It has been a productive and lively year here at ofCourse. Over the last nine months we have been hard at work making a great system even greater. I hope that after reading the list below of system additions, you, like us, will think we have just entered a new stratosphere in scheduling excellence.
Support for multiple professors
Some courses have multiple professors assigned to them. You can now attach them all to a single course. Not only does it list each professor connected to a course, but it will also protect each professor’s time, preventing them from being double-booked.
Support for non-traditional classes
Does your school have class formats off the beaten path? Online Courses, Weekend Courses, Short-term Intensive courses? In the past all we supported was slotting standard classes that required a room for a full semester. Now that we've fully crested that hill, and through the request of multiple schools, we have added support for a wider variety of course types. This allows you to get your full curriculum properly represented on the end schedule.
You may now attach footnotes to your courses that will display on the final schedule. There's a bevy of possible examples I could cite here like "This class meets the Intensive-Writing requirement" or “This class will not meet the week of October 14th".
New public views
When it came to sharing your schedule at the end of the process you had one view/style available, the graphical, weekly grid. While that is fine and great, it may not always be the best way to access the data. To this end, we made a new catalog-style view that shows the schedule in list form and may be sorted by Course or Professor.
Now that some of the schools have a few years under their belt, we have added Historical Reporting views to the Professor and Course profiles. With these reports, you can super-quickly see who has taught what and when in the past. This can be of great assistance if you are trying to figure out who to place in an undesirable time slot. For instance, if you needed one of five profs to teach an early morning class you could pull each of them up and see who, in the last five years, has or has not taught a morning class which will give you empirical data to support a fair decision.
More granular start times
In the past, you could only set start times with quarter-hour granularity. You can now set them with 5-minute precision. And the system will continue to (1) move the end time to accommodate any entered start time AND (2) make sure no collisions were created through the change.
This is a bit of plumbing-work but those who had a lot of post-production course removals will rejoice at this innocuous-seeming update. In short, you may now DELETE classes from your end schedule sans assistance from ofCourse Scheduling.
Course Scheduling is a complicated affair that only gets done once or twice a year, so we built a scheduling assistant that will help you along this intricate and lonely journey. It is like having someone follow you around with a clipboard who can tell you in a flash the last thing you did as well as the next thing you need to do in regard to your schedule. This is especially helpful to folks doing two semesters at the same time as it will help track progress within each semester.
New company, better everything
We sent notes out last year that we would be forming a new company around this technology. The transition has fully taken place and we're thrilled to be able to share this amazing bit of progress we've had in just the first few months of our existence. The new company’s name is ofCourse Scheduling and our public face can be found @ https://ofcourse.org.
As you can see, we've been working happily to make a great system even greater. And the crazy thing is we are not done. Our whiteboards are already full of colorful scrawls with ideas about future improvements.
As always, see you on the scheduling pitch.
More ofCourse feature updates
November 16, 2016