Efficient and effective
Scheduling is the process of managing, arranging, and allocating various resources to achieve the best possible configurations. Pertaining to education, such resources could be rooms, facilities, equipment, instructors, students, courses, and time, of course. The target behind scheduling is, first and foremost, optimal deployment and utilization of those resources. For example, a timetable scheduler focuses on how to best match time slots and courses. A classroom scheduler focuses on the best way to pair facilities with courses. A course scheduler focuses on optimal allocation of courses to instructors. And an exam scheduler focuses on the best approach to schedule examination periods while eliminating exam conflicts.
Let’s talk about these things a bit more.
Time-tables in K-12
Skoolee Scheduler is White Mountain Technologies’ software that generates timetables for schools. It works for national, International Baccalaureate, British, High School, and other systems, and runs for all classes and divisions. Period lengths are defined following the requirements of the courses and subjects, and periods to be scheduled take into account, among other factors, teacher availability. Skoolee’s flexibility allows the scheduling of individual classes and courses, as well as the grouping or splitting of courses. For example, students from different classes and sections can take the same arts period at the same time, in the same room, and with the same instructor. Also, students of the same section can split up to take different electives in different rooms during the same period. The timetables that the scheduler generates ensure optimal allocation of subjects and use of time slots.
Schedulers in Higher Education
The schedulers for higher education constitute the UniversiTools Schedulers suite. When running them, start by setting their parameters to what fits your college. Also, define the course requirements and the availability of rooms and facilities, and set the instructor preferences. Then, run those schedulers to allocate courses to classrooms, courses to teachers, time sessions to courses, and time sessions to examinations. The algorithms of the schedulers run within the boundaries of the user-defined parameters of availability, priorities, constraints, and facilities. They proceed to construct the solution path and to generate the schedules and timetables. All this is done automatically and with speed. Of course, once the result is out, the user may manually intervene to edit it. Such manual intervention is usually in response to something that just came up, such as the department decided to close a section or open a new course.
And that’s why schedulers are good
Clarity of results, rhythm for the work, conformity in execution, elimination of conflicts, alignment of resources, and optimization of processes are what you gain from good scheduling and timetabling. You can elaborate on the advantages of each one of these items. Let us take alignment of resources, for example. College campuses use a lot of electric energy and other resources to operate their buildings. When moving from the spring and into the summer semester, the reduction in offered courses and registered students is quite considerable. Yet, many campuses fail to respond favorably to this reduction. Colleges that implement our schedulers observed a 45% saving in power and maintenance costs. The main reason was that the schedulers grouped classes in certain buildings and floors and freed many other ones, allowing the administration to close down such facilities for the summer and to save on operating and maintenance costs.
On the other advantages of the schedulers we will publish more posts soon. Stay tuned!