HEEDS Training Proposal

Workshop Title

Enrollment Planning in Higher Education Institutions Using Open Source Software

Presenter

Ricolindo L. Cariño, Ph.D. (Computer Science)
E-mail: Ricolindo.Carino@AcademicForecasts.com

Abstract

This workshop introduces participants to a computational framework for enrollment planning in higher education institutions (HEIs). This framework is designed to reduce the time and effort expended by students, faculty advisers, and other HEI staff involved in the enrollment process. The framework is implemented in software to automate the following activities: student advising, forecasting the demand for subjects (needs analysis), and pre-enlistment of students into classes. The software is freely available under an Open Source license, and runs on ordinary standalone personal laptop or desktop computers. Workshop participants will learn how to install the software and use it for the following enrollment-related activities: analyze the records students and recommend subjects; forecast the demand for subjects; prepare a conflict-free Schedule of Classes; pre-enlist students into classes; generate classlists and teaching load forms; and, enter grades.

Intended audience

This workshop is intended for decision-makers who are involved in planning the enrollment of students in a higher education institution (HEI). Most likely, these decision-makers belong either to the academic affairs hierarchy or the information technology office. The following (or their representatives) are encouraged to attend:

  1. Vice-president for academic affairs – as chief academic officer
  2. Registrar – as custodian of official student records
  3. Head of the information technology office – as chief of computing services
  4. Head of the college/school/department of Computer Science/Information Technology – as representative of the computing discipline in the HEI
  5. Deans and/or department chairs – those who decide or prepare the schedule of classes
  6. Representatives of student record evaluators and/or faculty advisers – those who make decisions on students’ programs of study

Workshop objectives

  1. A participant understands that computational modeling and simulation can provide insights to manage the enrollment process in an HEI.
  2. A participant understands that it is feasible to automate the evaluation of the record of each student.
  3. A participant understands that it is feasible automate the assignment of students to sections.
  4. A participant is convinced that the software presented will provide better projections of subject demand (needs analysis) and will improve enrollment services to the students.
  5. A participant is convinced that the software presented will add functionality to, and will not interfere with the existing academic information system in his/her institution.
  6. A participant is able to install and utilize the software on a personal computer.

Presenter Background/Biography

Dr. Ricolindo L. Cariño grew up in Ballesteros, Cagayan. He graduated from the Philippine Science High School Diliman in 1980, completed B.Sc. Applied Mathematics cum laude, in three years under an accelerated program, at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) in 1983. He joined the UPLB faculty as an instructor in mathematics after graduation. He was awarded a fellowship in 1987 to study in Australia, and he obtained the Ph.D. Computer Science degree from La Trobe University, Melbourne in 1993. Returning to UPLB, he was appointed head of the mathematics faculty. He was awarded a DOST fellowship in 1994 to undertake postdoctoral studies at the Mississippi State University-National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Computational Field Simulations. Returning to UPLB in 1995, he served as head of Academic Programs of the Institute of Computer Science. He developed the first version of the enrollment planning for UPLB from 1997 to 2001. Taking a sabbatical leave from UPLB in 2001, he accepted a visiting researcher position at the MSU-Center for Computational Sciences (MSU-CCS). Separating from UPLB in 2002, he joined MSU-CCS as full-time research faculty. He later transferred to the MSU-Center of Advanced Vehicular Systems (MSU-CAVS). His research interests include transforming serial scientific applications that are computationally-intensive, into parallel computing applications that will execute with the highest possible performance on parallel systems, usually Linux clusters. Typically, this transformation requires the integration of dynamic load balancing; hence, he is also interested in discovering new dynamic load balancing algorithms, and in implementing such algorithms as parallel software tools.

In 2010, Dr. Cariño was engaged by the Department of Science and Technology as a short-term expert under the BalikScientist Program. He updated the enrollment planning software in UPLB and gave presentations about it at other HEIs. Based on requests of administrators during these visits to HEIs, Dr. Cariño resolved to assist any interested HEI to acquire their own version of the software.

In 2012, Dr. Cariño returned to MSU-CAVS as part-time associate research professor. He reimplemented the software for enrollment planning and released it as HEEDS (Higher Education Enrollment Decision Support) under an Open Source license to benefit HEIs in the Philippines. The software presently resides at https://github.com/rlcarino/heeds.

