Leveraging data for teaching assignments
Across HigherEd, faculty are burned out, struggling with complex workloads, losing trust in administrative processes, and feeling disengaged from their roles. But it’s more important than ever to focus on faculty retention because of its impact on student retention and engagement, and the current challenges of hiring. The teaching assignment process is a critical piece of re-engaging faculty, re-building trust, and managing workloads. If your institution is still using a manual system for teaching assignments, read on to learn about the benefits of digitization.
Insight into workload: balancing teaching assignments
Faculty workload is varied. They juggle:
- course preparation
- advising students
- leadership roles
- service and committee work
- and the administrative work that comes along with everything else.
Getting a full overview of this workload is a challenge for most institutions. Faculty activity tracking isn’t centralized, and course assignments don’t take things like research and service into account. This all means that some faculty end up overburdened, while others are underutilized—and this is frustrating for everyone involved.
When faculty can’t see behind the curtain of teaching assignments, they feel like they aren’t being listened to, they don’t have input, and administrators don’t understand their work. When academic affairs teams can’t see the full scope of faculty work, they can’t balance course assignments with other time-consuming activities.
A digitized tool like Teaching Assignment Management System (TAMS) takes the guesswork out of teaching assignments. Within this transparent system, administrators can choose the best instructor for a course based on their holistic workload, which takes into account things like research and committee work. In addition, faculty can submit and edit preferences and view their upcoming assignments, so they have more trust in the process and feel their voices (and daily workload) are understood and valued.
TAMS also gives academic affairs teams (and faculty) access to valuable historic teaching information. With most manual systems, it’s impossible to differentiate between professors who have taught a course before and ones who haven’t.
This means that, for instance, the process sees no difference between two poetry professors, one of whom has five years of experience teaching the introductory poetry survey and the other who only teaches the senior seminars. These are very different specialties, but with this information scattered throughout systems, it’s often hard to find accurate data.
Within TAMS, users would get a recommendation that takes teaching history into account, meaning that professors are more likely to be assigned to courses they are skilled at and courses they want to teach.
This historic information also supports faculty when it comes time to report on their teaching loads during promotion and tenure review, or share that information with a conference or a publication. When accurate data is available immediately, that removes administrative burden from everyone’s shoulders.
Teaching Assignment Management System recently announced a major release with new features and improvements. Check out some highlights below!
- Seamless movement between academic periods
- View the workload of an instructor by simply navigating to an instructor and selecting the icon on the left-hand side of the profile
- Instructor can view their workload including a summary by term, teaching assignments, and administrative assignments
- Easily view instructor comments on teaching preferences
For more, please reach out to our experts!