The Best Academic Planning System On The Market
Academic Interface ( also known as ‘AI’) is the most powerful, feature-rich and easy to use academic planning system on the market. It complements a college’s existing systems such as PeopleSoft, Banner, DataTel, and can be integrated with a college’s home-grown systems that use any major relational databases. It is suitable for both course based and program based environment. Its main modules include the following:
- Course section creation
- Teacher assigning
- Automatic scheduling and interactive scheduling
- Faculty workload balancing (SWF, the Standard Workload Form for Ontario colleges)
- Automatic synchronizations with student information systems such as Banner and PeopleSoft
- Budget allocation
- Program costing
- Automatic generation of Ministry requried reports including:
- SWF reports
- TCH (Teacher Contact Hours) report
- A wealthy collection of reports (currently 43 different reports) for the academic chairs and the management of an institution
- Capability to hold many years of data in the system, enables an institution to enter future planned data years ahead.
- Enterprise architecture that allows the data to be entered and viewed simultaneously by many users, speeding up the whole process of academic planning.
- Open and standard major relational database management systems such as Oracle, Sybase and Microsoft SQL Server allowing easy integration with other management systems.
- Academic planning starts. In order to minimize data entry each term, data is rolled over from previous term using utilities in Academic Interface (for example, the data of Fall 2002 can be rolled over to Fall 2003).
- Most of the rolled over data does not need change. Each department only needs to add or delete some course sections. If the schedule of some course sections need to be forced, AI automatically detects schedule conflicts in real-time.
- Each teacher’s workload information is accessible and dynamically updated in real-time during academic planning to ensure conformity with standard workload contract.
- Contracts for part-time teachers can be prepared and printed out with the updated course information.
- When the academic planning is done, the finance department uses Academic Interface to automatically generate revenue allocation.
- When it’s time to produce a schedule, the Scheduling Department freezes the data-entry that may affect scheduling. Data can then be easily exported to scheduling software such as TPH without any forced scheduling conflicts or any data re-entry. Before using Academic Interface, each department has to put the course section data on paper and submit that to the Scheduling Department to be entered into scheduling software. There are a few problems with the old practice:
- Conflicts could exist for a forced schedule.
- It is redundant work to manually enter the same data into the scheduling software by the Scheduling Department.
- No data validation when data is manually entered into the scheduling software. Human error could be introduced.
- Because the Scheduling Department needs to re-enter data for all departments in sequential order, the process takes much longer.
- Communication between departments and scheduling is difficult to track with a paper system when course sections need to be adjusted.
After Academic Interface is implemented, those problems are totally eliminated.
- Academic Interface takes over and imports all the scheduled data. Scheduling Department unfreezes data-entry to allow any modification. Academic Interface automatically detects and prevents scheduling conflicts when data is being modified.
- The Scheduling Department uses Academic Interface to run conflict-checking reports to make sure there is no conflict.
- The Scheduling Department uses Academic Interface to publish the schedule in either tabular format or matrix format for teachers, classes and rooms.
- Academic Interface exports data to a student system (such as PeopleSoft) for registration. After data is exported to a student system the first time in a term, Academic Interface starts to dynamically send changes as it occures in order to keep the student system uptodate. After registration, the actual enrollment data is ported back to Academic Interface.
- Teacher’s workload report (SWF in Ontario) can be printed any time with the latest information in Academic Interface.
- The Human Resource Department uses Academic Interface to automatically generate teacher’s workload summary report file set to submit to the Ministry.
- The Finance Department uses Academic Interface to automatically generate Teacher Contract Hours reports to submit to the Ministry.
- The management of the institution has access to a rich set of reports to supervise the entire operation at any time.