Building OSC into your HE infrastructure | EventMAP

Yes, you can: building Optime Scheduling Cloud into your higher education infrastructure


Yes, you can: building Optime Scheduling Cloud into your higher education infrastructure

EventMAP’s new Optime Scheduling Cloud delivers a new world of flexibility for timetablers, planners and administrators within higher education. With a modular suite of full-function cloud apps built on our industry-leading scheduling engine, it offers wide deployment options and a broad feature set built around years of user feedback from some of the world’s leading universities.

We’ve also worked hard to develop a user interface that academic users will immediately feel at home with. Even though there’s a huge amount of automation going on under the hood, the enormous amount of power and flexibility on tap is harnessed by a high level of intuitive usability for users.

In response to some of the post-launch enquiries we’ve been getting, we thought it might be useful to break down some of the more common questions we’ve been getting – starting with Exam, our examination scheduling package, and Collect, our innovative new invigilator portal for student attendance monitoring.

Q: How does Exam increase online and automated processing and reduce offline and manual processing?

A: Exam supports fully automated automatic scheduling of examinations based on student enrolments, room and staff requirements and a wide array of user-configurable scheduling constraints. Data can be stored and manipulated online, via a user friendly web application accessed through a standard web browser.

Q: How well does Exam integrate with other packages to avoid unnecessary duplication of data?

A: We’ve always made it as easy as possible to integrate with other packages. Exam offers an extensive REST-like API, allowing easy integration with other software packages. So, for example, Exam can be configured to pull data directly from a source such as PeopleSoft Campus Solutions.

Q: How secure is your cloud platform? Our university requires the secure capture and storage of sensitive personal data – including medical data.

A: All data transferred between the user and an Exam host server occurs over a secure, encrypted SSL (HTTPS) connection, preventing interception by third parties.

Exam fully adheres to industry best practices in terms of application security and data storage – so you can be confident that data is safe and secure at all times.

Q: How well does Exam handle complex requirements, such as variations in location, technology, time, seating, food/drink, faith etc?

A: Exam is designed from the ground up to be incredibly flexible – but also to let users harness its power and flexibility in a completely intuitive way. Complex requirements are handled within a wide array of user-configurable scheduling constraints, allowing users to specify requirements such as specific/avoid rooms, specific/avoid times, extra time for specific students, alternative arrangements and many more. The auto-scheduler then adheres to these rules when generating timetables.

Q: What support does Exam offer for our university’s requirement to meet its anticipatory duty?

A: Exam offers a number of scheduling constraints aimed at accommodating special requirements for students – these are easily accommodated into workflows and will appear clearly on invigilator documentation for designated students. The constraint types offered are:

Extra Time: give individual students extra time (in minutes or % of total time) for specific, or all, exams.
Separate Room: designate students who should have a separate room made available for them for specific, or all, exams.
Rest Breaks per Hour: allocate a configurable number of minutes’ rest break every hour for specific students on some or all of their exams.

Q: Our university’s additional requirements request process is pretty cumbersome and time-consuming. Can Optime Scheduling Cloud make this more efficient?

A: Yes! If your additional requirements request process is a laborious path that goes from request, via the college administrative offices, to the central administrative office and then on to scheduling and arranging, OSC can really save your sanity. Using the Collect add-on module for Exam, users can create requirements questionnaires to be sent to department leaders or other relevant staff members. These questionnaires allow exam planning staff to capture things like:

• Narration requirements
• Stationery requirements
• Requirements for the specific order of occurrence for exams
• Requirements for certain exams to occur simultaneously
• Requirements for exams to be allocated to specific rooms
• Requirements for exams to not occur on specific dates
• Textual comments for any other special requests.

As the whole system is so integrated, it makes the whole process much more efficient: upon capturing questionnaire data through Collect, users may approve or reject the responses, or send the questionnaire back to individual respondents. Approved responses are then automatically transformed into scheduling constraints for use within Exam, which saves a huge amount of time and significantly reduces the possibility of errors.

Q: How easy is it for college users to track and monitor the progress of specific students and their exams?

A: Using the Collect add-on module for Exam, staff members can mark students’ exam attendance and generate attendance reports based on the collected data.

Q: How easy is it to produce complex reports for exam printing requirements and exam location attendance registers?

A: Exam offers a range of publishing and reporting options – including examination schedules, student schedules, staff schedules, attendance registers and graph reports such as room occupancy reports. We’ve worked extensively with many universities to cover all the bases and it’s all extremely intuitive in use.

If your university has been struggling with outdated, inflexible systems for exam planning, maybe it’s time to look at something more modern? We’re happy to run through all your options for Optime Scheduling Cloud, from deployment options and integration right through to training – and of course, our experienced consultants can make the switch from your current solution a pain-free process. Jump over to our request a consultation page to get in touch.

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