Today was timetabling day. We’ve made our wish lists, checked them twice, chucked them at the overworked secretary to accomodate and at noon we looked at the results. Not too shabby.
This is the first time we did a cooperative timetabling effort. Previously, the timetable had been magically constructed by the chair and secretary (or, in reality, the secretary and the chair). This time those two still did the majority of the work but all faculty came together and reviewed the results. And made changes that might make a big difference.
Some of the changes were minor — swapping class slots for a term between two profs so that majors can take required courses in the same timeslot, fall and winter. Other, potential changes, are bigger — we’re talking about downgrading the senior seminar requirements from five full course equivalent to four so that students can have greater flexibility in their course selection and we can relieve the near constant pressure on senior seminar enrollments.
And for my part? I’m thrilled that I avoided the timeslot I wanted to avoid, I get my MWF timeslot back for the second year classes that I found work really well in three fifty minute class meetings. The set-up’s a bit wacky — four courses first term, two courses second term. But no new preps! The evening seminar I could do without (third year running I’ll be teaching at night). Still, on the balance, it’s a pretty good timetable.
And we created it cooperatively, so that should minimize the grumbling.