“CourseLoop’s experience supporting organizations with the size and complexity of UCLA has meant they have been able to guide us through the implementation process allowing us to overhaul our entire catalog system and approach. It’s been wonderful to work with an organization that understands what we do and just gets it.”
UCLA is one of the world’s most iconic universities and one of the largest campuses in the University of California system. Offering more than 14,000 courses across 109 academic departments and nearly 150 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, UCLA is the most applied-to university in the US. For just the 2020 fall semester alone, the university received more than 130,000 applications from potential students. UCLA is also a major contributor to research and technology, with the valuation of startups built from UCLA’s technology innovations since 2000 totaling $33 billion across more than 140 new companies.
Despite its scale, to date, UCLA has managed its complex curriculum, catalog and other critical student information resources via homegrown systems and manually intensive processes. This situation was rapidly becoming unsustainable. UCLA recognized the need for radical improvements in its curriculum data management and catalog publishing capabilities as being key to maintaining its competitive strengths and commitment to student experience and success.
UCLA went to market for a complete curriculum management solution, seeking a partner and technology that could enable efficient management of its course and curriculum data as well as transform the process of publishing the annual catalog leveraging modern technology and true platform capabilities. Critical requirements for UCLA included:
- The need for a single campus solution accessible by all academic departments and units
- A definitive source of truth for curriculum information based on evolving academic regulations
- Powerful integration capability to existing systems
- A contemporary and accessible catalog offering a world leading student user experience
Royce Hall, UCLA Campus (image credit – Katz Gohsend from Pixabay)
Alignment between the problem and solution
The team at UCLA was initially skeptical that a single vendor solution existed in the market, and according to Associate Registrar Claire McCluskey, coordinator of the UCLA selection process, said they were thoroughly impressed when they saw CourseLoop. The problems faced may have appeared unique to UCLA’s operating model, but the CourseLoop Platform has been purposefully built for universities experiencing these very same challenges on a similar scale, with flexibility to enable base functionality that can be tailored through extensive configuration options which meet specific needs.
Strength of the technical capability
The CourseLoop Platform provides true end-to-end curriculum management capability which integrates input, update and refinement of data to directly publish the catalog once campus-defined criteria are met. The modular approach also provides a straightforward pathway for extending this capability through adding additional modules for the required functions (e.g. Governance, Review, Marketing).
“In our search for a curriculum management partner, two groups emerged: vendors with limited functionality and an outdated user experience and another group promoting broader capabilities that included a modern, mobile-first user experience. We wanted a complete and robust solution that we could also benefit from immediately, not the promise of future functionality. CourseLoop was uniquely impressive.”
Deep domain expertise
Not only did CourseLoop offer all the functionality UCLA was looking for, but the team’s deep domain experience and its expertise in implementing end-to-end curriculum management and publishing solutions for large and complex universities made CourseLoop the obvious choice.
Given UCLA’s desire to transform the catalog publishing process, the team will implement two CourseLoop modules to form the foundation for adding additional capabilities.
CourseLoop Curriculum Data Management is delivering the definitive source of truth for curriculum information, and the capability to integrate to the existing UCLA systems architecture. The configurability of the platform means that data requirements can be tailored to meet UCLA’s needs which will reduce manual data entry requirements and provide the project team with an intuitive user interface.
CourseLoop Curriculum Publisher is delivering the capability required to build and deliver a modern catalog for UCLA and to give students a modern experience. Drawing on the data structured and stored in Curriculum Data Management, CourseLoop supports automated publication of curriculum information to the display layer, fully integrated with the ability to build and organize other catalog pages. Built from the ground up using a fully mobile responsive design means students will get the best experience possible no matter how they interact with the catalog.
Once UCLA has delivered a better catalog and optimized both the student and university administrative experience in managing curriculum and approving courses quicker, the team plans to implement CourseLoop Curriculum Governance to automate and digitize the workflow across the entire curriculum lifecycle and approval process. This extension in capability will provide UCLA with a robust and repeatable governance process with complete clarity of workflow status and approval points, demonstrated compliance with University governance and approval policies as well as reduced administrative burden on faculty and academic staff. CourseLoop’s platform approach means this will be a straightforward extension to their existing system, leveraging the same data repository and integration capability.
- A completely new catalog providing a modern user experience with a mobile responsive design that supports the automated publishing of data online in real time
- A definitive, single source of truth for curriculum data providing streamlined data management, direct integration to the catalog, improved data quality and reduced administrative burden on faculty and academic staff
- An extensible curriculum management system which can be enhanced when needed by UCLA through addition of other CourseLoop modules
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