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University of Westminster embraces smartphone revolution with Advanced’s CMISGo

by david.nunes

University of Westminster embraces smartphone revolution with Advanced’s CMISGo

Students will be able to access the University’s timetable and book rooms via smartphones before start of new academic year

15 September 2014 – The University of Westminster (UoW) is embracing the smartphone revolution by allowing students and staff access to the academic timetable for 2014/15 via their mobile devices. Using CMISGo from Advanced Learning (Advanced), the timetable was be made available to 27,000 students and more than 4,000 staff via their smartphones in August.

This is the earliest ever publication of the UoW’s academic timetable. It is also the first time UoW has published this information via mobile devices.

Access to timetables in this way will significantly improve students’ lives by enabling them to organise themselves long ahead of their academic commitments and deadlines. Students and academic staff will also be able to share diaries and course information via their smartphones, enhancing their ability to collaborate.

In addition, a self-service room booking facility which allows students and staff to reserve teaching and study space across the university’s estate via their smartphones (using CMISGo) will be introduced in September 2014, further enhancing students’ learning experiences. This follows a successful pilot by UoW’s corporate services department which began June 2014. The pilot resulted in 2,367 individual room bookings being made by 211 different users (an average of 70 per day).

No other educational institution appears to be using smartphones in as revolutionary a way as UoW. 

Professor Rikki Morgan-Tamosunas, Deputy Vice-chancellor, University of Westminster, comments, “CMISGo will be key to improving the management of resources across our four campuses, each of which accommodates  innovative social learning spaces as well as lecture theatres and seminar rooms, alongside laboratories, studios and corporate accommodation.”

“The capabilities of the new timetabling system are very exciting and I was impressed at how very easy it is to use. This is a positive change for students and staff and it is great to have such a powerful and intuitive tool at our disposal. Our students need to be ever more organised in today’s world and we believe the solution will be a great asset.”

The academic timetable for 2014/15 has been produced by UoW’s six-strong timetabling team using Advanced’s CMIS timetabling and resource management solution. By linking the CMIS solution with Advanced’s CMISGo mobile application, staff and students have instant access to timetable information and updates via a range of internet-enabled smartphones including iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and Blackberry.

CMIS has been used to schedule more than 8,000 separate teaching events for the forthcoming academic year and has replaced manually-intensive processes including a reliance on spreadsheets. More than 104,000 pieces of data have been entered into the CMIS system since the timetabling team began using it seven months ago and it is being used to automate the timetabling of 1,400 courses and more than 11,000 course structure variations.

Professor Rikki Morgan-Tamosunas says: “The solution will also improve our ability to coordinate the conference and seminar space we lease to our commercial partners, helping us improve customer service levels.  We believe this will be central to maximising the revenue generation potential of the University’s portfolio of resources.”

Martin Stevens, Timetabling Project Manager, University of Westminster says:

“As a direct consequence of using CMIS and CMISGo, the timetabling team have been able to prepare the timetable for the entire academic year in advance and in a fraction of the time it is has previously taken. This is a great achievement.”

Modelling functionality in CMIS is also proving invaluable for determining whether relocating UoW’s resources would be practical.

“Without CMIS this study would have taken many man hours to complete. By using the system we were able to complete the assessment quickly and demonstrate that the department could be accommodated on the Cavendish campus with comparatively minor rescheduling of teaching events, enabling the Estates Department to make an earlier start to building work.” concludes Stevens.

Advanced Learning forms part of Advanced Business Solutions, an Advanced Computer Software Group company.

About The University of Westminster

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and continues to invest in new developments, research projects and new ideas, particularly in the fields of politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences.

Offering highly attractive practice-based courses which are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition, the University has a distinguished 175-year history and its position in the city of London helps build close connections with leading figures and organisations in the worlds of business, information technology and law.

About Advanced Learning www.progressomis.com

Advanced Learning provides innovative technology solutions to more than 2,000 educational institutions throughout the UK and across the world. The company is strongly committed to sustained investment in the education market, continuously developing its product portfolio to meet the changing needs of schools and academies. Advanced Learning is also focused on delivering facilities management solutions to the local government and enterprise sectors.

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