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Glossary (Sectioning and Timetabling - grouped)

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Glossary (Sectioning and Timetabling - grouped)

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Glossary (Sectioning and Timetabling - grouped)

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Program Rules

Program rules define one or more conditions that must be met to satisfy a requirement for a part of a degree, major, minor, or concentration. Program rules are building blocks for program versions and templates and may be re-used across multiple programs. A set of many different rules may define a single program version.


Catalog Versions

represents the term starting date on which a set of program rules goes into effect.


Program Versions

A Program Version is made up of the combination of a program name and catalog version, along with the collection of rules, specifications, and restrictions that form the requirements for completion of the program version.


Program Templates

Program Templates are designed to simplify the complexity of an institution's program rule structure by limiting course choice down to those courses that are either historically most probable or are recommended for a specific program type.


Course Bracketing

Allows users to set a student’s program progression by defining Minimum, Maximum, and Ideal credit hours for when students would preferably take courses in their program.


Availability Templates

Student Availability Templates (sometimes referred to as "time templates") are used to apply default student time of day/day of week availability to groups of students.


Student Load Templates

Student Load Templates are the default rules used by Sectioning to determine student loads during section assignment.



Terms are used to define a group of academic course sections that are offered during a period of time.


Term Groups

Term Groups are used to group together concurrent terms or terms that start on the same date, but have different end dates. Term Groups allow users to run sectioning for more than one term type at a time.

Simulated Students


Analysis Term

The academic term selected for the tool to examine. This is often a new, upcoming term.


Like Terms

Historical terms against which the Analytics tool will compare the analysis term (i.e, when an upcoming fall term is being analyzed, it will be compared with 3-5 previous fall terms). For example, like terms for Fall 2012 would be Fall 2011, Fall 2010 and Fall 2009.


New Students

Students that have academic history in the given term, but never before that point.


Returning Students

Students that have academic history in the given term, no academic history in the prior term, but have history in the other like or prior terms.



Students that had academic history in the prior term, but not in the given term.


Transfer Students

Students hat have just started in the given term that have transfer history from another institution.  They have no prior history at the institution.



Import ID

This is the unique identifier for the course. This value is used during imports to determine course details and determine if the course exists in the database.


Catalog Version

This is a Jenzabar SIS-specific value to help differentiate between catalog versions of a course.


Complex Prerequisites

This section allows the selection of an existing program rule that must be satisfied as a prerequisite to the course.



This section allows the entry of one or more course prerequisites and includes an expression creation tool for the configuration of complex "and/or" prerequisites. Use the expression builder buttons to create the prerequisite expression. Insert courses using the Course button.



This section allows the entry of one or more course corequisites and includes an expression creation tool for the configuration of complex "and/or" corequisites. Use the expression builder buttons to create the corequisite expression. Insert courses using the Course button.



This section allows the entry of one or more course equivalents.


Historical Equivalents

This section allows the entry of non-degree audit, manual equivalents entered for the purposes of program analysis.


Dependent Course Info

This option indicates that if this course is created during Sectioning, then any courses added here must be offered as well. To configure, you may join the course to an existing group or create a new one from scratch.


Cross-List Info

If courses are entered here, then if demand warrants that both courses are offered during Sectioning, the courses should be cross-listed. To configure, you may join the course to an existing group or create a new one from scratch.



Removing this flag removes the course from course selection options throughout the system so that it cannot be used any longer.


Requires Attention

This flag may be used to indicate a problem with the record typically caused by a data problem during import or update.


Is Arranged Course

This flag indicates that any sections created for the course are flagged as "arranged".


Do Not Optimize

Setting this flag indicates that room assignments should NOT be automatically made for sections of this course during bulk scheduling.


Is In Course Catalog

This is a Banner SIS-specific flag that indicates that the course is in the active course catalog.


Has Sequential PreReqs

This flag indicates that if there are prerequisites configured, then they must be taken in sequential terms.


Delivery Methods

Delivery Methods represent the various course offering formats.  Examples include "On Campus", "Blended", "Online", etc.


Term Types

These represent the term types during which the course delivery may be offered.


Max Number of Sections

This indicates the maximum number of sections of this course delivery that can be generated by the sectioning algorithm, per student time availability template.


