Course Scheduling FAQs
- Are there quotas that will be used to ensure that some percentage of all courses are offered MWF?
No. Course scheduling should be driven by:
- a focus on serving student demand and needs to the best of our ability
- maximizing the quality of teaching and learning based on disciplinary considerations and pedagogy
- making optimal use of increasingly scarce classroom space
2. Will I be forced to teach MWF?
The assignment of teaching workload is, in an ideal world, determined by the Department Chair or Head after consulting with each individual faculty member and ultimately approved by the Dean and Provost. Again, in a perfect world, we are able to meet student needs, faculty needs, and optimize limited institutional resources (classrooms) simultaneously. There may, however, be student needs that ultimately determine if we need to offer a class on MWF. Then the questions that remain are if there are faculty who prefer or would be willing to teach MWF and whether appropriate learning space is available at that time. In the event that no faculty member wants to teach on MWF, the department will need to determine a fair and objective way of assigning the course in question. My experience as a faculty member, department chair, and Dean is that this is rarely a problem. Most faculty are collegial and respectful enough of their colleagues that they do their fair share or more. However, I do not want to mislead anyone, the assignment of teaching duties is a management right. If a solution cannot be found at the departmental level, a solution can be imposed by the Dean or Provost. There may also be scheduling preferences for classes that meet in the morning on MWF over classes that meet on MW if space limitations come into play.
3. Will the Dean or Provost refuse to allow courses to be offered on MW or TTH as they have been in the old course scheduling model?
No. The Standardized Class Schedule allows for courses such as this to continue to be scheduled (See the Schedule). It does prevent the scheduling of unconventional time-based courses during the morning hours that have prevented students from accessing several other potential time slots on the days in question. Again, a course may be rejected if there is insufficient space or too many courses being offered at the same time that create bottlenecks, barriers, or conflicts that can be avoided for students.
4. Will this impact online courses?
No, online courses have no structured class time or space.
5. Will this impact blended courses?
It could, as according to our standards blended courses must meet a minimum of 40% of the time. Therefore, a course could be scheduled for MWF and meet on some of those days or weeks that were different from the MW or TTH class times.
6. Will there be allowance for some flexibility?
Normally, flexibility can occur during the afternoon with the approval of the Dean and Provost. One of the factors that could influence flexibility is whether the course is being offered at the Graduate or Undergraduate level. Normally Undergraduate courses (especially lower division General Education courses) will not have flexibility, as a student will be taking courses across a variety of disciplines, whereas a Graduate student normally takes courses only in their academic program. Courses that enroll both Undergraduate and Graduate students will need to be examined carefully before approval is granted.
7. What if I want to teach on MWF but am being pressured not to?
Faculty should inform their Head/Chair and Dean of their class schedule preferences. If they feel they are being treated differentially as a result of that preference they should notify the Head/Chair or, if the treatment involves the Head/Chair the Dean so that a faculty member’s rights are preserved.
8. If a course is “paid” by another unit, can that unit determine the time and days?
The determination of when a course is to be offered is, as previously discussed, based on consultations between the Chair of the Department in which the prefix is housed and the faculty member teaching the course. Ultimately, the Chair (with review and approval by the Dean and Provost) determines when the course will be offered using the criteria stated above (student need being the primary factor).
9. Once a course is scheduled, can the faculty member change the day/time?
All changes must be approved by the Head/Chair and submitted to the Dean for final approval, this is the current practice and does not change.
10. If I wish to change rooms, is that allowed?
The practice and procedure for requesting a change in room will not change from past practice. If changes can be reasonably accommodated they will be granted.