The CMS project team comprised members from RO, NUS IT and OETU.

NUS Rolls Out New Curriculum Management System

In its lifetime, an academic curriculum may undergo multiple revisions and adaptations: modules and programmes may be updated, proposed, added, or eliminated, necessitating new reviews and approvals by department, faculty and university committees. Until now, this process at NUS has remained entirely paper or email-based, resulting in data duplication, errors, and the loss of important contextual information to understanding how and why a given curriculum has changed over time.   

To address these challenges, NUS launched a new Curriculum Management System (CMS) in July 2022, providing greater visibility and efficiency to module creation, review and publishing. Led by the Registrar’s Office (RO) and supported by NUS IT and the Organisational Excellence Transformation Unit (OETU), the CMS project sought to digitalise a manual process, while calling upon faculty members and academic administrators to closely examine and improve the steps involved. 

The result: an online platform that tracks the end-to-end process of curriculum creation and provides for curriculum information storage.

Designed to be user-friendly, CMS’ online forms provide hints and validation checks to ensure accuracy of module submissions, whilst notifications and dashboards enable tracking of a curriculum proposal’s stage of progression. It also has a range of data interface tools to support integration with other NUS systems that require such curriculum information, such as EduRec, Canvas and Online Application Portal.

The platform is also collaborative: users can create review groups to provide feedback on their module or programme proposals, with reviewers submitting comments directly within the CMS.

Importantly, the system centralises key curriculum information, making it a vital source of current and historical data due to its versioning capability.  

“What I’m most excited about is actually the repository, having somewhere online which stores all the information about our curriculum and its history,” says Associate Professor Martin Buist, Vice Dean (Undergraduate Programmes), NUS College of Design and Engineering. “The information will be in one central place, and it will be accessible.”  

This transparency also provides a better understanding of where a particular module sits within the broader curriculum, including its links to major or minor programmes, and the potential impact should it be modified or cancelled. Such visibility will give educators crucial information for curriculum planning, while also providing context on how a module or programme has evolved. 

Another key outcome the project is expected to yield is an increase in productivity due to a simplified workflow.    

“Perhaps more importantly, developing the CMS provided an opportunity to engage the various faculties on how we could streamline and improve existing processes. I am confident the net result will be greater operational efficiency and effectiveness in the way NUS manages its curriculum,” states Mr Rajaram Ramasubban, NUS Registrar.

nus-rolls-out-new-curriculum-management-system-1Users participating in a CMS training session.  

In parallel to system development, the Registrar’s Office took the lead in running Business Process Re-Engineering (BPR) workshops for the project, reviewing and harmonising 60 workflows across 28 involved faculties and schools. OETU supplemented these efforts by overseeing the change management process, which included monthly newsletters and the establishment of an MS Teams group and SharePoint to provide system users with updated information on the progress of CMS.

“CMS, a system in the NextGeneSIS suite, brings curriculum planning in NUS to a new level…We are excited about the new solution and would like to thank the faculty members who work alongside us to make the implementation a reality,” states Ms Tan Shui-Min, NUS Chief Information Technology Officer.


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