DegreeWorks on Its Mark

by W K Yu
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The seven nominated programmes piloting the 4-year degree curriculum in 2010/11 are on board; so is DegreeWorks, also for these programmes. 

After eight months of preparation and hard work from The Academic Regulations and Records Office (ARRO), the Enterprise Solutions Office (ESU) and the Computing Services Centre (CSC), the system was launched on 23 December 2010 for preview by the programme leaders and the departments offering the seven programmes.  After the grades of Semester A had been recorded in the student database, the system was opened up on 7 January 2011 for students to view their progress of studies. 

DegreeWorks, the new web system for academic advising and degree audit for the 4-year degree curriculum, provides a user-friendly and comprehensive worksheet for students and their advisors to track degree progress, prepare for registration, and plan for graduation.  At its first stage of implementation, a worksheet summarizing the curriculum requirements for each student is made available to the student and his/her advisor(s).  The worksheet shows the course grades if applicable, and highlights the credit units attained and the units required for meeting the requirements for graduation. 

Feedbacks, comments and suggestions are being collected from students and staff on the clarity of curriculum requirements presented in the students’ advising worksheets and ease of understanding of information shown.  More functions will be implemented to facilitate academic advising and study planning in the coming months. 

Moving On

The second phase of implementation covers further 22 programmes which adopt the 4-year degree structure starting from 2011/12.  With experience gathered in using DegreeWorks to help the students of the 29 programmes to plan their studies and to provide a useful tool to faculty members for advising students on academic matters, it is expected that the system interface and information delivered through the software will be well prepared for the full implementation for all 4-year degree programmes, about 70 of them in total, in 2012/13.

DegreeWorks is also taking over the existing Curriculum, Advising and Program Planning (CAPP) module in Banner Student being in use for degree audit.  The latter has been considered inadequate to support communication between students, faculty members/advisors and administrators.  It does not provide web report that is easy to view, read and understand.  Hence students of all other programmes, including taught postgraduate, professional doctorate, research and associate degree programmes, will join the 4-year degree students to enjoy the more user-friendly, interactive and effective study planning and advising facilities that DegreeWorks offers.  Subject to the resources available and priority being given to the undergraduate programmes, it is planned that the implementation for these programmes will also be in 2012/13.