Timetabling is driven by the curriculum. Therefore agile timetabling cannot be devised until we define agile curriculum. Let me define agile curriculum by listing some potential requirements of today’s lifelong learning student. These lead to necessary developments in the two big resource costs of staff and space. Staff and space must then be supported through quality, data and systems. Hence my visualisation of a set of snooker balls with the black ball worth the most but it may be worth starting with some of the lower values to build capability. The reality is that progress is being made on all of these topics at different universities but it is only by stepping away from the day-to-day that you can see the emerging picture.
My list of students’ requirements from a university is as follows:
Teaching informed by leading edge research (the research aspect differentiates a university from training providers)
Blended learning with an experiential learning component (apprenticeships, placements, internships, projects) – students learn better
Agile assessment – digital, formative and summative with work portfolios
Repackaged content so students can see, hear or read content (or game) as is their preference. (Note: If curriculum is not modularised then this is difficult)
Delivered by staff who:
Are a mixture of permanent and associate staff with co-authoring students
Have their workload modelled to ensure equitable distribution of load
Are supported by learning technologists.
The physical space for delivered teaching has:
Greater levels of technology embedded
Specialist design/research facilities which the student can self-book
More collaborative/crit. Space
Less formal teaching space
Potentially formal e-testing centres
Utilisation monitored through intelligent building technology
Is open longer.
A slick and quick programme approval process
All software delivered as a web service
Data collected once only and shared between systems
Course management software holding current data down to the teaching activity level
Space models interacting with building intelligence
Student number forecasts predicted more intelligently than last year’s numbers.
If I have missed a critical component do let me know!