Do I need timetable training?

 Any thoughts or comments are welcome – just email

Everyone is different, but in our opinion the answer is ‘yes’ – although we are bound to say that!

If you are new to timetabling and new to software then we would recommend the Principles of timetabling course plus the respective software courses. The Principles of timetabling is such a good foundation for anyone starting their timetabling career as it helps de-mystify the jargon (whoops I mean terminology) that is used and most importantly helps you frame the task of timetabling into your school situation even before you learn to click on any buttons! You wouldn’t teach students a topic without the ‘why’ and expect them to become subject experts.

You might already have the understanding and the why from observing colleagues within your school – which is great but also remember not to inherit any bad habits and is the answer ‘I don’t know why we do it this way but we’ve done it like this for years!’ a real answer?

How about software training though? I would say make an investment in it. I often purchase software all excited and raring to go and when I log in or open it up I’m lost as not sure on the terminology or maybe what the workflow should be. But being a little stubborn I continue as I know best and it can’t be that hard can it? Having invested some time I concede and open up the manual, run through the tutorial, look at the support videos or touch base with the support line only to learn what I’ve done isn’t really correct given the end result I want! Hey ho, not to worry let’s delete it all and start again. With most things you don’t know what you don’t know but typically there is a lot of help and support available to you. Regardless of the timetabling software you are using, take 20 minutes to learn what help and support is available to you, what documentation or tutorials are available. Get the foundations correct and the rest will be easier!

Different people have different learning styles:

  • Some like to read documentation
  • Some like to watch videos
  • Some like in-person training

Regardless of your style MIST Services will offer it. Public training courses are a great way for people to chat with fellow timetablers and pose questions to the trainer, which maybe the documentation and watching videos lacks a little. On-line courses are great becuase the clips and materials are accessible and can be re-read and re-watched as many times as you want! Something you can’t do with the public courses, but worry not at MIST Services we understand that, so if you come on a public course you also get complimentary access to the equivalent on-line course too. So when you are driving home or sat on the train thinking I’m not too clear on topic x, you can access it on-line when you are back in school – best of both worlds.

‘But I am an experienced timetabler’, I know what I need to do it’s just that I’m changing timetabling software so don’t need any software training. It’s a common question and I’m going to answer it from a timetabler who knows Nova T6 inside out and is moving to TimeTabler (but what is said is true when moving between any solutions).

To put it bluntly many Nova T6 timetablers assume that TimeTabler works in the same way as Nova T6; the simple answer is no it doesn’t! If TimeTabler worked the same way as Nova T6 it would be called Nova T6! Applying Nova T6 terminology/concepts is typically a mistake and you may have some ‘un-learning’ to do! Not saying you need to come on public training courses but think back to when you learnt Nova T6, what did you do?
1 – Read their booklet
2 – Went on 4 days of training?

Many say they went on 4 days worth of training, which is great but then they open up TimeTabler and don’t invest in any training.

As I keep on saying, not everyone needs training; many people swap to new software with no training and succeed. All we ask is if you are moving from say Nova T6 to TimeTabler then you may well be moving from SIMs to another MIS supplier – is your school expecting your new MIS to work in the same way as SIMs? Are they going to adopt the new MIS without any training?

Although I mention Nova T6 to TimeTabler the same is true the other way around or Scheduler to Nova T6, Scheduler to TimeTabler etc

At MIST Services we have worked across the different software solutions since 2008 so know for first-hand that they are all achieving the same result but are setup and deliver the timetable in different ways. MIST Services offers training and consultancy services ranging from:

  • Remote training/consultancy
  • Online/self study training
  • Public training courses in Market Harborough
  • On-site training/consultancy

Training might come at a cost but let it not be your time.

Any questions feel free to ask.

Any questions please just ask or more information about the services we offer please click your software solution below.