March 2012 Archives

Scheduling update: Course Guide updates

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It only takes a few minutes to update the Course Guide. Instructors can log in from the faculty Course Guide web page, enter a course description, upload a recent syllabus, or link to an existing public website. In a recent survey of University of Minnesota undergraduate and graduate students, 89% indicated that they have used the Course Guide to choose their courses and/or plan for registration.

The preliminary target date to enter Course Guide information for May/summer session 2012 (1125) and fall 2012 (1129) is March 29.

If you would like to send a reminder to instructors in your department about updating the Course Guide, you may find the following documents prepared by the Student Records Training and Support Team helpful:

ECS period 1 for spring 2013 (1133) is open through Wednesday, April 11. Remember to delete any class sections in ECS that have rolled forward but will not be taking place for spring 2013. You can delete courses/sections in ECS by clicking on the minus (-) button on the Basic Data panel of "Maintain Schedule of Classes" in ECS. You may find the following resources for scheduling courses helpful:

Scheduling update: Fall 2012 (1129) scheduling

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Room assignments for fall 2012 (1129) will appear on the Class Schedule when ECS period 3 opens on March 28. At that time, you will have access in ECS to make updates to course information (e.g., cancel, change, add). Please note: changes made to meeting times, enrollment capacities, and/or requested room capacities will result in the loss of the classroom assignment.

Region coding on DVDs

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Typically, commercial DVDs are "region coded," a process where a DVD is encoded for its originating region to maintain control over copyright in international markets. Region coding is a problem for foreign language instructors, who frequently buy DVDs in a foreign country and are unable to use it in the U.S.

OCM does not have any equipment installed in classrooms or any equipment available for loan that is compatible with foreign-formatted media. Our classrooms are equipped to play DVDs from region 1 (U.S.) only.

The ability to play a foreign-formatted DVD would involve a combination of a region-free DVD player, a device to convert the signal to American television standards, and/or a monitor capable of displaying foreign television standards.

More information about playing international DVDs, including how to play a non-region 1 disc, can be found in our DVD/VCR topics FAQ.

PC and Mac users should try using the VideoLAN VLC media player

Scheduling update: ECS room characteristics improved

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The ECS room characteristics have been updated. Room characteristics now appear in alphabetical order when you select the hourglass to see all room characteristics in ECS. This means that the number associated with room characteristics has changed in some cases. You may notice that the room characteristic description field for spring 2013 (1133) is blank in ECS even though a number is set. This is a result of the update and will be fixed over the next few weeks. No action is required on your part.
Preliminary class schedules are now posted for both fall 2012 (1129) and spring 2013 (1133). We have received positive feedback from both students and advisers about the preliminary class schedules. Advisers are using the preliminary schedules with students to assist with full-year planning.
ECS period 2 for fall 2012 (1129) is now in progress. ECS will be unavailable for fall 2012 scheduling until Wednesday, March 28, while OCM reviews the "Request for Approval of Non-Standard Meeting Time/Day Pattern" forms and schedules general purpose classrooms. During this time we are also working with representatives from the colleges to review compliance to the new class scheduling policy. You can always check the Class Scheduling Distribution Summary to see how your department aligned with the new policies.

Hotline hours to change for spring break

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The Classroom Support Hotline (612-625-1086) will operate with reduced hours during the week of spring break, and will be closed for a University holiday on Friday, March 16. From Monday, March 12 to Thursday, March 15, the Hotline will be staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If an issue arises outside these operating hours, callers can leave a message at the Hotline. The voice mail will be monitored by an on-call manager, who will respond if the situation requires an urgent solution.