Schedule Back to Back Meetings

If multiple meeting types for the same delivery, then schedule them back-to-back on the same days


Split Meetings

If multiple meeting types for the same delivery, then split them into separate sections of the course delivery


Meeting Types

These are the meeting types REQUIRED when the course delivery is offered. If LEC and LAB are added as meeting types, then both a LEC and a LAB meeting type must be created for the course delivery during sectioning.


Contact Hours

This is the number of hours the meeting must meet per week or term. The contact hour value determines the valid meeting patterns for the course meeting type.


Enrollment Bracket

The minimum, ideal, and maximum enrollment for a section of this course meeting type. This information is used during sectioning to determine how many students may be assigned.


Online option: Special designation to indicate that the course meeting type is online. This value is for information purposes at this time.


Arranged option

Special designation to indicate that the course meeting type is arranged and therefore will not receive a meeting pattern.


Requires Cross-List

This option indicates that if the course has multiple meeting types and multiple sections are generated by Sectioning, then the meeting type in question should be cross-listed across the sections with like meeting types.


Requires Room

If this option is false, then the meeting type will not be assigned a room during scheduling (for example ITV courses with times but no rooms).


Requires Time

If this option is false, then the meeting type will not be assigned a time or room during timetabling (for example Online courses).

Meeting Patterns


Standard Meeting Patterns

Only meeting patterns selected as “Is Standard” will be used during Timetabling.  Any other meeting patterns that exist in the system can be used to make manual changes to schedules once timetabling is complete.




The campuses in Astra Schedule should mirror the campus information found in the student information system. These will be geographical divisions used in room assignment and security settings.


Room type

A room description that defines room function (e.g., biology lab, art studio, auditorium, classroom)



A user-defined group of buildings and/or rooms used to set scheduling preferences and user security restrictions.



A permanent attribute of a room (e.g. sink, LCD projector, maps, etc.).



The name and definition of a room’s physical arrangement used for scheduling purposes. A room may have one or more possible configurations.


Facility Layout

A standardized physical layout that may be associated with room configurations on one or more rooms.


Usage Policy

A set of rules applied to a specific room or resource that define when and if the item may be used and for what type of activities.

Scheduling Preferences



The priority of a given room type, feature, region, building, or room as determined by course or instructor need.


Preference Mode

The preference mode determines how the preference is applied during scheduling. The four preference modes include:


1.Normal - preference weight is considered when scoring room fit

2.Required - preference must be satisfied in room assignment

3.Excluded - preference item must be avoided in room assignment

4.Blocked - preference should not be considered if it has been inherited from another rule


Preference Set

A reusable group of saved scheduling preferences (business rules) applied during room assignment to determine “best fit” based on the scheduling process, term, or scheduling goals.

Sectioning Settings


Efficiency Weighting

Allows users to maximize section enrollment to generate the most efficient number of sections possible.


Cohort Weighting

Allows users to generate sections that maximize the potential for students to be scheduled with other students in the same program template


Student Weighting

Allows users to generate sections that create ideal student course loads, highest recommended/critical course placement, and ideal section enrollment.


Enforce Lock Step

Check box tells the optimizer to schedule students for the next set of courses they are eligible to take based on Course Bracketing. The optimizer will ignore any catch up courses students may need and schedule students with their cohorts.


Count Overlapped Course Load

Check box will only need to be selected if students can be scheduled in multiple terms at the same time. This check box will account for any course load a student may have in an overlapping term and schedule them for courses in the current term based on the additional course load that is available. If the student has a full course load in the overlapping term, they will not be scheduled in the sectioning run be created for the current term.


Allow Cross Campus Packing

Check box allows users to have students take courses at a campus other than their primary campus. The campus that has the most student need for a course will determine where the course is offered and what resources will be used.


Save All Possible Courses

Check box will show all courses left in a students’ program on the student record in sectioning. This option allows users more visibility into the student’s program and may help when moving students and resolving tentative sections. This option is checked by default but can be unselected if desired.

Sectioning Results


Total Courses Offered

Number of courses being offered for the term.


Total Sections Created

Number of sections that were created for the term.


Total Sections Scheduled

Number of sections that met the minimum enrollment requirement and were put into a status of scheduled.


Total Students Enrolled

Number of students included in the run.


Average Section Enrollment

Average enrollment of all of the sections created. This number will improve as tentative sections and orphaned students are resolved.


Students Swapped From Recommended Path

Number of students that were swapped out of sections that followed the ideal sequence and put into sections that fall in the minimum and maximum course bracket values configured on the Program Template. Students are swapped for maximum efficiency gains.


