Organize Professional Development Opportunities in a Streamlined System

Universities often need to make professional development opportunities accessible to faculty and staff. It’s a common need, but there’s not a common solution — at least, not one that’s streamlined, efficient, and user-friendly. Here’s how a university can use Teamup to manage and share these opportunities with delegation and automatic updates.

Problems with ad-hoc scheduling

All the professional development opportunities for faculty and staff need to be tracked and communicated. Without a single, university-wide scheduling system, administrators usually end up with ad-hoc methods. Often, those methods create inefficiency and a greater administrative load.

Inconsistent communication

For example, some universities depend on email. Each department might send out opportunities separately, on a scheduling basis that they prefer. So Department A might send a monthly email, Department B might send a quarterly list, and Department C might email every time a new event is scheduled. For faculty and staff, it’s inconsistent and requires review of multiple emails to see all opportunities. 

Administrative load

Some universities might use a digital message board, a monthly spreadsheet, an ad-hoc newsletter, or an internal webpage to bring all the development events together. However, these solutions are all very limited, and require that someone add new events and keep all the events updated. If a staff member ends up with the responsibility of coordinating all these opportunities, they have to chase down details from many individuals scattered across departments. Then, if something changes (such as the event location or time), somehow they’ve got to distribute the updated information as well. Without a way to easily collect, share, and update these opportunities, it becomes a big unwieldy job.

A streamlined and user-friendly scheduling system

With Teamup, you can create a streamlined scheduling system for managing all professional development opportunities in one place. Each group or department can still share and update their own events, but on a single calendar that all faculty and staff can access.

A month calendar view with sub-calendars representing different departments and entities who contribute events to the professional development scheduling calendar.

Easily enable delegation

The goal of a scheduling system is to reduce administrative load, not add to it. So we want to avoid setting up a system that’s only usable by a couple of administrators. With Teamup, you can provide a customized calendar access for each department via shareable link. This access allows each department to add events to their own sub-calendar, only. They can update those events as needed. And they can view, but not change, the events created by other departments. When each department can create and update their own events, administrators don’t have to chase down event details or make manual updates if the event information changes. 

Delegation within departments

Each department can choose how they want to delegate adding their own professional development opportunities.Department A might have one or two designated staff members who have calendar access. Other department members would send those staff members the information to have an event added to the calendar. Department B might allow anyone in the department to add their own events to the calendar. They could make the department calendar link available to all department members. Or, they could ask for individual calendar links (one for each department member) in order to track who adds what to the calendar. 

Keep information in context

All the information for any professional development opportunity can be included right on the event. On each event, there are three places to upload files. There’s plenty of room in the Description field for event information. Plus, you can include a mapped location, a clickable link for Zoom sessions, inline images, and so on. 

A mobile view showing the list of calendar events and the event details for a professional development opportunity, including event topic, event link, event type, signup, and an attachment.

It’s helpful to keep all the information in one place, in context, and accessible to anyone who’s interested. It’s easy for participants to find, and eliminates the need for event organizers to send extra email or find some other way to distribute materials. Plus, it’s easy to update any of the information. If an event organizer changes the content of a handout, for example, they can remove the out-dated file from the event and attach the new one. Then, the organizer can leave a comment on the event (or add a note to the event description) to let participants know they should download the updated handout. 

Categorize and filter events

The professional development calendar is shown in Table view and the filters are used to sort events and see only those matching criteria for "Seminar" as event type and "Career + Tenure" as event topic.

Use custom fields to categorize each event in a consistent way. For example, a custom choice field could have options for the event topic. If a field is required, no one could add an event to the calendar without choosing the appropriate category. This is a small step, easy to set up, which makes it possible for faculty and staff to filter for events by topic. Plus, departments can track how many events in various topics they are providing. Administrators can look at events across all departments to make sure there are adequate opportunities in each topic.Custom fields can also designate event type (lecture, seminar, workshop, etc.) and location (virtual with a link to the session, or in-person with a mapped address). 

An event preview showing a quick look at the event details. The preview appears when you hover over an event on the calendar.

Get participant signups

For any opportunities with limited space, event organizers can use the built-in signup feature. The signups can have a maximum number and a deadline. Participants can sign up on the calendar, and organizers can see the signup list. So there’s no need to set up a separate way to track attendees; it’s all right there.

Share and promote events

Perhaps an event organizer wants to share a particular opportunity with their colleagues: they can use the sharing options to promote the event on social media, through messaging, or with a stand-alone event page. Plus, anyone can share an event to their own personal calendar. 

An event page from the professional development opportunities calendar. Event pages are stand-alone webpages that stay updated automatically.

Seamless updates for everyone

Manual updates take a lot of time, but it’s essential to provide accurate information. With delegation, each department can keep their own events updated. And there’s no delay in sharing updated information with others. The events sync automatically. With all the professional development opportunities in one place, everyone knows where to go for event details. And they’ll always see the updated version of any event, right on the calendar. No need for anyone to send follow-up emails or messages on another platform. 

Many times, the work of coordinating and sharing updated information falls on a few administrative staff. And it can be a very time-consuming job, especially when events are coming from multiple departments and groups. With Teamup as your streamlined scheduling system for professional development opportunities, the events can be delegated to their organizers or “parent” department. There’s less back-and-forth needed, less administrative burden, and an accessible calendar with accurate, updated event details. Interested in setting this up for your university? See our use case guide, then get started by creating a free calendar

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