The Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) experienced the same challenges as most colleges and universities when it came to managing the complexities of course scheduling and making faculty teaching assignments.
Over the years like most schools, Duke administrative staff had developed their own assignment management processes using a combination of institutional knowledge, electronic faculty surveys and manually-updated spreadsheets. It was always a struggle to match faculty teaching preferences with the schedule of courses needed to meet student needs.
This process was cumbersome, inefficient and filled with operational headaches.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
After a decade of unprecedented growth by the School when the number of faculty and students doubled, DUSON senior leaders knew there had to be a better way of matching the teaching preferences of faculty with the seemingly endless number of scheduling options when planning an academic calendar.
After determining that there were no apparent software systems available to address this increasingly difficult problem, the school's information technology team was charged with creating a solution that would:
- better engage faculty,
- take advantage of the faculty's experience and history in teaching specific courses,
- automate the course scheduling process for either one, or multiple semesters at a time, and
- create real-time administrative reports to ensure faculty were not over or under subscribed in their teaching assignments.
This was the beginning of TAMS; a data-driven teaching management system.
Over a the next several months, TAMS developers worked directly with administrative staff, academic program directors, and faculty to create, test and implement this easy-to-use platform. TAMS uses institutional information that is readily available to create real-time solutions the common problems associated with building an academic calendar and assigning the appropriate faculty to teach the needed courses.
TAMS was rolled out to the Duke School of Nursing a few years ago and was quickly embraced by faculty and administration. New features and functions were identified and added to the system making it more effective and streamlining processes which took weeks to implement pre-TAMS. In addition, improvements have further increased flexibility and collaboration among users, provided dynamic, real-time reports to senior leaders to improve use of the School's resources, and increased the School's ability to satisfy the preferences expressed by our faculty.
As part of its academic mission, in the Spring of 2017, DUSON made the decision to offer TAMS under special license agreements to other schools, colleges and universities who might benefit from this innovative solution.
As a result of a number of informal requests from other schools across the country who had heard about TAMS, in the Spring of 2017 DUSON made the decision to offer TAMS under special license agreements to other schools, colleges and universities who might benefit from this innovative solution.