Timetabling

Timetabling Procedure

Policy Code: SS2020

Purpose

This procedure mandates operational activities and assigns responsibilities to support the implementation of the Timetabling Policy.

This procedure will ensure coordinated and consistent timetabling practices of teaching activities and casual bookings of space across all areas of the University in order to facilitate the timely production of the annual University-wide timetable.

This document should be read in conjunction with the Timetabling Policy.

Scope

This procedure applies to the scheduling of all teaching activities (timetabled and non-timetabled) and the casual bookings of teaching and meeting spaces at all Federation University Australia campuses.

This procedure does not cover:

  • Teaching activities and casual bookings at Partner Provider Organisations; and
  • Spaces that are only used for external bookings.

Legislative Context

  • Statute 1.4 The University Year and Timetables
  • Federation University Australia Act 2010
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) Threshold Standards 2011
  • Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association (TEFMA) Inc – Space Planning Guidelines

Definitions

A complete list of definitions relevant to this procedure are contained within the Timetabling Policy.

Actions

Each of the procedures below, details the activity which must be conducted in accordance with the timetabling principles referred to in the Timetabling Policy.

1. Development and Publication of Annual Higher Education Timetable

Scheduling Services will create a new Higher Education timetable for the forthcoming year on an annual basis which will be based on the information provided by schools.

The key steps to create an annual timetable are outlined in the procedure below. This procedure must be completed according to the Higher Education Timetable Timelines published in the Scheduling Portal.

