Southampton University reduces time spent on curriculum administration by 70%

Implementing Worktribe Curriculum has allowed the University of Southampton to:

Streamline its curriculum development and validation process.

Open up more interactive collaboration across departments.

Ensure staff and academics manage data much more effectively and securely.

The situation

Like many UK universities, the University of Southampton had no central tool or platform to manage a complex curriculum of more than 800 programmes and over 3000 modules.

The combination of multiple users, across multiple professional service and academic teams, making multiple changes across multiple platforms, together with a lack of a systemised process for curriculum development and validation meant that curriculum development was often slow and cumbersome.

With an increasingly data-driven environment and recent changes in the regulatory environment, the absence of a consistent data management policy for curriculum management processes was an identified risk that needed addressing.

“There is often concern that a programme could be validated with limited research into the feasibility, the business or the finance case.”

“Having a rigorous curriculum design workflow that everyone had to follow, and one that enabled us to maintain a version controlled audit trail, was something that we needed.”
– Sara Dixon, Standards and Accreditation Officer, University of Southampton

The solution

In 2015, Worktribe won a tender to help the university transform curriculum management by offering a ‘single source of truth’, after a comprehensive implementation process, the platform went live.

The transformation

Both administrative and academic staff saw immediate benefits:

“Worktribe has probably cut 70% of the administrative preparation out of our curriculum: it has helped to removed duplication, made our curriculum more accessible, and we now have a robust record of all aspects of our curriculum approval process.”

“Quality control is key; having all our curriculum information in one place where it’s all self-contained. I like the way I can easily roll over data from any year without having to hunt for documents in file stores.” – Sara Dixon.

“What I particularly like is that if you’ve missed a bit or put in something that’s not acceptable, you get a warning. It’s enormously helpful in saving time.” – Academic staff member.

Hidden ‘wins’

Throughout the implementation phase, Worktribe worked closely with the university to design new workflows and processes to complement the programme approval processes:

“An unexpected ‘win’ was forcing us to get to grips with the structure of our programmes, our naming conventions and the way that we use prerequisites, co-requisite modules, as well as clarifying the way we provide information to students.”

“Another ‘win’ was finding the time to review validation and revalidation process, line by line, to review every piece of data we were collecting. Why were we collecting it? Did we really need it? Who is responsible for it?”

“Worktribe has fundamentally changed the way that we manage the creation of programmes. I wouldn’t like to be a university without a curriculum management system.”
– Sara Dixon


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