University of Minnesota Office of Classroom Management
Office of Undergraduate Education
http://classroom.umn.edu

Class Scheduling Policy Summary and FAQ

This page contains a summary of and an FAQ related to the new scheduling policy. For the FAQ, scroll to the bottom of this page. You can review the policy at the Policy Library.

Changes to the Class Scheduling for Undergraduate and Graduate Classes policy for the Twin Cities campus go into effect for AY 2012-2013. OCM and staff from the college dean’s offices representing the College of Liberal Arts (Nanette Hanks), College of Education and Human Development (Cheryl Morgan), College of Design (Laurie Gardner), Institute of Technology (Susan Kubitschek), College of Biological Science (Jean Underwood), and College of Food Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences (Karen Sprengeler) worked to create a new class scheduling policy that is fair and equitable, reduces classroom demand for certain days and times, increases scheduling flexibility for departments, and helps ensure reasonable class access.

This policy:

  • Adds new meeting patterns to the standard class meeting times
    • Additional 75-minute meeting patterns for 3-credit courses on Monday/Wednesday, Wednesday/Friday, and Monday/Friday
    • 150-minute courses sections on Fridays starting at standard meeting times
  • Promotes fair-use of classrooms
    • Colleges must distribute classes evenly throughout the day, with no more than 3% of course demand scheduled in any one standard time block (see chart).

    Chart of time blocks from 8 am through 6 pm, Monday through Friday

  • Colleges are permitted to schedule a maximum of 50% of their course demand using a Tuesday/Thursday meeting pattern.

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How is demand determined?

For the purposes of this report, only daytime general purpose classroom (GPC) demand is considered.

A class is considered to have daytime demand if it meets during:

    • 8:00 a.m.-5:45 p.m. in Minneapolis
    • 8:30 a.m.-6:15 p.m. in St Paul

A class is considered to have daytime GPC demand if the following criteria are met:

  • It has a meeting pattern; AND
  • The Facility ID field in ECS is blank OR populated with a general purpose classroom; AND
  • It meets during 8:00 a.m.-5:45 p.m. in Minneapolis or 8:30 -6:15 p.m. in St. Paul

A class is NOT considered in this report if any of the following criteria are met:

  • It does not have a meeting pattern (days and/or times); OR
  • It meets outside of the Standard Class Time Table (before 8:00 a.m. or after 5:30 p.m. on the Minneapolis campus; before 8:30 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. on the St. Paul campus); OR
  • The facility ID field in ECS is populated with
    • A departmentally controlled space; OR
    • ROOM000TBA; OR
    • NOROOMREQD
  • This report does not anticipate demand from the following colleges: Academic Health Center Shared; Dentistry, School of; Health Sciences, Sr VP; Law School; Medical School; Nursing, School of; Pharmacy, College of; Public Health, School of; Rochester UMR; Chancellor's Office; Veterinary Medicine, Coll of.  They are excluded from the report unless a course is manually scheduled into a GPC.

How are "hours allowed" calculated?

According to policy, no more than 3% of class hours should be scheduled in any given time period. To determine hours allowed, we take the total number of class minutes requesting GPC space for the semester and multiply that number by 3%.  

For example, if your department offers 100 sections of the same class, each meeting for one 50-minute time period per week, your hours allowed would be: (100*50)*3% = 150 minutes (or 2.5 hours).

You would be able to schedule up to a maximum of 2.5 hours per time period. You would not be required to use any of the periods but would have the flexibility to schedule up to 2.5 hours at any given time period throughout the day and the week.

How is demand calculated for B times and C times (75 minute periods)?  What about half-term courses or classes that meet for three hours?

If a meeting pattern overlaps more than one A-time period, the demand minutes are distributed according to how many minutes take place in each period. For example, a B-time period class meeting Tues/Thurs 8:15-9:30 a.m. would count as 50 minutes (0.8 hours) in the first time period block on both Tuesday and Thursday and as 25 minutes (0.4 hours) in the second time period block on both Tuesday and Thursday.

What are the non-standard course exemptions?

Departments should be mindful to schedule classes so that students have reasonable access to courses inside and outside their department.  
  • Classes on weekends, off campus or that start at or after "A" time period IX on weekdays
  • Courses designated as "Graduate Career" in ECAS scheduled in a departmentally controlled room
  • Clinically based Academic Health Center (AHC) courses in AHC controlled rooms
  • Standard times are based on primary component of the course. The following components are not subject to standard times when scheduled in a specialized space: CLN (Clinic), DEM (Demonstration), LAB (Laboratory), PHY (Physical Education), REH (Rehearsal), RES (Residency), ROT (Rotation), STU (Studio), WKS (Workshop)
  • On a case by case basis, film classes may also be considered exempt if using standard start times.  It is the department scheduler’s responsibility to notify the scheduling unit (ocmsched@umn.edu) of film classes during ECS period 1 each semester.

Why do the time periods in the chart extend for 65 minutes when the standard A times are only 50 minutes long?

A fifteen-minute passing time is added to the end of each period so the day does not include any gaps.

What if I am over my hours allowed in a time period typically underutilized?

For fall 2012 and spring 2013 scheduling, you will not be asked to move if you overschedule during these time periods because we currently have adequate inventory at these times to meet all classroom demand. We will reevaluate this availability at the beginning of each scheduling cycle.

  • Period I, Monday through Friday
    8:00 a.m.–8:50 a.m. (Minneapolis)
    8:30 a.m.–9:20 a.m. (St. Paul)

  • Period IV, Monday through Friday
    4:40 p.m.–5:30 p.m. (Minneapolis)
    5:10 p.m.–6:00 p.m. (St. Paul)

  • Any period on Friday

What about combined sections?

The meeting patterns of combined sections are calculated once and demand is attributed to the department of the parent section only.

Where is the data coming from and how timely is it?

The data in this report is a snapshot of scheduling data taken from ECS as of last night.

3% in each period would add up to 135%. How does that work?

We have built in quite a bit of flexibility to this policy. You are not required to use any of the time periods, but you do need to spread them out across the day.