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Preparation for opening new timetable database. Team Leader, Timetabling
  1. Development of timetable timelines.
  2. Update timetabling communication plan.
  3. Create new timetable database by rolling over timetabling database from previous year.
  4. Cleanup timetable data.
B. Finalisation of program structures and course offerings for forthcoming year. Program Coordinators / Coordinator, Programs
  1. Ensure any new programs or course offerings have been approved according to the Approval of New Award Programs (Higher Education) procedure and timelines.
  2. Complete/update program structures including core, major, minor and elective courses for each campus that each program will be offered at according to the timetable timelines.
    • This data should include timetabled and non-timetabled courses and courses offered in program structure from other schools.
    • This information is critical to ensure all course offerings are timetabled to allow students to receive a clash free timetable.
  3. Provide a list of staff who are required to update and confirm course delivery requirements in Timetable Data Collector.
C. Reviewing course offerings, entering and validating programs structures. Team Leader, Timetabling / Timetabling Officers
  1. Enter new/updated timetabled and non-timetabled course offering data based on program structures provided by schools into the University’s timetable system.
  2. Enter and validate program structure combinations based on program structures provided by each School.
  3. Update staff access in Timetable Data Collector.
D. Data collection training and assistance Team Leader, Timetabling / Timetabling Officers
  1. Provide training and assistance to School staff during the data collection phase, including:
    • Updating data collection instructions for schools;
    • Run drop-in / training sessions;
    • Timetabling Officers located in each School; and
    • One-on-one sessions for School staff that request assistance.
E. Collection of staff unavailability. Academic Staff / Head of School
  1. Academic staff submit their staff unavailability for the forthcoming year in Timetable Data Collector.
  2. Head of School confirms/declines submitted staff unavailability in Timetable Data Collector.
F. Collection of course offering delivery requirements. Course Coordinator / Program Coordinator   
  1. Update and confirm timetabled course delivery requirements in Timetable Data Collector, including:
    • Course component size;
    • Teaching week pattern;
    • Teaching staff (if known);
    • Location type; and
    • Any additional comments
  2. Confirm non-timetabled course offerings.
G. Review of course offering delivery data. Timetabling Officer / Program Coordinator
  1. Timetabling follow up course delivery data with schools that are not confirmed in Timetable Data Collector. This data will then be confirmed, rested or removed.
  2. Program Coordinator to review and approve course delivery data which was confirmed by Course Coordinators in Timetable Data Collector.
H. Development of timetable Team Leader, Timetabling / Timetabling Officers
  1. Review of course offerings and course component sizes.
    • Timetabling will review and update (if necessary) course offering and course component sizes confirmed in Timetable Data Collector based on current programs structures and enrolment numbers from the previous year.
  2. Creation of class activities and entering of class constraints based on information supplied from staff in Timetable Data Collector and from meetings with school staff.
  3. Creation of non-timetabled classes based on information supplied from schools.
  4. Finalisation of program structures. Ensuring all course offerings in the program structure are confirmed.
I. Pre-scheduling activities. Team Leader, Timetabling  / Timetabling Officers
  1. Creation and allocation of student sets based on program structure information provided by schools.
  2. Perform pre-scheduling checks e.g. identifying classes that cannot be scheduled etc.
  3. Creation of scheduling groups.
    • Determines the order that classes are scheduled. Timetabling then use the auto-scheduling feature to schedule all classes in bulk. The classes are then scheduled based on the preferences entered by School staff during the data collection phase.
J. Schedule draft timetable. Team Leader, Timetabling / Timetabling Officers
  1. Schedule lectures, specialty classes and once off classes using auto-scheduling feature.
  2. For classes that cannot be scheduled, timetabling will consult with the schools to negotiate other possibilities.
  3. Draft timetable released for review and amendments.
K.       Review of draft timetable. Program Coordinators (or delegate) / Timetabling Officers   
  1. School staff review classes scheduled in draft timetable on web timetable system.
  2. School staff request changes to the draft timetable through meetings with timetabling or by raising a request to timetabling through the Scheduling Portal.
  3. Timetabling amend classes scheduled in draft timetable based on consultation with schools.
    • If the timetable amendment cannot be accommodated, Timetabling will negotiate other possibilities with the staff member that has made the request.
L.       Schedule all remaining classes (provisional timetable). Team Leader, Timetabling / Timetabling Officers
  1. Schedule all remaining classes using timetabling auto-scheduling feature.
  2. Consult with schools regarding classes that cannot be scheduled.
  3. Provisional timetable released for review and amendments.
M.      Review of provisional timetable. All School staff / Timetabling Officers
  1. School staff review provisional timetable on web timetable system.
  2. School staff request changes to the provisional timetable through meetings with timetabling or by raising a request to timetabling through the Scheduling Portal.
  3. Timetabling amend classes scheduled in provisional timetable based on consultation with schools.
    • If the timetable amendment cannot be accommodated, timetabling will negotiate other possibilities with the staff member that made the request.
N.      Entering and validating integration data. Team Leader, Timetabling / Timetabling Officers
  1. Turn on and test timetabling system and my Student Centre integrations in test systems.
  2. Validate and update data errors in the timetabling system and my Student Centre production systems.
  3. Test and validate test integration data.
  4. Turn on timetabling system and my Student Centre integrations and scheduled tasks in production systems.
  5. Test and validate production integration data.
O.      Set size reserves, hide classes, set auto-enrols and confirm non-timetabled classes. Timetabling Officers & Program Coordinators
  1. Timetabling send a list of timetabled and non-timetabled classes scheduled to Program Coordinators for final verification.
  2. Program Coordinator identifies classes that are required to be hidden, have reserves set or require enrol-enrols set.
  3. Timetabling set reserve sizes for identified classes in my Student Centre based on information provided by schools.
  4. Timetabling set auto-enrols for identified classes in my Student Centre based on information provided by schools.
  5. Timetabling ‘hide’ identified classes (set to tentative) in my Student Centre and timetabling system.
  6. Timetabling add newly identified non-timetabled classes to timetabling system.
P.       Publication of Higher Education timetable. Team Leader, Timetabling
  1. Publication of Higher Education timetable.
    • Timetable will be published one week prior to the opening of continuing enrolments.
    • Once published, the timetable will not be amended unless there are exceptional circumstances or for the reasons outlined in section 4 of the Timetabling Policy and with the appropriate authority.

2. Higher Education Post Publication Changes

The timetable will be published one week prior to the opening of continuing enrolments.

Once the Higher Education timetable has been published, the timetable will not be amended unless there are exceptional circumstances or for the reasons outlined in section 4 of the Timetabling Policy and with the appropriate authority.

The key steps to request a change to the published timetable is outlined in the procedure below.

