December 2013 Archives

Grade entry best practices

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As a reminder, fall 2013 grades (full semester) are due on Friday, December 27. Acomplete list of grading due dates is available online. The Office of the Registrar would like to highlight some common questions and issues related to grade entry that might affect your instructors and faculty.

Verify access to grade rosters. Instructors should verify they have access to their assigned grade rosters before the last day of instruction by using the "My Classes" report in UM Reports. Grades can be entered online through the University Self-Service grades pages. Class rosters and grade entry for courses owned by the School of Public Health are available only through the School of Public Health grading system

Mobile devices. At this time, smart phones and iPads cannot be used to enter final grades. (The PeopleSoft self-service pages for grade entry are not compatible with mobile devices.)

Browser compatibility. The browser type and version used by the grade enterer can also affect grade entry. Mac users typically have the best success with the Safari browser (Safari on an iPad will not work for grade entry). PC users typically have the best grade entry success with the Firefox browser.

Clearing your cache. All grade enterers and approvers should clear their browser cache prior to the grades entry period to ensure they have the most recent version of the grades pages. Some assistance is available on the grade entry section of the Faculty One Stop web page.


Where to go for help. If you know of someone encountering issues with grades entry please refer them to the Student Records Training and Support Team for further assistance at (612) 625-2803 or via email at srhelp@umn.edu. The University is closed on December 23, 24, and 25 and although staff will not be available to answer questions on these days, instructors and others may still use these helplines and someone will respond to them as soon as possible.

Scheduling policy basics

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Class scheduling in ECS is in full swing for fall 2014 and spring 2015. Remember to ensure your classes are distributed across both the day and the week.

If you would like a refresher on the class scheduling policy, refer to the class scheduling policy summary and FAQ. The policy was developed using the principle of the fair-use of resources. It aims to:

  • reduce classroom demand for certain days and times
  • increase scheduling flexibility for departments
  • ensure reasonable class access for students

There is no requirement to schedule classes at a particular time, although it is required that classes are evenly distributed throughout the day and week.

The Class Scheduling Distribution Summary illustrates the class demand of a department or college. The Liberal Education Distribution Summary illustrates the distribution of classes meeting one or more liberal education requirements.

Scheduling website redesign

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The Office of Classroom Management (OCM) has launched new scheduling pages. The redesign was intended to make scheduling information more accessible and easy to find. The page also includes a link to Astra Schedule, which enables users to request departmental and general purpose spaces for event and meeting management.

LET retirement set for spring 2015

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With the upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.0, one of the first changes that will occur is the retirement of the LET ("Lecture Workaround") course component. PeopleSoft 9.0 has a more flexible approach for classes that typically meet as a multi-component class but sometimes are offered as a single component class. The LEC component will work for the classes formerly using LET.

Effective for classes offered spring 2015 (1153), the LET course component will no longer be necessary. To assist with data preparation, we will immediately begin converting all classes currently listed as LET scheduled for spring 2015 (1153) to LEC (1143, 1145, and 1149 will all continue to use LET). You will notice this change in ECS for spring 2015 very soon. All classes for future terms with a LET component will be batch updated in the Schedule of Classes to a LEC prior to the upgrade. No extra effort on your part required.

The retirement of the LET removes a confusing workaround--a win for ESUP!

What's up with ESUP?

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Maybe you've heard the buzz, but do you know what's up with ESUP? The Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP) is the University's two-year effort to upgrade its essential human resources (HRMS), student, and financial systems, and re-examining related business processes to improve the user experience and operational efficiency and effectiveness.

Changes are coming for schedulers and now is a good time to get up to speed. You can watch this video that provides an overview of ESUP and this handout that was available at Scheduling U (it includes links to details on what's happening with ECAS, the schedule of classes, and grading). You can also sign up for a bi-monthly newsletter at the ESUP website. Opportunities to learn more and be involved will be on that website, but the Student team has identified schedulers as a key group to have targeted communications and training opportunities, so keep reading Scheduling Update, too!
A new tool called the liberal education distribution summary shows you how classes that meet liberal education requirements are spread across the day and week. It allows you to filter by specific liberal education (LE) requirement and/or by your college and department for a selected term.

Expanded weekend classroom hours during finals week

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Finals week begins Thursday, December 12 with the first study day. The last day of exams is Thursday, December 19. Classroom hours will be extended on Saturday 12/14 and Sunday 12/15 to meet the needs of students and faculty during finals week.

Saturday, December 14: All general purpose classrooms will be open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. to accommodate scheduled final exams. 

Sunday, December 15: All classrooms in weekend buildings will be open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. to accommodate students for study day. Weekend buildings include the following:

  • East Bank: Folwell Hall, Keller Hall, Nicholson Hall, Rapson Hall, STSS
  • West Bank: Blegen Hall, CSOM, Hanson Hall, Humphrey Center
  • Saint Paul: McNeal Hall, Ruttan Hall
After final exams week, we will return to our standard operating hours.

Have you reviewed your final exam schedule yet?

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The fall 2013 final exam schedule for general purpose classrooms is now available for review in Astra Schedule.

Be sure to look through your department's courses for accuracy. Email the Scheduling Unit at ocmsched@umn.edu as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:

  • An exam scheduled for a class that does not require a room
  • An exam missing for a class that should have one scheduled
  • An exam scheduled at a time or place you did not expect

To review your department's final exams, please follow the steps below:

1. Sign in to Astra Schedule with your University internet ID and password in the upper right hand corner of the screen. 
2. Click on the "Academics" tab located in the top navigation menu. 
3. Click on the "Sections" link at the top of the page. 
4. Update the filters in the left column as follows:

  • Is Exam = Yes
  • Term = Fall 2013
  • Subject = Select the subject(s) you schedule
  • Campus = Mpls/St Paul

5. Click "Search" at the bottom of the filters. 
6. To save your filter selections for future use, click on the save button on the bottom left hand side of the page.


The Office of Classroom Management (OCM) invites you to provide feedback about current and future classrooms so we can provide you with the highest quality learning environments possible. Your survey scores and comments help inform our planning for renovations and equipment changes. OCM makes significant technology changes and renewal updates in more than 60 classrooms each year, and we value your input.

Your voluntary participation in a short, seven-question survey is very much appreciated, and your responses will be confidential. Please complete the survey by Friday, December 20.

We encourage you to submit a separate survey for each classroom for which you would like to offer feedback.

Please click here to complete the survey.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact us at 612-625-1086 or classrm@umn.edu.