Scheduling Method Options In Scheduler

Overview

When building your school’s schedule in the Veracross Scheduler, there are two ways to do this: all at once or incrementally by course classification.

Scheduling All Classes

The standard schedule builder method is to schedule your classes all at once with the constraints that have been configured. By default, the Scheduler will assume that courses marked as “AP” and “Honors” should be scheduled first, and that all other courses are of equal priority. This scheduling priority can be manually overwritten by configuring Course Classifications on the System homepage and assigning courses  classifications. Learn more about managing course classifications.

In general, the Scheduler will use the scheduling order that’s been set using course classifications, and always try to first schedule the courses that are the hardest to place within that scheduling order. For most schools, this means courses that only have one or two sections, and courses that many students are requesting will likely be scheduled first. If no scheduling order is set using classifications, this is the way the Scheduler will determine the order in which to schedule all of your classes.

To schedule your classes all at once, click the “Build Schedule” button on the Scenarios page to build a schedule using your Active Scenario (learn more about scenarios). Select the “All” checkbox under the Classifications list on the window that opens and click “Run” to build your class schedule.

Scheduling Incrementally

The other option is to schedule incrementally by Course Classification. This allows you to schedule only courses with a specific classification and then manually review or adjust those schedules before enrolling students and scheduling additional classes. You can also schedule multiple classifications at a time if needed (e.g. AP and Honors). This option works well for schools who may want to schedule all their top priority courses first (e.g. AP, Honors or Singletons) and enroll students in them before scheduling everything else.* By doing this, schools can more easily adjust class schedules and student enrollments for a subset of their courses to make sure as many students as possible get in to the classes with the most limited availability before continuing.

*Note: Schools who want to have courses scheduled in a specific order (e.g. AP classes scheduled first, then Honors, etc.) do not necessarily need to schedule by classification to achieve this. Instead, course classifications can be configured to tell the Scheduler in what order to automatically schedule each one. This is done by setting the Scheduler Sort Key on the classification. Learn more about managing course classifications.

Scheduling the First Classification

To schedule by classification, click the “Build Schedule” button on the Scenarios page to build a schedule using your Active Scenario (learn more about scenarios). In the window that opens, uncheck the “All” box under the classification list and instead check off the classification(s) you want schedule and click “Run”. Once the Scheduler has scheduled the classes for the selected classification, you can review your schedule and make changes if needed. Learn more about reviewing class schedules.

When classes in the first classification have been scheduled to your liking, you can then enroll students in to just the classifications that have been scheduled so far by clicking “Enroll” next to the Result you created.

Scheduling Additional Classifications

After you’ve scheduled one classification, you’ll need to finish scheduling your classifications. To continue adding on to a schedule in the same result, click on the name of the result that you’re working in from the Scenarios page. On the Results page, check the appropriate classification you wish to schedule and click “Schedule Classes”. You can choose to continue incrementally scheduling by checking the course classification(s) you wish to schedule, or you can choose to schedule the rest of your classes by selecting “All”. Scheduling classes again will not overwrite existing class schedules, but will schedule only those which have not been scheduled yet. After this round of classes has been scheduled, you can again review these class schedules and make adjustments before enrolling students. Learn more about reviewing class schedules.

If you continue to schedule classes incrementally using course classifications, you can optionally continue to enroll students in between each classification that is scheduled. To do this, click “Enroll” next to the Result you’re working in after you’ve scheduled another classification.

Which is Better?

Overall, the Scheduler will probably do a better job automatically scheduling your classes with the fewest conflicts when you schedule your classes all at once. The main reason for this is that the Scheduler looks at possible student conflicts between courses (the conflict matrix) for only the courses you are scheduling during each run. When you schedule all of your classes, the Scheduler can identify all the course combinations students are requesting, and will try to spread out all your classes accordingly.

If you instead schedule a subset of courses, the Scheduler only looks at how the courses being scheduled overlap with each other, and will spread out these classes to avoid conflicts among that single group of courses. Because the Scheduler doesn’t have the full picture of all the possible student conflicts, it may unknowingly be scheduling classes in blocks that will ultimately create more conflicts than if classes had just been scheduled all at once.

That said, some schools may still prefer to schedule some classifications manually for the purpose of getting students enrolled in specific classes right away, and choose to have the Scheduler automatically build the rest of their schedule. Scheduling by classification is likely only necessary for schools who want to be more manually involved in how the Scheduler builds the class schedules.