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A.       Submit timetable change request. Program Coordinator / Course Coordinator  
  1. Assesses whether requested timetabling change meets reasons outlined in the section 4 of the Timetabling Policy.
  2. If exceptional circumstance, submits appropriate timetable request in Scheduling Portal.
B.       School approval of timetable change request (if required) School Dean (or delegated officer)
  1. If approval is required, receives automatic approval request email.
    • Timetabling change requests that require approval are stated in section 4 of the Timetabling Policy.
  2. Performs assessment on change requested.
  3. Approves or rejects timetable change request.
    • If the timetable change is rejected, the change is not progressed any further.
C.      Assessment of timetable change request Team Leader, Timetabling
  1. Performs assessment of timetable change by reviewing the following:
    • Ensures requested timetabling change meets reasons outlined in the section 4 of the Timetabling Policy.
    If the timetable does not meet a reason for change, the change is rejected, the change is not progressed any further.
    • Determines whether the change request can be accommodated.
    • Determines number of students affected and impact on student experience.
  2. If DVC approval required, sends approval request notification.
D.      Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) approval of timetable change request (if required). Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC)
  1. Receives timetable change request DVC approval email.
    • Timetabling change requests that require approval are stated in section 4 of the Timetabling Policy.
  2. Performs assessment of change requested.
  3. Approves or rejects timetable change request.
    • If the timetable change is rejected, the change is not progressed any further.
E.       Actions timetable change request. Timetabling Officer
  1. Receives DVC approval for timetable request in Scheduling Portal.
  2. Conducts detailed assessment of whether the change request can be accommodated.
    • If the timetable change cannot be accommodated, timetabling will negotiate other possibilities with the staff member that made the request.
  3. Records which students are impacted (if any) by the timetable change and identifies any student timetable clashes and timetable allocation adjustments.
  4. Actions timetable change request in timetabling system.
    • The timetable change will then be updated in my Student Centre overnight.
  5. If required, adds HQ comments to Timetable Request in the Scheduling Portal and triggers task notification for HQ to action.
    • HQ will receive a task notification for timetable change requests that require a change to one or more student’s timetable allocations in my Student Centre or where there has been a change to one or more student’s timetables.
F.       Amends student enrolment allocations and notifies students of change. Student HQ
  1. If required, HQ receives a timetable change task email to action.
  2. If required, HQ updates student’s enrolment allocations that are required to be amended.
    • The changes to student enrolments will then be updated in the timetabling system overnight.
  3. Notifies the impacted students that there has been a change to their timetable.
  4. Completes email task.
G.      Closes Timetable Change Request Timetabling Officer
  1. Receives notification that a HQ task has been completed.
  2. If class is required to be closed or cancelled, confirms that all students’ have been removed from the appropriate class.
  3. Completes timetable change request in the Scheduling Portal.
    • When the timetable change request is completed, the staff member who submitted the request is notified that the change request has been completed.

3. Development and Publication of Annual TAFE Timetable

Scheduling Services will create a TAFE timetable for the forthcoming year on an annual basis which will be based on the information provided by TAFE Education Managers (or delegated officer).

The key steps to create a TAFE timetable are outlined in the procedure below. This procedure must be completed according to the TAFE Timetable Timelines published in the Scheduling Portal

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Preparation for opening new timetable database. Team Leader, Timetabling
  1. Development of TAFE timetable timelines.
  2. Cleanup TAFE timetable data.
B. Preparing timetables. TAFE Education Manager (or delegated officer)
  1. Prepare timetables within departments.
  2. Submits TAFE timetable request in Scheduling Portal which includes the following class information:
  • National program code and description;
  • Teaching group (if required);
  • Course code and name;
  • Day/s and time;
  • Duration;
  • Dates;
  • Planned size;
  • Campus;
  • Classroom type or specialty space required; and
  • Teaching staff member.
C. Publishing draft timetables. Timetabling Officer
  1. Enter timetabling data into timetabling system.
  2. Schedule timetable data.
    • If a class submitted on the draft timetable cannot be scheduled, timetabling will negotiate other possibilities with the relevant Education Manager.
  3. Release draft timetable.
D. Reviewing draft timetables. TAFE Education Manager (or delegated officer)
  1. Review draft timetable on web timetable system.
  2. Submit changes or additions through meetings with timetabling or raising a TAFE timetabling request through the Scheduling Portal.
E. Publication TAFE timetable. Team Leader, Timetabling / Timetabling Officer
  1. Complete changes/additions to draft timetable in timetabling system.
    • If the requested timetable amendment cannot be accommodated, timetabling will negotiate other possibilities with the Education Manager.
  2. Publication of TAFE Timetable on web timetable system.
    • The TAFE timetable will be published in the first week of December. Once the TAFE timetable is published the room booking system will open and request submitted after this date may not be able to be accommodated.