Tentative Agenda

Each session includes a "Question and Answer" portion. A session takes one hour.

Lecture 1: A computational model for enrollment planning

  1. Motivation
    1. Difficulties encountered during enrollment period
    2. Inaccurate forecasts of subject demand
  2. A simulation approach to enrollment planning
    1. A mathematical model for a student selecting subjects: the curricular program as a network
    2. Probabilistic demand for subjects: incorporating historical failure rates
    3. A computational model for enrollment: assignment of seats to students by the HEI administration, instead of competition for seats by students
  3. A process for semi-automated enrollment planning
  4. Benefits to the HEI
    1. Department chairs: reduced guesswork when preparing the schedule of classes
    2. Deans/VPAA: quantitative insight for allocation of resources among departments
    3. Students: improved enrollment experience

Lecture 2: Algorithms for enrollment planning

  1. Automated advising
    1. A curricular program as a simplified network
    2. Calculating the maximum unit loads
    3. Prioritizing the remaining subjects
  2. Calculating the probabilistic demand for subjects
  3. Automated pre-enlistment of students into sections
    1. Prioritizing the subjects
    2. Prioritizing the students needing a subject
    3. Prioritizing the feasible sections of a subject for a student

Software demo 1: Build and deploy the HEEDS program

  1. Download the installers
  2. Configure the build PC
  3. Checkout the source codes
  4. Build the executable
  5. Establish the data files
  6. Test the executable
  7. Deploy HEEDS to another PC

Software demo 2: Preparing a conflict-free Schedule of Classes

  1. Creating blocked sections and 'free-for-all' sections
  2. Adding/Deleting/Editing subjects in a block
  3. Adding/Deleting/Editing 'free-for-all' sections
  4. Finding rooms in other departments
  5. Finding teachers from other departments
  6. Assigning loads from other departments
  7. Team teaching
  8. Synchronization of room use and faculty teaching assignments

Software demo 3: Student advising and Needs analysis

  1. Generating the individual Copy of Grades for each student
  2. What to do with EXTRA SUBJECTS?
  3. Shifting to another curriculum
  4. Crediting subjects from other institutions
  5. What about missing grades?
  6. Adding/Deleting/Editing the recommended subjects
  7. Generating the demand for subjects (Needs analysis)

Software demo 4: Pre-enlisting students into classes

  1. Generating the initial class schedules of students (Automated pre-enlistment)
  2. Who are the students that did not get full loads?
  3. Which subjects need additional sections?
  4. Which sections can be closed?
  5. Add/delete classes of a student
  6. Viewing classlists
  7. Entering grades

Materials provided

Participants receive PDF files of the presentation slides. Participants can download the software for enrollment planning from http://code.google.com/p/heeds/.

Audio/Visual and Computer requirements

A digital projector is required by the workshop presenter. A desktop PC and a wireless router are also needed to demonstrate the multi-user mode of execution of the enrollment planning software.

Space and Enrollment restrictions

The workshop can be organized for up to (WORKSHOP ORGANIZER DETERMINES THIS NUMBER) different HEIs at a time. A participating HEI may send up to (WORKSHOP ORGANIZER DETERMINES THIS NUMBER) representatives to the workshop.

The first two lectures may be attended by seniors and graduate students from the computing discipline in the host HEI.

Other critical information

The workshop organizer arranges travel and accommodation for the presenter. The presenter must be on-site the day prior to the workshop.

At least one representative from a participating HEI must bring a laptop to be able to view the electronic copies of the materials and to run the enrollment planning software.

One representative from a participating HEI must bring an electronic or a hard copy of the document containing the academic information in the institution (i.e., the University Catalog/ Bulletin/ Handbook, which lists the colleges, departments, subjects, degree programs, teachers, etc.).

One representative from a participating HEI must be prepared for a short presentation (10-15 minutes) regarding:

  1. Who decides the number sections to open in each subject, and how is the number decided
  2. Enroll procedure for students
  3. Difficulties encountered (by students, faculty, administrators) during enrollment
  4. Overview of the academic information system (if any) in the HEI