myTimetable Review of performance - Semester 1, 2018

News details

Shana Schultz

Last Edit

myTimetable Review of performance - Semester 1, 2018

Review of performance
Semester One – 2018

In semester one, you might have noticed that a new timetabling system was initiated. This was introduced in consultation with RMIT University Student Union (RUSU).

Student feedback was central to RUSU supporting this new approach. RUSU listened to the views and concerns of students and reflected them during discussions of improvement. With over 70,000 students, RUSU was determined to develop something that provided equal opportunity for all students to receive their preferred timetable, including international students and postgrads.

With semester 1 come and gone, RUSU has received all sorts of feedback about the switch. Almost 90% of Higher Education students received first, second or third preferences in Semester One, which was a really great outcome compared to the previous model. While many suggestions about the new system have already been addressed, we are still working on frustrations such as gaps between classes.

We will continue to discuss those concerns with the University. Keep in mind that this is a system that timetables for over 70,000 students across 939 venues over three campuses, studying 5,656 courses, and that accommodations need to be made to help limit travel times and optimise study periods.

So how did it perform?

We’ve received the following data and feedback from Semester 1. Here are some of the key statistics:

  • On preference allocations, 88.8% of all VE and HE students received either their first, second or third preferences.
  • 1st preference allocations for all VE and HE students totalled 66.5%; 2nd preference 15.6%; 3rd preference 6.7%.
  • A total of 9273 enquiries were made about the new system, but an overwhelming majority of these (70%) were general questions about how to use the system.
  • Enquiries about change requests (classes full, enrolment issues, class availability, etc) for the HE cohort, for example, fell from 39% in 2017 to 30% in 2018.

The new system brought a range features that made the system more convenient to use:

  • Timetabling was available two days earlier in 2018 compared to 2017.
  • The new system was optimised for access via mobile phone, improving accessibility for student users;
  • Upgraded IT infrastructure ensured minimal server lag at busy times;
  • The system allows staff to make changes to class availability as students choose their classes (e.g. staff can move unpopular classes to more popular times)
  • myTimetable was refreshed hourly, which allowed students to begin timetabling just 60 minutes after completing their enrolment.
  • Boosts to the stability of the platform
  • Simplified for students with disabilities or mental health concerns
  • Enhancing access for international students, students travelling, those with shift work, and all other students who faced challenges in regard to time and internet access.

Nevertheless, work on the myTimetable system continues! A range of new features will be available for Semester One 2019. Those features are expected to include:

  • capability to deallocate from classes/lectures;
  • ability to swap classes with other students in a like-for-like capacity;
  • ability to select an online class delivery option (ie, watch it online);
  • greater flexibility for Schools to manage teaching resources and reduce timetable changes.

Ensuring a timetabling system that is fair, easy to use and transparent remains a high priority for both RUSU and RMIT. We will work hard to continue to improve this critical part of the student experience.

Now that the new system is entering its second semester, RUSU will run a survey to give you a chance to provide feedback for future semesters. This will be sent after timetabling has finished for Semester Two. If you have anything at all to say, please do! It will help us to reflect the student body more accurately and cohesively.

If you have any questions, qualms or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

July 2018