4 November 2019 • Maatje Vos
Back on Track Education Schedule programme takes stock
After a year of hard work on improving the education scheduling process, it was time for the degree programmes to evaluate the programme. Pieter Gremmen (Education Schedule programme manager) and Hidde Duivenvoorden (Implementation project leader) reflect on the outcome. “We had to deal with some critical issues and we aren’t quite there yet, but people trust the overall process.”
What has been evaluated?
Pieter: The implementation of the new education and work schedule planning process, ranging from developing education to scheduling people and creating the timetable. We conducted an evaluation with practically all the degree programmes on the implementation, the process itself and what should be improved.
Hidde: The evaluation raised several learning points that we will include in the second semester.
What did you think of the outcome?
Hidde: I was pleasantly surprised by the positive tone. We had to deal with some critical issues and we aren’t quite there yet, but people trust the overall process.
Pieter: The goal and the concept itself are not up for discussion. Only how we will achieve it and at what speed. That is why it’s important to put in a solid and thorough effort next year, together with education.
What is the most important lesson your learned from the evaluation?
Pieter: We wanted to do too much in too little time. Because of time pressure certain things weren’t done well or thoroughly.
Hidde: We particularly underestimated the implementation of Xedule. Xedule was the one issue in the evaluation that received the most negative feedback. People have always felt it was a process that demanded a lot of time and administrative effort.
Pieter: In fact, Xedule is meant to be a resource. We want to have one single system for all work schedule planning. Now we use various spreadsheets and several different databases. These tools have been developed by the users themselves, which makes them very vulnerable. They also don’t allow us to integrate with other systems, such as Osiris and the timetable package.
Xedule is the best software currently available for work schedule planning and also offers a lot of features for education that I see being used in other universities of applied sciences. We will have to work together with education to see how Xedule can really benefit us all.
What will you do with the feedback?
Hidde: With reference to Xedule we will focus on offering more assistance and support. It’s important for people to learn how they can obtain added value from the programme. Moreover, the administrative burden will decrease, because in the future we will be able to copy data from previous years.
Pieter: We have put together an aftercare plan, based on the areas for improvement identified by the evaluation. The evaluation and the aftercare plan based on it will form a solid foundation for further improving the Education Schedule planning process and the use of Xedule. And this will lead to the expected benefits. All of us, the degree programmes, the Education Scheduling Team and the project team, are committed to this goal.
Left Pieter Gremmen, right Hidde Duivenvoorden