University of St Andrews

Tutor appointment booking and management system

The University of St Andews Centre for Academic, Professional and Organisational Development (CAPOD) provides a comprehensive range of opportunities to support personal, professional and academic development for all staff and students. CAPOD contributes to organisational effectiveness by promoting engagement with institutional values and priorities

CAPOD approached Bad Dinosaur to create a tool that manages tutoring appointments within the university between undergraduate tutees and postgraduate tutors. They were managing appointments via phonecalls, emails and spreadsheets - a job that was keeping at least one staff member busy full-time.

They needed something that would be simple to use both for staff and students and were intrigued by Tutlings, one of Bad Dinosaur’s own products. Tutlings was born from Kyle's recognition of similar problems in the education sector. Although Tutlings had the appointment functionality that CAPOD needed, the system was completely autonommous and was not really designed to have an "administrator" involved.

Our overall experience of working with Bad Dinosaur has been very positive. Kyle has been flexible, fast to respond and keen to work together to develop solutions to make Tutlings meet our requirements. Kyle’s flexibility in doing further work on the software has been really helpful, and he's often been able to suggest sensible solutions to our problems that have worked well for us and for the software.

Eilidh Harris, University of St Andrews
Eilidh Harris, University of St Andrews

Through a series of product design workshop meetings we identified the unique problems that CAPOD were facing. This allowed us to identify where Tutlings fell short, and enabled us to scope out the time and cost of the extra work to build in the extra functionality they required.

The development of extra features was done via a co-design process, where CAPOD had visibility of the changes at every step of the way. This meant that CAPOD could give their feedback during development to make sure they got a system bespoke to their needs.

Whilst Tutlings was a good starting point, CAPOD came to us with a blank canvas - they left it to us to design the software using our past experience. Having an open mind at the start always creates great products.

Kyle Whittington, Director of Bad Dinosaur
Kyle Whittington, Director of Bad Dinosaur

After development of the new features was complete, the bespoke web application was deployed to our managed cloud hosting platform. This means that CAPOD doesn't need to worry about monitoring, scalability or security of their web application - it's all taken care of by Bad Dinosaur.

Since the initial development, Bad Dinosaur has worked closely with the University of St Andrews to add new functionality as CAPOD has scaled up.

Using this tool dramatically reduced staff time dealing with the logistics of our department's tuition offering. Our no show count saw a huge reduction and the extensive reporting features have allowed us to identify hotspot areas where students are needing the most help.

Eilidh Harris, University of St Andrews
Eilidh Harris, University of St Andrews

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