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TAWKs Application Developed to Assist Faculty Productivity

Improving Faculty Productivity

We recently worked with Dr. John Ziker of the Department of Anthropology to develop an application to gather data from faculty about their daily work in order to identify patterns of activity over time. The software, TAWKs (Time Allocation Workload Knowledge study), will provide information to faculty about their work activities, and allow them to reflect on their time allocation to be more productive.

According to Dr. Ziker, “OIT was instrumental in taking the TAWKs app from working prototype to a reliable and useful program. The TAWKs app uses ‘instantaneous scan sampling’ to develop an accurate snapshot of faculty time allocation without documentation of activity across intervals throughout the day. A lot of faculty activity is hidden from the public and done on the weekends, in the evenings, or off campus.”

Office of Information Technology web developers Phil Merrell and Colin Smith worked closely with Dr. Ziker and his team members, Katie Demps and Matt Genuchi, to design software to meet the requirements for study. “Working with John and the TAWKS team was a very fulfilling endeavor,” Merrell says. “It allowed us to be a part of an interesting and innovative project and pushed us to learn and use new technology to help fulfill their vision.”

Adds Ziker, “The TAWKs app will help us document our work and to help promote a more accurate understanding of what faculty do. It’s important to the sustainability of higher education that voters better understand our overall impact both within and beyond the classroom. We hope to further develop the TAWKs app beyond Boise State to develop a national dataset.”

A report on phase 1 of the initial TAWKS study is available on the Department of Anthropology’s website.

For additional information about the TAWKS application contact John Ziker at jziker@boisestate.edu.

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