Class Scheduling

Class Scheduling Policy & Process for the Academic Week

The primary goal of the Academic Scheduling Process is to maximize the probability that all students receive their choice of courses required for graduation in a timely manner (within the prescribed number of semesters) by providing a conflict-free resource environment.

Effective class and classroom scheduling is critical to the mission of the University. It enables students to take the classes they need in a timely manner and contributes to cost containment through efficient space utilization and good stewardship of our valuable institutional resources. 

General Policy Regarding the Academic Scheduling Process

  • University ownership of instructional space: Instructional space is a valuable resource which belongs to the University as a whole and will be shared and allocated to support the broader teaching and learning needs of students and faculty as well as other University activities.
  • The University controls all instructional space. All instructional space has been added to the central database: Banner and Ad Astra. The Office of the Registrar will schedule classrooms centrally for all programs. The Ad Hoc scheduling of space is managed using the central database.
  • The policy for class scheduling is established by the Office of the Provost and implemented by the Office of the University Registrar.
  • The term “department” refers to the scheduling unit.
  • General objectives in building the Schedule of Classes include providing workable schedules for students by departments, ensuring access to courses by students, making efficient use of classrooms and laboratories/special laboratories and minimizing overhead associated with Schedule of Classes administration.
  • All classes are scheduled within an approved meeting pattern/block.

Scheduling Axioms

  • The length of the academic week and variations in time patterns used in constructing a schedule of classes play important roles in the effectiveness of the academic schedule.
  • The academic week is the set of days and times during which instructional activity occurs. For UNE the academic week is typically 65 hours (including evening availability).
  • Time patterns are the configurations of days and hours to be used in setting up a Schedule of Classes. If a standard set of patterns is chosen, with compatible starting and ending times, schedules will fit together more easily. If patterns are dissimilar, more conflicts will occur within a given academic week.
  • When courses are concentrated at one time, students have minimum course selectivity and no scheduling flexibly. Maximum staff and space resources are required.
  • When courses are distributed over all time periods, students have complete course selectivity and scheduling flexibility since any combination of course may be taken. Staff and space resource needs can be minimized.
  • The probability of a student obtaining a conflict-free schedule can be greatly increased when the courses are distributed throughout the hours of the day and the days of the week.
  • It is highly desirable to distribute course offerings evenly over an academic week, thus proving for the largest number of non-conflicting time patterns.

Scheduling Strategies

  • Departments must strictly adhere to the approved standard set of time patterns.
  • Departments must schedule all multiple lecture and laboratory/special laboratory sections so that students course enrollments will be distributed approximately equally between mornings and afternoons and between the different meeting patterns (TR vs. MWF)
  • Since the goal is to provide all students with the largest number of opportunities to register for as many courses as possible, departments should make efforts to schedule courses during non-peak hours. Peak hours are between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, Monday through Thursday.
  • Because the standard meeting lengths are in 50- and 75- minute time blocks, non-standard sections should be offered in multiples of these times to avoid end times that preclude students from registering for courses that may follow the non-standard section.

Roles and Responsibilities 

Deans

  • Are responsible, in collaboration with directors, chairs and the University Registrar, for ensuring that all instructional space:

    • is included in the central database

    • is used efficiently through the promotion and adoption of the University's Class Scheduling Parameters

Chairs and Program Directors

  • Ensure, in collaboration with Deans and the University Registrar, that all instructional space:
    • Is included in the central database
    • Is used efficiently through the promotion and adoption of the University’s Class Scheduling Parameters
  • Assign teaching responsibilities to instructors, taking into account their other academic duties, such as research.
  • Create the official course schedule of departmental course utilizing the Platinum Analytics tool. 
  • Review and render decisions regarding requests for limitations on teaching availability from instructors and for programs (course combinations and other pedagogical requirements), ensuring the decisions are consistent with the Class Scheduling Parameters and are submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the specified deadline.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to assure that course conflicts are avoided.
  • Liaise with the Office of the Registrar to problem solve as the need arises.

Instructors

  • Identify and communicate to their chair/director/dean, by the deadline, technology and classroom configuration scheduling preferences for their courses as well as serious constraints that may limit their availability for teaching according to the Class Scheduling Parameter.
  • Work closely with chairs/directors and scheduling coordinators in their academic units to resolve any problems or conflicts that arise.
  • Ensure that classes start and end at their formally scheduled time. 

Office of the University Registrar

  • Manages the class scheduling technology including identifying enhancements and collaborating with IT to implement new technology.
  • Schedules training and distribution of the Ad Astra Platinum Analytics course analysis for each term
  • Coordinates the collection of scheduling requests and requirements for course, programs and instructors
  • Allocates instructional space for each class
    • As much as possible, the pedagogical needs of courses will determine the type of rooms assigned, if the requests have been submitted and approved by the Chair, Director/Dean
    • Each year the scheduling requests expressed by all academic units will drive the allocation of space so courses will not necessarily be scheduled in the same room from year to year.
    • Provides training and documentation to the community of scheduling coordinators in the academic and administrative units
  • Established the Process Calendar for course and catalog production and distributes the calendar to Deans, Chairs and program Directors.