Astra Schedule Help (7.5)


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Timetabling uses user-configured preferences and student and faculty availability to assign specific meeting patterns and rooms to sections.  This process also seeks to mitigate student conflicts while enforcing a conflict free schedule for faculty and rooms.


The timetabling process can occur either before or after faculty assignment.  Creating the timetable before faculty assignment maximizes scheduling efficiency and student progress to degree completion.  Timetabling after faculty assignment places a priority on faculty preferences and availability.


The timetabling algorithm can use one or many sectioning sandbox files as its data source.  The sectioning process generates numbers of sections partially based on student time availability and conflict.  This improves the ability for the timetabling process to create a conflict-free schedule.


Timetabling is guided by the following elements:


Student time availability

Student conflicts

Faculty time availability (if assigned)

Faculty conflicts (if assigned)

Room scheduling preferences

Meeting Pattern configuration and time preferences

Room availability (from production and/or sandbox source data)

Timetabling Algorithm Process Overview

The system automatically performs the following steps during the timetabling process.  When processing is finished and results are displayed, tools are provided to the user to manually resolve any final issues, including assigning students to other sections that did not receive a full, conflict-free schedule, and performing manual, ad-hoc timetabling on individual sections to resolve any other outstanding scheduling issues.


1.Gather feasible meeting patterns
Determined by default time availability templates and required time preferences for instructors, courses, and sections


2.Score meeting patterns
Based on student section conflicts, time preferences, and faculty and student desired times


3.Gather room availability
Find availability of all rooms for each meeting pattern


4.Score rooms


5.Eliminate meeting patterns with no room availability


6.Group sections by:
Common student time availability templates
Common faculty time availability templates


7.Score/Sort section meetings within each group based on difficulty to schedule
Avg. critical course score
# of valid meeting patterns (must pass availability conflict ceiling)
# of valid rooms (must meet fill ratio minimum)


8.Evaluate student conflicts for each valid meeting pattern for each section (eliminate meeting patterns with greater than x percent student section conflicts based on user setting)


9.Score the remaining meeting patterns
Create a time matrix for sections:
What patterns are available when students are available, faculty available, rooms available
Day/time matrix of patterns with number of available and desired student counts. (27/15 – 27 available students, 15 desired)
Matrix made of all standard meeting patterns that match the contact hours of the activity
Score by:
Student availability
Instructor availability
Time preferences
Packing for sections and spreading for exams


10.Assign sections to patterns and rooms based on best combined score


11.Swap students (after primary run is completed)
Perform student swapping if student conflicts are encountered for a section in an assigned meeting pattern (within time template)
Perform student swapping outside of time template


12.Analyze and display results


Display scheduled sections


Identify and display infeasibles
Determine meeting patterns per section (based on valid meeting patterns, meeting pattern and/ meeting pattern group hard constraints, student availability templates, faculty availability templates)
Determine valid rooms per section
Present valid meeting patterns and rooms if hard constraints are removed


Identify bottlenecks



See "Create a Timetable Sandbox Run" to begin.