Back-to-Back Binding in LYNX

LYNX allows you to identify back-to-back sections in your SIS, meaning times where the same instructor is teaching one class immediately following another. You often want to schedule these classes in the same room to ensure that the instructor doesn't have to run across campus during the passing period.

You can do this by adding event bindings to the classes in 25Live, designated with "BTB" in the event name. These bound events behave identically to classes which are cross-listed or combined in your SIS, with the following effects:

  • All occurrences in bound meeting patterns have the same location assignment
  • Bound meeting patterns do not generate location conflicts with each other
  • Unassigning a location from one event will also unassign it from everywhere it is bound

Creating back-to-back bindings is a common step in preparation for running the Schedule25 Optimizer.

Binding Criteria

LYNX helps you determine which sections with the same instructor should be considered "back-to-back" based on four factors:

  1. Start date: if two sections start at different points during a term, you can choose to keep them apart. You might do this because you don't want half-term classes interfering with your scheduling for the entire term. The default is to allow no more than one week's difference in start date.
  2. Passing time: you determine the maximum amount of time that counts for sections to be immediately adjacent. The default value is 10 minutes.
  3. Headcount: decide the maximum variation in expected headcount for back-to-back binding to apply. The purpose of this is to prevent small conferences from being assigned to large lecture halls just because an instructor is teaching a breakout session immediately after the lecture. The default is 50% variation.
  4. Assigned location: sections must not have any location assignments in the SIS. Anything that has already been assigned will not be bound back-to-back. You may optionally turn this criterion off.

Note: back-to-back binding uses whichever instructor is mapped to 25Live's built-in "Instructor" role via translation rules.

Primary Reservations

The first member of each back-to-back group is the primary reservation in 25Live, which is used to determine organization preferences for the Schedule25 Optimizer. This cannot be changed in LYNX but can be changed in the manage event bindings menu option in 25Live.

Creating Back-to-Back Bindings

Follow the instructions on the Managing Data Binding article to navigate to the data binding page for back-to-back sections.

The first time you go to this page, the list will be blank because nothing has been identified as back-to-back yet. Click Bind Back-to-Back Sections to begin with the following screen:

A popup window instructing a user to select an extract set and configure options before running the back-to-back binding processImage: Binding Back-to-Back Sections.

On this screen you must choose an import extract set that you've already defined. LYNX will only look for back-to-back pairs where both sections are part of this extract set.

You also have the opportunity to change the four binding criteria (start date, passing time separation, expected headcount, and preassigned location) described above. Click Reconfigure to edit these variables.

When you click Run, LYNX finds all the back-to-back sections in your extract set and creates a bound group for them. (Note that a group can contain more than two sections if an instructor has a busy load.) If any section was already part of a back-to-back group, the old group is deleted.

Old Bindings May Be Removed

Be careful when running the binding process on a term where back-to-back bindings already exist, because it could wipe them out!

In particular, watch out for sections which were assigned locations after the original binding was run, since they will no longer be eligible for binding through this process.

After you add these new groups, nothing will change in 25Live until a new import is triggered. This could happen automatically when those sections are updated in the SIS or manually by reviewing and importing an extract set.

You can also trigger an update immediately for the sections in a single group by clicking the "import" link next to its name.

Image: List of back-to-back sections.

Video Demonstration

See our 05/19/2022 webinar (login required) at the 36:31 mark to see the delete option, a demonstration of adding a new back-to-back binding, and importing into 25Live.