October 2013 Archives

Classroom schedule displays

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Thanks to the work of the Academic Support Resources (ASR) web team and Classroom Technical Services (CTS), the Office of Classroom Management (OCM) is again able to post the daily schedule for rooms that have room schedule displays installed. Those include classrooms in the following buildings: Cooke, Folwell, Nicholson, and STSS.


There are no plans to add more displays outside of new classrooms. To view the schedule of a specific general purpose classroom, however, use the General Purpose Classroom Search. Choose the building you are interested in and then select the room name. The room details will appear on the right hand side of the screen. Click on the "Room Schedule" link to bring up the daily calendar for the classroom. If you prefer to see an entire week or month at a time, you can easily switch your view by using the buttons on the upper left-hand corner of the calendar.

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Modernized Learning Spaces fCoP

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Affinity group leaders and steering committee members have been announced for the Modernizing Learning Spaces (MLS) Formal Community of Practice (fCoP). Leads have mobilized teams to prioritize tasks and take action for the first milestone deadline of November 4, 2013, as noted in the committee's charge.

If you haven't already done so, please consider joining one of the Google Groups listed below:

The next large community meeting is Friday, October 25, 10-11:30 a.m. in HHH50. Look for an invitation at the MLS fCoP Google Group soon with more details.

Confirm room assignments for spring semester (1143)

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Room assignments for spring 2014 are available on the Class Schedule. Please review assignments for your department to ensure all classes requiring a general purpose classroom have been assigned. If a class does not need a classroom assignment, please notify ocmsched@umn.edu.

The Office of Classroom Management (OCM) only finds a general purpose classroom for classes with a blank Facility ID in ECS. If the Facility ID field is populated, OCM will not actively look for a classroom for your class. This includes being populated with a virtual space, such as ROOM000TBA or AHCROOMTBA.

Room assignments are subject to change prior to the start of the term. While this usually only affects a small number of classes, OCM encourages instructors to verify their classroom assignment before the first class meeting.

Scheduling U

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Scheduling U will begin Monday, November 4 and continue through Friday, November 8. Session dates, times, and descriptions may be found on the OCM blog.

Workshops will cover classroom and policy updates, ESUP, Astra Schedule, and scheduling distribution policy outcomes. Sessions will be lead by Scheduling staff, ASR trainers, and members of the ESUP Student Records team. No registration is required.


Fall 2013 final exam scheduling reminder

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Final exam scheduling for fall 2013 is underway. The schedule will be available for review the first week of November. In the meantime, please notify ocmsched@umn.edu of any special requests, which include the following:

  • If any course sections will not require a classroom during finals week. If so, notify the scheduling team on or before October 25 by emailingocmsched@umn.edu with the subject line "Fall 2013 Final Exam" and the course and section number(s) in the body.

  • If a department would like to request an adjustment of final exam hours. If so, requests should be made online with form ASR 163 on or before November 1 to permit publication of the change and orderly consideration of hardships.

  • If a specialized room is needed for a final exam. Departments should request alternate seating only when it is necessary for proper administration of the exam. Specialized room requests must be submitted by the department office via the online ASR 123 form on or before November 1.

If any of the above special requests apply to you, please note you must take action to fill out the proper form or to email ocmsched@umn.edu.

Scheduling U begins Nov. 4

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All schedulers should plan to attend the annual scheduling workshop series, Scheduling U, which will take place from November 4-8. No RSVP or prior registration is required. Workshop topics include:


Scheduling news and notes


Find out about all the new buzz in scheduling! Discussions will include process improvements, final exam batch scheduling, Astra Schedule, upcoming classrooms projects, policy and procedure changes, the new Liberal Education (LE) distribution tool, and more.  It is a session you will not want to miss.

Speakers: Sarah Kussow, Nate Meath

  • Monday, November 4, West Bank, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., L-114 CSOM

  • Monday, November 4, East Bank, 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m., 210 Tate Lab of Physics

  • Wednesday, November 6, St. Paul, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., 365 Borlaug


What's up with ESUP?