4. TAFE Post Publication Changes

The TAFE timetable will be published in the first week of December for the following year.

Once the TAFE Timetable is published the room booking system will open and requests submitted after this date may not be able to be accommodated.

The key steps to request a change to a TAFE timetable are outlined in the procedure below.

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Submit TAFE timetable change request. TAFE Education Manager (or delegated officer)
  1. Timetable changes to the published timetable can include amendments to:
    • National program code and description;
    • Teaching group (if required);
    • Course code and name;
    • Day/s and time;
    • Duration;
    • Dates;
    • Planned size;
    • Campus;
    • Classroom type or specialty space required;
    • Teaching staff member.
  2. Completes ‘Update TAFE Timetable Request’ in Scheduling Portal.
B. Actions timetable change request. Timetabling Officer
  1. Determines whether the change request can be accommodated and impact on student experience.
    • If the timetable change cannot be accommodated, timetabling will negotiate other possibilities with the relevant Education Manager.
  2. Actions timetable change requested in timetabling system.
    • The timetable change will then be updated on web timetables in approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Completes timetable change request in the Scheduling Portal.
    • When the timetable change request is completed, the Education Manager is notified that their change request has been completed.

5. Casual room bookings

All teaching and meeting spaces at Federation University Australia are administered by the University and will be centrally booked through the timetabling system either through the scheduling of teaching classes or in the web room booking system.

The web room booking system should be used for making meeting bookings and other casual room bookings.

The web room booking system should not be used to replace course or ‘on-going’ teaching activities. Staff wanting to change an allocated room for a teaching class, are required to submit a ‘Change Location’ request in the Scheduling Portal.

Casual room bookings in teaching spaces for the forthcoming academic year will not open until both the Higher Education and TAFE timetables are published.  

The key steps for submitting or managing a casual room booking are outlined in the procedure below.

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Submit a casual room booking All staff
  1. Request room for casual room booking using the web room booking system for the appropriate year.
    • The web room booking system and instructions can be found in the Scheduling Portal.
  2. If approval is not required, automatic email confirmation is received.
B. Approval of a casual room booking Timetabling Officer / Room booking approver

If a casual room booking requires approval, the following steps are completed:

  1. Timetabling check room booking details and requests approval from room booking approver.
  2. Room booking approver advises timetabling if room booking can be scheduled.
  3. If casual room booking request is approved, timetabling schedule room booking and an automatic email confirmation is sent to the staff member who made the booking.
  4. If casual room booking request is not approved, timetabling contact staff member submitted the booking to negotiate alternatives (if possible).
  5. An automatic email confirmation is sent (including the updated changes to the booking request) to the staff member who made the booking.
C. Requesting a change to an existing casual room booking All staff / Timetabling Officer

If the casual room booking requires changing (e.g. date, time, duration, room etc.) the following steps are completed:

  1. Request change to their existing casual room booking by submitting an ‘Update to Casual Room booking’ request in the Scheduling Portal
  2. Timetabling investigates and updates casual room booking in timetabling system if possible.
  3. An automatic room booking confirmation notification is received (including the updated changes to the booking request) to the staff member who made the booking.
  4. Timetabling close casual room booking change request in the Scheduling Portal.
  5. Scheduling request completed email notification sent to the staff member who submitted the casual room booking change request.
D. Cancelling a casual room booking All staff

If the room booking is required to be cancelled, the following steps are completed:

  1. Staff member cancels the room booking on the ‘my bookings’ page the web room booking system.
  2. An automatic room booking cancelation is emailed to the staff member that cancelled the booking.

