end of July - early August each year so this will give you time to arrange child care and part-time work commitments.  However, should there be a delay for any reason we will keep you informed.

8. Will I get a lunch break?

A half- hour lunch break between 12:15-2-15pm will be factored in as part of timetable preparation.

9. Will there be time allowed for me to travel between sites?

Yes travel times between campuses are built in as part of timetable preparation; we will allow at least 30 minutes between sites.

10. Will I have the chance to change my module choices once timetables are published on SOLE ?

Yes. There will be opportunity for you to make changes to your module selections once timetables have been published subject to the usual timetabling constraints.

11. Will my seminar follow immediately after the lecture?

The sequencing of how a module is delivered is agreed with your module tutor. Some tutors may decide to have a gap between a lecture and seminar for educational reasons, others may not for different educational reasons.  There is already a variety of practice across the University.

12. How will the move to Student-Led benefit me?

The timetable will be based on your module choices – the modules that you want to study; no targets will be set as part of the module selection process.  It will be clash free, provide you with a lunch break and travel times between sites.

13. Who has the University consulted on this matter?

The University has been investigating/scoping the feasibility for a number of years. As part of this process and helping with making this decision:

·         a series of off site visits to other Universities who are established in Student-Led which included  representatives from the Students Union.

·         consultation was completed with the University’s timetabling software provider

·         meetings were held with key University Staff

·         approval given by the University Executive

 

The University has consulted with (and involved):

·         the Students Union,

·         key staff University staff,

·         the University’s software consultants,

·         other Universities' timetable staff via onsite visits who timetable using Student-Led  

14. I have childcare responsibilities, how will this affect me?

Your finalised timetable will be published early enough to give sufficient time to arrange child-care responsibilities.  Students who are studying a full-time course are expected to be available during the whole week to attend the University.

15. I travel a long way to attend my lectures. Will I be affected ?

As part of timetable preparation we aim to avoid producing a fragmented timetable. You will have opportunities to change modules should you need to once the finalised timetable has been published on SOLE.

16. I have part-time work, how will this affect me?

Students who are studying a full-time course are expected to be available during the whole week to attend and study independently at the University.

Your finalised timetable will be published early enough to give you sufficient time to arrange your part time work. You will also have opportunity to change modules once the finalised timetable has been published on SOLE.