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Background to the Model. The Workload Balancing Model: Feedback and Review. Aims of the Approach (May 1999). Equity in workloads Not absolute workload Provide data for TRAC Important, but not the core purpose Acceptable spread of workloads amongst academic staff

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aims of the approach may 1999
Aims of the Approach (May 1999)
  • Equity in workloads
    • Not absolute workload
  • Provide data for TRAC
    • Important, but not the core purpose
  • Acceptable spread of workloads amongst academic staff
    • initially within each school
    • ultimately across the whole University
  • Targets of acceptable variation:
    • School: 10% variation  5% variation
    • Faculty: 15% variation  10% variation
issues addressed
Issues Addressed
  • Purpose, Policy, Model (tool), Norms, Process
  • Units of workload
    • Not directly time (though there is a relationship)
  • Research
    • Pounds (projects), Papers, Postgrads and Presence
  • Teaching
    • Many models were looked at.
  • “Normal Workload”
    • determined by reference to the mean workload across the faculty
  • Commercial & other work (AE)
    • Handled as individual activities outside normal workload
basic structure of the model

Staff

George

Nichola

Edgar

Mary

Alice

Fred

18

Activities

“Effort”

. . .

. . .

13

13

Course tutor

. . .

. . .

Module 1.2 - Knitting

14

9

5

. . .

. . .

Basic Structure of the Model

(nicknamed: “Wammie”)

Single “currency” for all activities

research allocation
Research Allocation

Appraisal

Research Plans

Research Targets

Workload Allocation

Research Outputs

Year

N-1

Appraisal

Research Plans

Research Targets

Workload Allocation

Research Outputs

Year

N

All defined in terms of 4Ps: Projects, Papers, PhDs, Presence

Allocations assessed by Research Institutes

Expressed as % of workload. 50% Maximum

discussions focus on teaching
... Discussions, Focus on Teaching
  • Contact hours V credits & student numbers
    • Traditions (Religion?)
    • Encourage efficiency and effectiveness
  • Teaching weighted by level?
    • “Final year should be worth more!”
    • “First year should be worth more!”
  • Formulaic approaches
    • Balance (Modules, Credits & Student Numbers)
    • Linear or non-linear variation
    • Variability: Some topics more intense than others
credits student numbers
Credits & Student Numbers
  • First approximation to module workloads.
  • Quantifiable variables identified:
    • Credits (C), Student Numbers (N)
  • Workload = W0 + WC*C + WN*N + WCN*C*N
    • To first order. (Linear variation assumed)
  • Assumption (reasonable approximation):
    • double Credits  double Workload
    • Implies: W0 = WN = 0
  • Formula adopted: (Initial) Workload = WC*C + WCN*C*N
credit student based calculation

40 Credits

0

20 Credits

20

40

60

80

100

10 Credits

120

140

160

180

Student Numbers

Credit & Student Based Calculation
but leave room for common sense

Student

Number

Initial

Figure

Adjustment

Actual

Figure

Credits

Explicitly stated academic grounds.

… but leave room for common sense
  • Calculation gives initial estimate only
  • Some factors not easily quantifiable
estimating actual numbers
Estimating Actual Numbers
  • Many trial calculations done.
    • 1700 hour year assumed.
    • Various teaching styles looked at.
    • Estimates from all schools (est. hours worked):
teaching norms calculated
Teaching “Norms” Calculated
  • “Standard Lecture Course”
    • Credits factor ~ 0.4 to 0.7 (mean: 0.6)
    • Students factor ~ 0.002 to 0.008 (mean: 0.006)
  • “Intensive Lecture Course”
    • Credits factor ~ 0.2 to 0.65 (mean: 0.5)
    • Students factor ~ 0.005 to 0.017 (mean: 0.013)
  • Other areas looked at:
    • Dissertations
    • Labs and team projects
    • Some management roles
how prescriptive
How Prescriptive?
  • Even roles with the same name are different in different Schools.
  • Different demands of subject areas
    • Between Schools; Within Schools
  • Different development priorities
    • Research-active / less research active, etc
  • Schools have a high degree of freedom within the common model
    • (Everything in spreadsheet configurable.)
  • Other forces may bring balance in Faculty/University. (See next slide).
forces affecting workload units

ActivityCosts

Quality

Procedures

Tendency to drive down(or activity is not viable).

Quality of provision matters

WorkloadPressures

Tendency to inflate

Forces affecting workload units

Workload Units

Activity

Quality

background summary

Staff

George

Nichola

Edgar

Mary

Alice

Fred

18

Activities

“Effort”

. . .

. . .

13

13

Course tutor

. . .

. . .

Module 1.2 - Knitting

14

9

5

. . .

. . .

Background - Summary
  • Distribute and sumapproach
  • Teaching: Standard forfirst approximations
  • Discretion by Head of School over all parameters (subject to financial viability)
  • Interim approaches for research (i.e. research ratings) and commercial activities.
    • Replaced by four Ps
  • Mechanisms in place for activity costing& TR
    • But main emphasis on workload balancing
it system design principles
IT System Design Principles
  • Based on model presented earlier
    • (and informed the development of that model)
  • Structured primarily to support School operations
    • Additional structure to support summary/review
  • Support local variations within model
  • Support University-wide analysis & coordination
    • Including inter-school activities
    • Support for mapping data into TRAC
  • Central database subordinate to School spreadsheets
    • The School spreadsheet is the master document.
    • Central database provides linking, reports & backup
activity summary table
Activity Summary Table

Mapped into TRAC return headings

module workload coefficients
Module Workload Coefficients
  • Define up to 3 sets of coefficients to approximate different learning/teaching methods
  • Coefficients set by the School
    • Flexibility (subject to viability)

(Initial) Workload = WC*C + WCN*C*N

tools building a spreadsheet

Add a newheading

Add activities with calculated initial workload (3 coeff sets)

Change method of a teaching activity

Activity with a fixed workload

Activity with a % workload

Activity provided to another school

Add a new column

Delete a row

Delete a column

Tools: Building a Spreadsheet
tools using a spreadsheet

Calculate new standard workload

Set or clear the activity leader

Show or hide columns

Allocate all or part of the current activity (inserts a formula)

Tools: Using a Spreadsheet
integration

Database

Faculty1

School1

School2

School4

Faculty2

School3

Integration

Inter-School Information

Workload Information

tools database operations

Rebuild spreadsheet from the data in the database.

Exchange data with the central database

Link (unlink) an external activity in this spreadsheet to (from) an activity in another school/unit.

Tools: Database Operations

Specify the school/unit and year to which this spreadsheet relates.

(New sheet.)

Must be on the University network to do these.

reports

Database

Reports
  • Individual staff workload profiles
  • Inter-school activities
  • Status report
  • Staff workloads summary
  • Workload allocations by activity
  • List of activities
  • More can be added later
workloads chart
Workloads Chart

±5% about standard workload