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One of the inevitable truths of university life is that each semester, there will be end-of-term grades that don’t align with student or faculty expectations and they will need to be changed. At University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS), the process to change grades was manual and cumbersome. In partnership with UIS, Krista Farmer, Senior Campus Solutions Specialist in the Office of the Registrar, partnered with UIS’s Rana Silver, CU-SIS Student Records Application Manager, Soumya Suresh, Student Records Technical Lead and Brad Baker, Assistant Director Student System Development, to change that. The result was a seamless and real-time workflow process that eliminates manual grade changes and significantly improves efficiency.
Before the new process, a grade change request was initiated by an instructor/faculty member or other academic authority using a paper form. The signed form was then routed to the Dean’s office for final approval and the approved form was then updated in the student’s record in Campus Solutions by the Office of the Registrar. As you might guess, there were many places within this process where the paper form could be delayed during routing. This was a problem for students, faculty and staff, especially when the loss resulted in late grade changes for campuses without a late grade change policy.
With the new process piloted by UCCS, faculty log into their faculty self-service portal and enter the grade change into Campus Solutions Student Records. UIS developed a Campus Solutions integration with PeopleSoft Portal Forms and Approvals Builder to generate a workflow that goes directly to the appropriate Dean’s office for that course. The Dean’s office then logs in and approves or denies the grade change electronically, generating a notification to the faculty member and campus registrar’s office. This ultimately results in an electronic grade change on the student’s record and electronic communication with the student. There are no more paper forms to get lost with this easy, efficient process. The UCCS pilot was so successful, the workflow process is planned to roll out to all CU campuses.
“We’ve had a very enthusiastic response from instructors,” says Farmer. “We’ve needed this automation for a long time and it has really helped with instructor workload. Feedback has been very positive.”
The new workflow laid the foundation for future improvements in faculty interactions with student records in Campus Solutions. When Campus Solutions upgrades to Version 9.2, faculty will be able to process grade changes via the portal directly without the integrated customization through Forms and Approvals Builder.