The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland successfully combines student registry and confirmation of room bookings. A glimpse behind the scenes in Glasgow.
Admittedly, it is not exactly what you would describe as a quiet corner. Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, one of the world’s top 3 destinations for the performing arts (QS World University Rankings 2021) and an ASIMUT user since 2013, on Renfrew Street is in immediate proximity to the tallest cinema in the world, the Theatre Royal, and with nearby neighbours including the National Theatre of Scotland, The Glasgow School of Art and Scottish Opera. Their campus also includes six fully-fledged professional performance venues of their own – The New Athenaeum Theatre and the Stevenson Hall among them – alongside the Whittaker Library, recording studios, film edit suites, the Alexander Gibson Opera School, production arts and design facilities, ballet studios and, of course, a range of large ensemble rehearsal rooms.
Together with the award-winning Wallace Studios, they form a campus that sits right at the centre of Scotland’s artistic heart, Glasgow. To be sure, the school’s outstanding tuition can draw on facilities that are nothing short of magnificent. The combined total of more than 90 practice rooms and rehearsal studios for student use are designed to help feed 600+ performances every year (pre-Covid). The last thing you would expect here is a system of pen and paper – but that was indeed the scenario before ASIMUT arrived.
“Previously, students would do a sign-up sheet and it would be first-come, first-served; and it wouldn’t be certain they would receive a room. And that was also the same for our one-to-one teaching staff”, explains Andrea McManus, the Royal Conservatoire’s Space Planning Manager. The story was the same for absences: “Again, that used to be a paper exercise.”
Yet how did they do it? “The booking rules we zoned by instrument and study, so there are certain rooms that are for, say, our keyboard students or string students; they have access to those rooms, and they know that someone who is studying something else will not be in that room and they know they have an allocation that will secure a practice space”, says Andrea.
The reconfirmation module was central to this, and it did help students and one-to-one teaching staff alike. “Now our students will book a practice room in the common interface, and they will have a provisional booking, so they can go in, edit, change room, cancel; however, if they don’t manage into the building, it will just disappear, for another student to book.”
A key part in the reconfirmation – no pun intended – is played by the ASIMUT kiosks in the building. “They can swipe their student or staff card, which is also synced with our student systems and staff systems, and they confirm their booking. That has been great for us because it means the rooms are used; they’re not booked for lengthy periods of time and lie empty. It means that students and staff have more access to rooms… and spaces are at a premium”, adds Andrea. Indeed, integration with an in-house student registry system can be a powerful combination, and to have everything synced “by one simple press of a button” is what excites her.
When looking at the benefits, Andrea cites clarity of information, student satisfaction with having their timetable readily available – “always correct and up-to-date” – and access also to their one-to-one teaching… it is the power of “instant update where needed”.
“You can clash-check your locations, your people… it’s just a massive time-saver.” In fact, the system even clash-checks locations itself, so there is always that added safety net.
“ASIMUT has improved our student and staff experience.” What could be a better compliment?