Centralized Classroom and Event Scheduling FAQs
Central Scheduling: Central Scheduling is comprised of four coordinated units/divisions on campus with general responsibility to the Policy for Centralized Classroom and Event Scheduling as follows:
- Registrar’s Office – is responsible for scheduling classrooms for Priority 1 courses after the exclusivity period and for scheduling Priority 2-3 academic related events.
- Campus Reservations, Events, & Technical Services (CRETS) – is responsible for scheduling Priority 3-5 non-academic related events in rooms for users other than those for which those rooms have been pre-designated after the event exclusivity period for Academic units.
- Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) – is responsible for advising and working with Academic units to maintain their pre-designated space.
- Facilities Management Division (FMD) – is responsible for providing access to rooms for use after normal instructional hours (e.g., before 8 am or after 5 pm, or on weekends), and providing other facilities services requested by customary processes.
Priority contact information for these units/divisions in Central Scheduling are:
|Registrar’s Office||Classroom Schedulingemail@example.com|
|Campus Reservations, Events, & Technical Services||Reservationsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Center for Teaching and Learning||Center for Teaching and Learning||- - -|
|Facilities Management Division||FMD Work Request Form
For the purposes of the use of space that is pre-designated or not pre-designated to an Academic unit, the following stakeholders and responsibilities have been identified:
- Host Academic unit. The Host is the Academic unit with approval from the Provost’s Office to use the
space as their pre-designated space. The Host Academic unit is expected to maintain
its pre-designated space in a manner consistent with the Policy for Centralized Classroom and Event Scheduling. The Host Academic unit should determine the best way to place and store room contents,
room-specific artifacts and specimens to minimize the potential for damage when the
room is used by a visiting/other academic units or groups. If the Host Academic unit
wants to change the seating type, number of seats, or anything that might affect the
pedagogy options for courses being taught there, they should speak with Space Management
about the proposed changes. Any changes that would repurpose a room from being instructional
to non-instructional must be approved by the Centralized Scheduling Appeals committee.
- Central Scheduling. Central Scheduling will:
- keep room information in Ad Astra current and detailed enough so all Stakeholders are aware of pertinent details about a room, its capabilities, and contents,
- act on issues in a timely manner,
- advise Host Academic units and visiting/other Academic units or groups on special needs or situations that may arise,
- facilitate and coordinate building and room access, as well as secure the room door and building after use by the visiting/other Academic unit or group, and
- be responsible for assessing and resolving any conflicts that may arise.
- Visiting/Other Academic units or groups. Visiting/Other Academic units or groups may receive authorization to use a room
which is not their pre-designated space. The visiting/other Academic unit or group
is expected to:
- review details about the room in Ad Astra and visit the room in advance so that it is knowledgeable about the room and its contents.
- care for the room and all items in the room as if it were their pre-designated space. The Academic unit or group cannot bring any food or drink into the room unless there is explicit prior permission from the Host Academic unit or from Central Scheduling. After room use, all furnishings must be returned to their original position and all trash must be picked up and placed in receptacles. Failure to care for the room may result in the future denial for use of the room.
- pre-arrange with the Host Academic unit for Priority 1 courses to be held during normal instructional hours (8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday). However, for Priority 1 courses after hours, and for all Priority 2-5 events, Central Scheduling will pre-arrange access to the building and room on behalf of the visiting/other Academic units or groups.
The Room Assignment Optimizer in the Ad Astra software is used to schedule course sections in classrooms. The factors used to complete room assignments are:
- Instructor teaching back-to-back classes (it will schedule them in the same building if possible)
- Seat fill (best fill for class in classroom) (30% weight)
- Preferences submitted to the Office of the Registrar regarding specific location or room feature (70% weight)
- Nearness to the subject’s home building
All subjects and courses are considered equally and have the same opportunity to receive rooms based on the factors above.
The classroom preference sheet is sent by the Registrar’s Office via email to all course section schedulers approximately 2-3 weeks before the Central Scheduling Period. The schedulers can use the form to list any course sections that have special requests such as location or classroom features (technology, seating, etc.).
Once the preference sheets are returned to the Registrar’s Office via email, the following steps are completed by the Registrar’s Office:
- Section information provided in the preference sheets is compared to the section information
- If there are any discrepancies, the Registrar’s Office will contact the departments for clarifications or corrections.
- If a preference request is submitted for a classroom that is the designated space for another department, the Registrar’s Office will check to see if the requested classroom has already been reserved by the host Academic unit. If the classroom is not available, the Registrar’s Office will notify the requester and ask if another space or alternate period can be considered.
- Note: The classroom preference sheet is sent prior to the Central Scheduling Period to allow for any necessary changes in Banner before course scheduler access is removed as part of the classroom scheduling optimization process.
- The preferences are added to Ad Astra prior to the classroom scheduling optimization process so the preference can be factored into the room assignments.
- Once the classroom scheduling optimization process is complete, the classrooms assigned
in Ad Astra are then compared to the preference sheet requests and adjustments are
made, if possible, to better suit course needs.
- If the preferred locations are not available, a nearby or similar room will be assigned. If a suitable alternative is not available, the department is contacted to discuss other options.
During the classroom scheduling optimization process, over 2,000 course sections are assigned classrooms. The complex process of assigning classrooms is analogous to putting together a very large jigsaw puzzle and all of the pieces cannot fit in the same space.
If a course does not receive a room during the classroom scheduling optimization process, then it is usually because every room with the appropriate size, in the appropriate area of campus, and at the specified date/time has already been assigned. The Office of the Registrar will contact the departmental schedulers for the course sections that were not assigned a classroom to discuss a possible secondary time period preference or other location preferences. The Office of the Registrar will offer the departments as much information as possible to help the department determine the best alternative in order to accommodate the class.
In Ad Astra, a couple of factors can be weighted in order to give more or less importance. The University of Georgia has chosen to weight preferences at 70% and seat fill at 30% in our optimizations. Based upon different optimization scenarios that have been tested, the specified weights give the best optimization results to meet university needs.
- For example, if a 35 seat course has a preferred location of Park Hall room 144 (a 45 seat room), and the optimizer is considering 5 classes for that time period that would be a good match for room 144, even if some of those classes are 40-45 students, the optimizer may choose to place the 35 seat course into room 144 because it was stated as a preference. However, if there are 20 courses at that time period that would be good match for room 144 and can fill more seats, there is a higher chance that the optimizer will choose to schedule a larger course in room 144.