Campus Partitions Description
Campus partitions represent groups of locations on your campus, usually grouped by geographic area. Partitions are mutually exclusive; a location can't be in more than one partition. They are added in the System Settings area of 25Live Pro. Once you've created your partitions, you add them as preferences to your academic departments.
How Partitions Are Used By Schedule25
Schedule25 uses partitions to identify groups of locations that should be treated as equals when considering section placement (capacity and features notwithstanding). Each department specifies and ranks one or more partitions as "preferences," determining where that department's sections prefer to be placed. For example, if you want your math sections placed in the Central College Building, but don't care which section is placed in which room in that building, you would put all the locations in that building in a Central College Building partition and add it as the partition preference of the Math department. The Schedule25 algorithm would then attempt to place each math class in a room in the Central College Building that best suits its needs.
Departmental preferences vs. optimization and placement
The scope of each of your partitions can be as broad or as narrow as you require. You might use a single partition to encompass an entire campus, a single building, or just a few rooms. The smaller your partitions, the more control you can exert over departmental preferences in scheduling. (For example, the Math department prefers to have its classes on the second and third floor of the Central College Center Building, but not on the first floor.) However, this can come at the cost of decreased utilization and placement since you are limiting the number of potential placement options. If you create large partitions and don't set up complicated preference hierarchies, Schedule25 will have fewer restrictions and can place classes in the best arrangement possible according to their sizes.
Best Practices for Creating Partitions
Here are some best practices to keep in mind when creating partitions:
- Start with buildings. Make the "basic unit" for partitions a single building. You can make them smaller or larger as needed, but that's a good starting point.
- Only add partitions to locations that need them. If a location will never be assigned by Schedule25, don't add it to any partition. For example, if your Biology labs are always manually assigned to classes, there's no need to add them to a partition (even if you have a partition for Biology Building classrooms). Schedule25 can't assign a location that has no partition.
- Use clear naming conventions. If you have a multi-campus institution and need multiple partitions at each campus, include the campus name in the partition label (for example, "Main - Baker Classroom Complex" and "Tigard - Biology Building"). Doing this makes it much easier to identify the campus when selecting from a list.
- Don't limit your partitions to make it easier to search. If you need a clear and convenient way to identify what's in a specific building or other subdivision of campus, use Location Categories for this purpose instead of relying on searching by partitions. Partitions are most appropriately used by the Schedule25 algorithm for targeted placement, not human-created searches.
Creating partitions for a decentralized scheduling environment
If all or most of your classrooms are "owned" by colleges or departments, you may want to create partitions based on that, such as:
- English Spaces
- Math Spaces
- Business Admin Spaces
In this scenario, colleges or departments would first preassign the spaces they own to their sections. Any sections that couldn't be placed in those spaces would later be collectively assigned by Schedule25, which would use all college/department space and any centrally controlled classrooms in its placement process.