Quercus 8.3.0<>

The schedule management process

Scheduling process

You can set up or edit single or recurring tutorials from the Modules Attendance tab. See the previous chapter for details of the calendar set up process.

Note: This task is available to users with a specific LDAP role only.

Scheduling will work for modules on all three levels (structure level 1,2 and 3).

To set up a tutorial

1In Quercus menu choose the Modules option.

2Locate a module and click View to show the student list.

3Click the Attendance tab.

4Click Schedule in the Tasks panel.

5Add details of the tutorial.

Setting tutorial properties

The Schedule Tutorial pane defines the general properties of the tutorial like Attendance Group, Venue and Tutor.

You must select one leading tutor.

You have the option to add an unlimited number of additional tutors.

The second section defines the actual schedule. Check the Repeat box to schedule a tutorial that repeats on a weekly or monthly basis.

You can schedule a single event (date, start time, end time) or recurring event. Recurring events can be set as daily, weekly or monthly. You can automatically exclude non-working days (public holidays).

The third section defines notes.

You can add notes for the students or internal notes that are invisible to students.

Setting calendar properties

Non-working days are managed centrally in Quercus – Institutional calendar (Classic interface).

For the Time drop-down box in the second section, the minimum and maximum hourly values are defined by the parameters WORKING_DAY_START_HOUR and WORKING_DAY_END_HOUR. The MINUTELY_INTERVAL parameter controls the size of the minutely intervals.

Schedule Preview

Scheduling modes

Quercus operates in two modes when checking availability of rooms:

internal mode – using records in the database only

external mode – checking availability & booking it in an external Scheduler tool — utilizing Google Calendar compatible web services (see WS_TUTORIAL_SCHEDULING_IN_USE parameter).

Scheduling checks

The Schedule Preview screen gives you an at-a-glance overview of the schedule and highlights conflicts before the schedule is actually created.

Before you create the schedule:

Quercus contacts your scheduling tool to confirm availability of rooms (external mode only)

you have the option to change tutorial and schedule parameters (e.g. to resolve any schedule conflicts detected by Quercus)

For example, if we schedule a tutorial for the 28th November at 14:00 in Lab Room 1 …

… Quercus flags a conflict with an existing tutorial in the same room scheduled for the same time:

Note: the Edit button shown above will only be shown if the USE_TUTOR_CHECK or USE_VENUE_CHECK Control Centre parameters are set to TRUE.

Clicking the edit button will allow you to reset the date and time or change the tutor and so resolve the conflict.

Once you have made the amendment, Quercus will re-check the availability of the venue and tutors.

You can repeat this step (to amend individual instances) or use the Back option and start again.

No bookings are made in your external scheduling tool (external mode only) while you are making these amendments.

Once you have confirmed your decision Quercus will book the selected room in your external scheduling tool (external mode only). In this situation:

when the booking of an individual tutorial fails (e.g. because the room was booked between when Quercus checked the availability and when you clicked the Schedule Now button) Quercus will display a summary report informing you of the fact

tutorials are booked sequentially – failure to book one will not affect the others

if all bookings were successful the summary report page will not be shown

After completing the booking you are returned to the list of scheduled tutorials.

You can use scheduling wizard multiple times – always adding newly scheduled tutorials to existing ones. This will enable users to schedule irregular patterns – e.g. every Monday in March and every Tuesday in April.

Availability checks for both Tutors and Venues are parametrised, allowing you to switch off these features and hide the columns. The parameters for the features are USE_TUTOR_CHECK and USE_VENUE_CHECK. By default, these parameters are set to false, meaning the features are disabled.

When response to availability status is not received from your external scheduling tool (if applicable) within defined time threshold (time-out) venue availability will be marked as “?”. User will be allowed to progress with the booking.

Modifying a scheduled tutorial

You can modify individual tutorial by clicking the Edit icon in the list of scheduled tutorials.

Venue and tutor availability checks are run when you click Save.

In the example above, clicking Save results in multiple alerts.

At this point you can change the tutorial details to solve the problem, you can delete the tutorial or you can elect to go ahead and schedule anyway (although you are asked to confirm your choice).

Once the change is confirmed:

if the venue has changed, Quercus will remove previous booking from your external scheduling tool (external mode only) and create a new record.

if the venue has not changed but the start or duration has changed, Quercus will change the previous booking in your external scheduling tool (external mode only).

Note: The availability of tutors is always checked internally using the Quercus database even if you are operating in external mode.

Note: This process is not connected to the subscription to the calendar for staff and students described under Subscribing to the calendar.