The University is upgrading its PeopleSoft systems and reexamining all associated business processes. What does this mean for schedulers? Come to this session to get the scoop and a preview of some changes on the way.

Speakers: Heather Micek, Kate Sophia, John Vollum

  • Tuesday, November 5, East Bank, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., 140 Nolte


How to make Astra Schedule work for you


You may already know how to use Astra Schedule to request an event or to view a calendar, but there is a lot more that it can do for you. Learn how to navigate the new system-wide scheduling tool to find information faster by using filters, saving searches, and running ad hoc reports to make class scheduling easier.  

Speakers: Gary Andersen, Renae Faunce, Nancy Killian

Moderator: Christine Mounts

  • Tuesday, November 5, East Bank, 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m., 412 STSS

  • Thursday, November 7, West Bank, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., 140 Blegen


Back to the basics


If you are new to academic scheduling or simply looking for a crash course, this session will provide all the information you need on scheduling processes, policies, and procedures. Topics covered will include the academic schedule production cycle, ECAS, final exam scheduling, how to navigate the class scheduling distribution summary, getting the room you need, and Q & A with the Student Records training and support team.

Speakers: Gary Andersen, Renae Faunce, Nancy Killian, Sarah Kussow, Robert Wilson

  • Wednesday, November 6, East Bank, 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m., 140 Nolte


Schedulers Roundtable


From spreadsheets to databases to Post-its, we know that every department has a unique way of preparing their schedule. This is an opportunity for schedulers to exchange practical experiences and challenges about their scheduling process. Bring your artifacts to share! We'd love to see how the magic really happens. The session will be a moderated discussion (rather than a presentation or a succession of speakers).

Moderators: Sandie Carlson, Sarah Kussow, Nate Meath, Bob Quinney

  • Friday, November 8, East Bank, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Appleby 102

Now hiring!

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Academic Support Resources (ASR) has a position open to develop, deliver, and improve Astra Schedule, PeopleSoft student records, and other training opportunities for the University. The person in this position will serve as the helpdesk expert on Astra Schedule, PeopleSoft student records, and ASR developed applications and processes. For more information and to apply, search for requisition 187466 or click here.

Fall 2013 final exam scheduling

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Fall 2013 final exam scheduling will begin soon for the Twin Cities campus. The Office of Classroom Management (OCM) will schedule final exams based upon the final exam regulations for course sections with meeting patterns assigned to general purpose classrooms.

If you need to schedule final exams in departmental spaces, please email ocmsched@umn.edu. We can assist with the scheduling and ensure the course section appears on the master Twin Cities Final Exam Calendar. Let us know which classes require a final exam, the times it should be offered, and where it will take place. 

Notify the scheduling team as soon as possible of course sections that will not require a classroom during finals week by emailing ocmsched@umn.edu with the subject line "Fall 2013 Final Exam" and the course and section number(s) in the body. This will ensure that the Master Final Exam Calendar is accurate. A link to the calendar will be sent in the next Scheduling Update.

Astra Schedule improves final exam scheduling

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Astra Schedule offers the Scheduling Unit an opportunity to increase efficiency in final exam scheduling starting with fall 2013 exams. Historically, all final exams have been scheduled manually, one by one. It was a process that took two staff members more than one month to finish for the Twin Cities campus alone!  

Now, with our ability to schedule exams using Astra Schedule, we will have the chance to increase our efficiency by scheduling the vast majority of final exams in a batch process, which takes less than one day to run. The only final exams that will need to be scheduled manually will be common exams and those that fill out the ASR 123 and ASR 163 forms. Way to go, Astra Schedule!

New way to view room schedules

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When using Astra Schedule, schedulers should rely on the request forms to view classroom availability. Using the grid calendars is no longer necessary to request a classroom. You can now request space and see availability in the same place.

To view the schedule of a specific general purpose classroom, use the General Purpose Classroom Search. Choose the building you are interested in then select the room name. The room details will appear on the right hand side of the screen. Click on the "Room Schedule" link to bring up the daily calendar for the classroom. If you prefer to see an entire week or month at a time, you can easily switch your view by using the buttons on the upper left-hand corner of the calendar.