As we are looking for means to become more efficient can we copy the Oxford method of calculating TAS – currently academics are being asked to fill this in 6 times a year at Staffordshire University, Oxford manages it by just collecting the data once.
The Oxford academic activity survey (AAS) gathers data on the different activities undertaken by the university’s 1 700 academics. Each week around 35 academics are selected at random and are asked to fill in a sheet, which details how many hours they have spent on teaching, research and other activities. Every academic is asked to fill in the survey once per academic year (during the 52 weeks between October and September).
Our TAS system was implemented in line with the TRAC guidance at the time. Whilst specific guidance required a minimum of three schedules to be completed in a one year period, response rates below 100% required statistical sign off. It was agreed the collection of six rather than three schedules per year would ensure our data sample met statistical verification requirements. Over the last couple of years the requirements of TAS have been reduced and the option to adopt Work Load Planning models (if these are TRAC compliant). Unfortunately we do not have an alternative model that meets the criteria at this time.
Oxford do complete one TAS return per year, however this is a five page document that is considerable more complex than ours with the implication that the time differential between returns is negligible.
The TAS system is however a process that has been unchanged for a number of years and given recent changes to TRAC guidance could be reviewed. This is an in house system and given the current student system implementation priorities it is unlikely to be a priority at this time.