Year in review: Product updates in 2019

The holidays are almost upon us, which means scheduling season is right around the corner. As always, we are getting things ready for another year of stellar schedule-making. As has become tradition, this is also when we share our favorite features added this year to help get everyone as eager to dig into those schedules as we are.   

Deletion abilities

This is probably the smallest item on the list, but it also has been the most requested, hence its high placement. You know how all of those things you deactivate would hang around in your listings as struck-through items? Well, they won't be lurking on your pages any longer as your course, faculty, and courseload listings will display just the active items that are still in play. Of course, we have a way to recover and restore those deactivated items; you just no longer have to look at them all of the time.   

Short courses

If the prior item was on the small side, this one will make up for it. Through Short Courses you may now add courses to your schedule that do not run the full duration of the semester. You assign start and stop dates to the course, and the system will interleave them into your rooms throughout the term. With this functionality comes all sorts of reporting to let you keep a good handle on how your Short Course curriculum interacts with the other Short Courses as well as the semester-long classes.   

Quarter-hour start times

As seasoned users know, in Step 4, when making computed schedules, the algorithm always placed classes at the top and the bottom of the hour. This affected some schools more than others, namely those that ran a 55 or 60 minute credit hour. Now, you can request the algorithm makes the quarter-hour slots viable start times in the Step 4 schedules. For schools running a 55 or 60 minute credit hour, this is going to have a welcome impact on the strength of their initial schedule-builds.   

Room detail report

Have you ever looked at the Room Density Report and wished those colored boxes would tell you what class was in that spot? That is a rhetorical question as we have all, at one time or another, wondered this. Now you have an entirely new report that combines the graphical strength of the Density Report with the informational detail of the actual schedule. This new hybrid output, called the Room Detail Report, gives a fast, graphical picture of each of your rooms, and we're confident it will become a new favorite for many.  

Enhanced room density report

Not to be outdone, the Room Density report also got a bit of new paint. Instead of just having colored boxes fill the grid showing when the room is in use, you now get some detail about the nature of those reservations. The traditional Green will still represent a standard room reservation. But you will now see a few more colors on the grid. Orange boxes represent when a room was specifically requested. A Blue box indicates that this reservation is attached to a Short Course, and the room won't be in use for the full semester. I'm confident this will allow the Room Density report to remain a frequent stop for all schedule reviews.   

1L elective protection

For law schools that support 1L electives (typically in the Spring term), we have created an ability to flag those classes and have them scheduled around the regular sectioned 1L curriculum. Basic makeup is the electives can be scheduled in conflict but they cannot be scheduled at the same time as a sectioned course. There is a little bit of configuration on our end to get this working for a school. If your schedule carries 1L Electives and you'd like to employ this new protection, send me a note, and we will get you set up.  

Bonus: Course assignment notifications

I'm a touch hesitant to add this as it is still in development, but it is far enough along that I'm confident we will have it in place by the time folks will need it in the Spring. This will be a new ability in Step 5, where after finalizing your schedule, you will be able to, at the click of a button, email ALL teaching faculty their specific teaching assignments for a semester. This way, people won't have to come to one of the main schedule views and look through the full schedule to find their assignments. My spidey-sense tells me, many schools will appreciate this time-saving update.  

I hope you are half as excited to use these new features as we are to offer them. We are looking forward to another year of working with you and making great schedules. 

As always, see you on the scheduling pitch. 

Troy

More ofCourse feature updates

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Troy Dearmitt

Troy Dearmitt

Troy is the CTO & Co-founder at ofCourse.

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