5.20.4 Calendar

Background

Using electronic calendars as personal productivity tools can significantly increase the quality of personal time management and the availability of collaboration opportunities on campus for some users.

Since 2001, SCSU has provided personal electronic calendaring for all faculty, staff, and students through the Exchange server. Prior to 1999, departments and offices started to go in different directions to address their intra-office scheduling needs or their need to schedule resources such as meeting rooms. These different solutions did not address the broader need for inter-office, campus-wide scheduling of employees and other campus resources.

During the 1999/2000 Academic Year, a review and pilot exercise compared the major platforms for personal productivity software. The analysis showed that Microsoft Exchange fit best with the culture, campus needs, and technical infrastructure on campus. As a result, in 2001, the full Exchange platform was implemented at SCSU. This implementation delivered multiple personal productivity tools to all faculty, staff, and students. An electronic calendar, available anywhere, anytime, is an important component of this software suite.

Currently, Exchange's calendaring feature is inconsistently used on campus, and assessment of user needs — including training and support as well as kinds of scheduling needs (i.e. personal, meeting, classroom, and resource scheduling) would be useful.

Goals

In the next five years, personal productivity tools will continue to mature and, perhaps, deliver additional functionality. SCSU must continue to provide quality calendaring and scheduling tools to the broader campus community and to evaluate users' needs as well as the tools' effectiveness. To do so, we must

  • evaluate the utilization rate of HuskyNet calendaring
  • evaluate current faculty, staff, and administrative usage and determine issues relating to calendaring (including training and support)
  • analyze students' needs for calendaring
  • raise the level of technical support for and understanding of the tool
  • move calendaring into mainstream use by clarifying appropriate uses of the tool for different types of scheduling (meetings, classes, resources, etc.) and by promoting the anywhere/anytime availability of calendars

Specific Actions and Timeline

A committee, responsible for the goals of this section of the Technology Master Plan, will be formed and will use the following schedule rather than the standard timeline:

  • During Fall Semester 2003, a committee will gather data about current calendar usage and user needs. In addition, the committee will develop a communication plan to clearly inform non-users of calendaring benefits and opportunities.
  • Annually, add calendaring as an agenda item to one of the campus-wide technical support staff meetings so that technical support staff and college technologists have the latest information on calendaring and can carry the information to their clients.
  • During the 2003-2004 academic year, the Outlook/Exchange trainer(s) will add curriculum to address calendaring needs of faculty, staff, and administrators. This training will
    • include calendar sharing between work groups, synchronizing of calendars with other environments (such as PDAs), and other relevant leading-edge uses of calendaring information.
    • address other issues and needs uncovered during the committee's data collection.
  • During the 2003-2004 academic year, the committee will organize and execute a project focused on student use of calendaring. This project will
    • assess opportunities for students to use electronic calendaring in their personal lives and academic work.
    • explore the possibility of students downloading their schedules from ISRS to their personal calendars, using the calendar to schedule and manage student classroom group projects, and other innovative calendar uses identified by students.
  • By the start of the 2004-2005 academic year, the committee will develop an in-house certification program to ensure that student and staff technical support workers have specific knowledge regarding the calendar tool.

Resources

Resources include training, communication, and equipment.

  • The training group must plan for on-going curricula regarding electronic calendars and must allocate training resources to that area. Current training resources are probably adequate, but the committee’s research may uncover additional needs.
  • University Communication resources will be used to help raise campus awareness of calendaring opportunities and related training opportunities.
  • Hardware and software resources are currently included in the technology upgrade/replacement plan.
These resource needs will change over the five-year life of this plan and will be reviewed annually by the committee.

Evaluation

  • Has the committee determined the current calendaring usage at SCSU?
  • Has the committee evaluated user (faculty, staff, and administrative) needs and determined issues relating to calendaring (including training and support)?
  • Has the committee raised the level of technical support and understanding of the tool?
  • Has the committee moved calendaring into mainstream use by clarifying appropriate uses of the tool for different types of scheduling (meetings, classes, resources, etc.) and by promoting the anywhere/anytime availability of calendars?
  • Has the committee analyzed students’ calendaring needs?
  • Has the committee completed a final report?
  • Has the committee developed recommendations for the next technology planning cycle?

Revised: May 2003