Year in review: Product updates in 2018

Scheduling season is almost upon us and here at ofCourse we are ramping up for another great round of schedule-making. Before breaking ground, it has become tradition to share some of the new features added since last year. To that, here a few of the more note-worthy additions made to your favorite scheduling system in 2018 😉

Smarter pre-flight checks

We have added validation checks to the Scheduler start-up process to identify potential issues before running a schedule. These would be things like having a professor or room manually double-booked (via a reg-set preference). In the past, the system would make a schedule and then report unscheduled items when courses were requested in conflict. Now, you no longer have to wait to learn this is the case.

Step 1 and 2 data exports

Another tool we’ve added to help with the pre-build process is the ability to export some of your Step 1 and 2 data. For example, you can now export the entered Courseload data into an Excel format for audit or review purposes. You can also export your Course or Faculty listing from Step 1 in case you’d like to review the data in an application like Excel where you can hide and move and filter data to your liking.

True class capacity reporting

We have enhanced how Class Capacities work. Originally, they were defined by the room size as that was the physical capacity of the course. However, as you all know, the room size doesn’t always match the Course capacity you want to advertise. The main addition is a new control on the Step 5 “Course Editing” screen (Class Max Size) that will let you (a) change previously set capacities from Step 2 and (b) assign a proper capacity to courses added in Step 5. Your public views and text export will reflect these capacities instead of inheriting the room size.

Registrar flex preferences

A new Preference Type has been added to the system. There used to be two kinds of preferences: a faculty preference with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices OR a Registrar preference which handset a time, like MonWed @ 4 pm. Now you have a third option where you can create a Registrar preference but instead of setting an exact day and time, you can choose a range (e.g., mid-morning, early afternoon). This allows you to create a Registrar preference that offers a small range (like MonWed / Early-Afternoon) instead of having to commit to a pre-set time.

Proximity reporting

The Collision Management System will make sure you don't double-book any Professors, Rooms or Sections but what it didn't tell you is if you have any classes perilously close to one another. With the new Proximity Alarms, you can see any classes that are within five, ten or fifteen minutes of one another which can be helpful in knocking out the bumps and burrs in a schedule.

Course diversity checks in Step 5

Another enhancement for the Step 5 region is a report that allows you to view Genre collisions after polishing a schedule. As mentioned previously, the Collision Management system made sure you didn't double-book any Professors, Rooms or Sections. This new report exposes overlaps in genre-protected courses so they can be addressed before sharing the schedule.

Granular control over blackouts

You now can view all of your custom time restrictions that are part of your schedule and turn them on or off. This is helpful if you want to see the impact on your schedule after disabling a particular protection or if you have different rules between your Spring and Fall schedules. This enhancement came about after we learned some schools were considering moving some of their protected blocks around. Now they can preview the impact of changing a block before committing to it.

As always, see you on the scheduling pitch. 


More ofCourse feature updates


Troy Dearmitt

Troy is the CTO & Co-founder at ofCourse.

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