Average Student Load

Average course load for all of the students being scheduled for the run. This could be by credit hours or number of courses depending on configuration.


Students with Recommended Schedule

Number of students scheduled for the ideal sequence (as defined by course bracketing).


Students with Full Schedule

Number of students that have been scheduled for the ideal course load.


Students Orphaned

Number of students that are scheduled in low enrollment/tentative sections.


Actual Load

Student’s actual load reflects the number of credit hours or courses (depending on configuration) they are scheduled for.


Tentative Load

Student’s tentative load reflects the number of credit hours or courses they are currently orphaned for.


Applied Credits

Applied credits are credits in a student’s history that apply to a program rule in their program of study.


Failing and withdrawal grades are neither wasted nor applied.  They are not counted.


When sectioning for future terms, existing sandbox planned courses in the sandbox chain for students are treated as applied credits for new sandboxes. Any course in progress or otherwise scheduled by a previous sandbox is counted and applied.


Wasted Credits

Wasted credits are credits in a student’s history that do not count toward that student’s program of study based on the program rules (not the template).


Failing and withdrawal grades are neither wasted nor applied.  They are not counted.


Load Diff.

Actual Load minus Tentative Load.


Course Load Source

Displays where a Student’s course load came from: Term, Term Type, Term Group, or Program Template.


Overlap Course Load

Displays number of credit hours a student is currently scheduled for in an overlapping term.


Total Possible Courses

Number of courses in a student’s program that still need to be completed.


Bracketing Ineligible

Number of courses that are ineligible because a student’s applied credit hours have not met the minimum bracket for the courses.


Pre-Req. Ineligible

Number of courses that are ineligible because the student has not taken the pre-requisite course.


Co-Req. Ineligible

Number of courses that are ineligible because the student has already completed a part of the co-requisite.


Requires Attention

Students will appear as Requires Attention for a few reasons; no time template, program template, and course load. Students who have been applied to a program template that does not match their degree may also require attention.



Courses that follow a student’s ideal course bracket configured on the Program Template.



Courses students are eligible to take based on the flexibility in the minimum and maximum brackets configured on the Program Template.


Selected Sections

Sections the optimizer selected to try and schedule for a student. Sections will appear with a status of Scheduled or Orphaned.


Scheduled Status

The optimizer was able to create the section with enough students to meet the minimum section enrollment.


Orphaned Status

The optimizer could not put enough students into the section to meet the minimum section enrollment. This makes the Section status Tentative and the Student will appear as Orphaned.


# in Pre-Req. Chain

Allows users to see if a section is part of a pre-requisite chain and where the course falls in that chain.


Catch Up

A course will appear as Catch Up if a student has more applied credits than the maximum credit hours bracket. This is usually the result of a student failing a required course or dropping.


Ideal Credit Hour

Determines when a student would ideally take a course in the program progression.


Critical Path

A section will appear as Critical Path if it is critical for a student to take the course for this specific term. Critical path designation could be the result of the course being a pre-requisite of another course, or a student nearing the end of the program.


Critical Course Score

Is calculated for each section. If the course is a # in a Pre-Requisite Chain, Catch Up, or Critical Path it will have a higher Critical Course Score.

Timetabling Settings


Section Data Source

The Data Source tells the optimizer where to get the sections from.  Either sections created in Astra or sections imported into Astra


Keep Existing Room and Time Assignments

These options allow users to keep existing time or room assignments already set on a section either in the section form or in sectioning


Scoring Balance

Allows users to assign weights to Seat Fill and Preferences to determine importance


Preference Weighting

Allows users to specify that a specific preference time has more importance than the others


Maximum Capacity

Selecting maximum capacity will schedule rooms to the maximum capacity that is set


Actual Enrollment

Selecting actual enrollment will schedule rooms based on the number of students in the sections


Minimum Seat Fill %

will tell the optimizer to only schedule sections into rooms that they meet the minimum seat fill for


Overall Scoring Balance

This weights the importance of the two types of settings, Room Scheduling Priorities and Timetable Settings.

Timetabling Results



A scheduling deficit caused by a scarce resource or heavily used time period.  A bottleneck is indicated when suitable rooms exist, but none are available for a given section.



A section which has no suitable rooms due to a combination of scheduling requirements that are impossible to meet.



The process of updating the production section data with time, days, and room assignments made during an optimization run.