6. Space utilisation and audits

This procedure outlines the process for conducting periodical space utilisation audits of teaching and meeting spaces.

Periodic space utilisation audits will be conducted to:

  1. Support the University plan and space management strategies by providing and maintaining fit for purpose learning and teaching spaces;
  2. Identify unused bookings and free space, especially at times or in locations that are under pressure;
  3. Identify under utilised facilities and provide data to support space planning initiatives and master planning;
  4. Assist with the education of users about space;
  5. Monitoring the use of space, used to make informed decisions about providing more space, withdrawing space from use, space repurpose etc; and
  6. Meet Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association (TEFMA) reporting responsibilities.

Scheduling Services will coordinate detailed space utilisation audits annually and will be conducted in accordance to the steps outlined in the procedure below.

  ACTIVITY RESPONSIBILITY STEPS
A. Defining audit scope Scheduling Analyst, Data Analyst and Integrity
  1. Refer to the current edition of the TEFMA Space Planning Guidelines.
  2. Prepare audit scope document that includes a list of rooms to be audited (including location types and capacities details), budget and staffing requirements.
  3. Confirm audit dates and periods.
  4. Determine utilisation targets.
  5. Prepare a communication plan.
B. Audit preparation Scheduling Analyst, Data Analyst and Integrity
  1. Allocate/appoint audit staff
  2. Advise appropriate areas of the University of Space Audits being conducted according to communication plan.
    • Areas to be advised should include: schools, security and timetabling.
  3. Brief staff (at least two weeks prior to the audit) advising of room assignments, shifts and duties.
    • Teaching space inductions conducted (where required) for audit staff that are required to enter specialist teaching spaces.
  4. Supply audit staff with:
    • ID badge
    • Clipboard/pen
    • Audit record sheet
C. Conducting audit Audit staff
  1. Carry out space occupancy audit on allocated space on a shift basis for the audit period to assist with the management of those spaces.
  2. Minimise disruption to class as much as possible while moving through the room as required to ensure accurate count.
    • Count to take place from within 10 and 45mins of class starting time (to cater for late starts and early finishes)
    • Record student numbers in attendance each hour on supplied audit record.

Collection of feedback from staff and students is not required. Any issues are to be directed to the Scheduling Analyst.

D. Preparation of data analysis report Scheduling Analyst, Data Analyst and Integrity
  1. Prepare spreadsheet to record data and collect results.
  2. Carry out data analysis in the following categories as a minimum based on the period where the audit was conducted:
    • Total number of rooms audited;
    • Total number of timetabled/casual room bookings;
    • Percentage of timetabled/casual room bookings with no attendance;
    • Space utilisation by room;
    • Space utilisation by space type (audited); and
    • Space utilisation by space type and day.
    • The sections of the report above should be divided into timetabled use and non-timetabled use (e.g. casual bookings) and reported in two time periods: day sessions (8.30am – 6.30pm) and evening sessions (6.30pm – 9.30pm).
E. Distribution of final report Scheduling Analyst, Data Analyst and Integrity
  1. Final report and findings should be distributed to the following staff as a minimum:
    • Deputy Vice Chancellor (Student Support and Services);
    • Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic);
    • Director, Facilities Services;
    • Manager, Strategic Capital Infrastructure and Projects; and
    • Manager, Strategic Scheduling.

Responsibility

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student Support and Services is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of the Timetabling Policy and its accompanying procedure/s.
  • Manager, Strategic Scheduling is responsible for maintaining the content of the Timetabling Policy as delegated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student Support and Services.
  • Team Leader, Timetabling is responsible for the administration support for the maintenance of the Timetabling Policy as directed by the Manager, Strategic Scheduling.

Promulgation

The Timetabling Procedure will be communicated throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy;
  2. distribution of e-mails to Head of School / Head of Department / University staff; and
  3. notification to Schools

Implementation

The Timetabling Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Policy; and/or
  2. training sessions

Records Management

Document Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Timetabling requests Scheduling Portal (Service Now) Team Leader, Timetabling 3 years
All timetabling records University Timetabling System Manager, Strategic Scheduling 3 years
Space utilisation and audit report Scheduling Services Scheduling Analyst, Data Analyst and Integrity 3 years