Registrar's Office implements new grade change process
A new grade change process has now been implemented by the OU Registrar’s Office, which has streamlined a former manual process to an online one that is more convenient and efficient.
Recommendations for this new process came from a student kaizen (process improvement) team from HRD 304: Lean Principles and Practices in Organizations, which consisted of Cassie Bell, Michelle Mich, Ed Yates and Donna Beauchamp, under the guidance of Mark Doman, special instructor in Human Resource Development.
The students identified how to dramatically reduce the amount of time and number of steps that it takes to change grades at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. A process, Bell said, that was streamlined from over 30 steps to six.
The Registrar’s Office worked with University Technology Services and Academic Affairs to create a web form to act as a poke-yoke (mistake proofing) for the process. With this poke-yoke, errors would be detected at the beginning of the process and wouldn't be able to go any further.
“Putting it online forces the accuracy because it’s pulling information from Banner,” said Associate Registrar Tricia Westergaard. Banner is a computer information system that contains information on courses, students, faculty, staff and alumni.
This online system also automatically generates an e-mail to the student and professor when the grade is changed. This new process will save the University an estimated $30,000 annually in paper and labor costs.
According to Registrar Steven Shablin, the new process will significantly reduce the amount of time for grade changes – especially for the faculty going through the process.
Before the new process was implemented, several faculty were invited to test it and offer their feedback. According to Shablin, the test faculty really liked the new process, and it was also met with a lot of support and positive responses when presented at a recent OU Senate meeting.
Tamara Machmut-Jhashi, OU associate professor in art history and former associate provost, was the project sponsor.
The Registrar’s Office was also asked to identify more Lean projects, and Shablin said that they definitely want to use Lean principles to improve other processes in their office.
Shablin added that it’s always good to take a look at the processes and identify how to improve them, not only to help the staff but ultimately to improve service for all constituencies.