The following general questions about the U of M Scheduling Initiative are organized under headings. They reflect the questions posed by stakeholders.
Questions Related to the Impact of the U of M Scheduling Initiative on Instructors:
Effective use of space is a key consideration for the smooth operation of a large university such as the U of M. This is particularly true when the cost of new buildings is considered. Up to date inventories of instructional space and data on how the space is used will assist in ongoing planning.
The U of M Scheduling Initiative will:
The Registrar's Office is responsible for implementing this ROSE initiative.
The U of M Scheduling Initiative team has met with these departments to coordinate roles and responsibilities and ensure there is no disruption in services. These departments will be able to benefit from the software, as staff will be able to access up to date information on rooms and how and when they are being used. It is important to note that AV bookings will not change as a result of this initiative.
The U of M Scheduling Initiative involves:
Academic Schedulers play a key role in preparing the software to operate effectively, but should only adjust room assignments if there is an error of some sort in the type of classroom assigned to a course (e. g. a room feature is required that the scheduler was not previously aware of or was otherwise not entered into Ad Astra and resulted in assignment of unsuitable space).
There should be no increased need for students to travel across campus.
Using a web page, students will be able to use the Ad Astra software to view available space prior to making a request to book a space.
Instructors will be able to view room features, including permanent technology, by accessing their Faculty Detail Schedule in Aurora Self Service.
Using the preferences set up in the system, classes will be assigned to "faculty buildings" whenever possible or in buildings close to the faculty "home." As well, Ad Astra has the ability to implement "back to back" rules when assigning instructional spaces, ensuring that classes taught back to back are scheduled in close proximity.
Any needed AV and IT equipment will continue to be booked using current methods.
Labs are highly specialized and preference settings in Ad Astra control which classes are assigned to particular labs. There should be few, if any, changes in lab assignments or utilization.
The chief benefit to instructors is that the system will ensure appropriate instructional space is assigned for all classes on campus. The software tools will help ensure space needs are identified and met moving forward.
It may be that, for some courses, some instructors will be assigned spaces they have not taught in or are away from their "home building." Some instructors scheduled into unfamiliar instructional space may see this change as inconvenient. On the other hand, some instructors may prefer the new space to some other spaces they have used in the past. The space allocation will occur as follows:
Mid-terms can be scheduled as events or as an academic activity in Aurora INB (Banner), which will then be imported into Ad Astra.
Graduate seminars can be booked into small rooms as a class.
U of M building hours will not be changed due to the Ad Astra software implementation.
One primary event scheduler and a secondary (backup) scheduler per building will do all event scheduling. Faculties that have several buildings (such as Agriculture) may assign a primary and backup scheduler for their group of buildings, as well as a primary and backup for each building.
Special events will be booked by faculty schedulers (as is the current practice) but they will use Ad Astra to do the booking.
Instructional space, in some instances, has traditionally been viewed as "belonging" to a faculty. In reality, instructional space is part of the larger space inventory of the University. Thus it may be that these rooms will be used by classes from other faculties when the space is not being used by the faculty.
No, faculties and departments will retain control over booking "meeting spaces." Requests to use the spaces will need to be approved by the faculty or unit, as is the current practice.
Ad Astra will be the system of record for all Fort Garry classroom and event bookings beginning April 1, 2012. Ad Astra will be the system of record for the Bannatyne Campus beginning August 6, 2013.
Updated June 20, 2018.