Modernized software eases course planning, storage

By Luis Lopez, Staff Writer

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The Contra Costa Community College District hopes to implement standardized planning software for program review, catalog entries, Student Learning Outcomes, curriculum development and the storage of all of this digitized paperwork on all three of its campuses as soon as fall 2019.

The process of creating the new software is already underway and since the contract for producing the program is still ongoing, the cost to the district is unknown.

“We are hoping that with the new software we can link everything together in one program and maybe have it ready at Contra Costa College as soon as fall 2019,” Academic Senate President Beth Goehring said. “The process of transferring data from the old software to the new software may take anywhere from three to six months.”

As it stands, if professors make changes to a college course, they must navigate through different levels of approval. The first layer is the head of their instructional department to ensure the course still meets guidelines the department has set for the curriculum. Then those changes must be uploaded onto a digital platform for editing and storage.

According to Goehring, CCC uses three different types of software to accomplish this while Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill uses two and Los Medanos College in Pittsburg still does everything on paper.

The colleges are stuck in the Stone Age and are hoping the new software can streamline these processes for everyone.

Accompanying the purchase of new software is the task of re-learning a new process and putting in hours of training. The software update brings up an important question from faculty who were just getting the hang of the current software — how and when will the training occur?

“If we can save 10 hours per semester on training, that can add up hundreds of hours for teachers and faculty,” speech professor Randy Carver said.

Educators are hoping that training for the new software can be streamlined as well. As of now, professors have to take time outside of classroom hours to attend training classes for the current software.

Students also see the benefit of upgrading to a more modernized system, even if that process does not affect their daily educational paths.

Undecided major Yada Sitiprawet said, “I think it’s good that they (district administrators) are updating their software. It shows the district is interested in keeping the colleges up-to-date and wants to bring them into the new millennium. I think it’s crazy that there’s a college still doing everything by paper, so it is definitely long overdue.”