Thursday, 26 March 2009

subject choice 2009

This week has been a busy week with waka ama taking a very front seat and my imminent departure from my current place of work. Which has left some things that have needed to be sorted out, first is e-asttle and the final reporting and testing from it, we have 37 students that still need to complete the 2 tests, this will be fired at them period 2 tomorrow so we have this. Instead of the two weeks testing it has turned into a mission of getting classes in, rescheduling issues to to many things happening inside and outside of school.

Which brings me to days' blog article, the subject choice system that was created last year. This has been something which has been put on the back burner for a while and made its reappearance. There was a brief one hour meeting on Wednesday which has brought up a number of questions.
Next term is the development of the curriculum guide where information is saught from departments on current plans and courses for the next year. With the new curriculum this is going to be interesting. But how are we going to hand out this information, do we carry on with the current system of multiple pieces of paper going back and forth, or provide an electronic solution which cuts down on paper and mis-communication.
  • Next is how we deliver the curriculum guide, do we do an electronic version or carry on with the paper version, can we cut down some of the information that is not required anymore. Do parents look at this and talk it over with the students. Talking to some today, they wonder why they are given the year 11 course information when they are moving into year 13.
  • The process, the process that we gave the students last year, we have 87 students not complete the option choice process, can we do better than that this year?
  • Option lines, last year we gave them the choice of developing there package, their course, and the idea was that the SMS would just be able to click a button and a timetable would be able to be produced, this didn't quite work out too well. There was only a 20% match and when the timetablers put in option lines from the previous years did things start to work to a 90% match. With a bit more tweaking they managed to get a 98% non clash timetable.
  • Custom timetables of the special needs unit and satellite unit as well as the ESOL department need to be taken into account. We have to pre load special needs and satellite unit students into this so they don't choose that extra subject or have a blank.
  • It would be interesting to hear from the deans that had to chase up students that had blanks and other erroneous data in there option choices. Talking to some of them, the process worked well, though we have talked about timetabling form classes into computer labs to help get these numbers down, but what about the students that do it at home, the idea was to enable parents to become involved in helping there kids choose a course and subjects that are suitable and not just what their friends are taking.
  • Involvement of key staff, so we have to have a meeting of key staff to talk about changes and development. What do they see as the issues that could be updated and changed.
  • One thing to do is to load all the Head of Departments into the system and enable access to change the curriculum details of their subjects, also need to be able to export all of these.
  • I still have all the old information of students in the system, so I flush this out and start fresh or do we show them what they have taken in the past two or three years so they can make an informed decision about here career path.
  • Uploading of students, this has to be more defined and clear this year, I don't want to be having to go through and doing a find and replace of date of births this year.
Here is a link to some of my development ideas, the others are sitting in my visual diary sorry.

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