|Title||How would university students prefer their classes to be timetabled?|
|Authors||Adam, C., Piraveau, N and Gardner, M.|
This presentation reports a student-staff partnership project. By engaging Psychology students in research, the project aimed to determine how university students would prefer their classes to be timetabled.
Timetabling teaching events is a challenging optimisation problem tackled annually by Higher Education Institutions across the world. It requires the allocation of finite resources to meet competing requirements of stakeholders, while satisfying various hard and soft constraints. This is hard to get right, yet crucial to an effective learning environment, given that the timetable underpins engagement and student satisfaction (cf. Organisation and Management section of NSS). The academic literature on timetabling currently focusses on algorithms for optimisation, while estate management statistics used by universities tend to focus on efficiency (e.g., ‘space utilisation’ metrics). To date, there has been surprisingly little attention paid to attributes of the timetable valued by students. To address this issue, 364 students attending a teaching-focussed metropolitan university were recruited to take part in an online survey. Student respondents undertook a budgeting task that required trade-offs between a set of desirable timetable attributes.
Attributes most valued by our sample were: 3 days of teaching maximum, 10am earliest start, finish time no later than 5pm. In our context, students appear to prefer condensed learning at University, with a preference for shorter days, or less days in total, over more breaks or Wednesday afternoons free from teaching. Ensuring that timetable design addresses the priorities of student stakeholders may encourage student attendance, satisfaction, and achievement.
|Conference||BPS DART-P Annual Conference 2019|
|Journal||Psychology Teaching Review|