Preparing Location Features Data

Location Features Description

Location features are master list items that represent fixed, permanent components of a location. They can represent physical equipment (such as a data projector), inherent qualities (such as east-facing windows), or types of rooms (such as lab spaces). Schedule25 uses location features to match sections to locations that contain required features.

Defining Schedule25-Specific Location Features

You create your list of location features in the 25Live System Settings area. Because features are used for reasons other than Schedule25 runs, your features list will probably include some features that don't pertain to Schedule25 processing. You specify the features that are relevant to the Optimizer by checking the Schedule25 box next to each of those features.

A list of location features managed in 25Live Pro. Some have a box checked indicating that they are to be used with Schedule25.Image: Select Schedule25 features in the Master Definitions area of the System Settings area.

In addition, if your instructors/departments are allowed to specify teaching requirements for Schedule25 classroom placement, all such requirements should be added to applicable section meeting patterns in your SIS, as specified below.

  • Banner: Room Attribute Descriptions
  • Campus Solutions: Room Characteristic Descriptions (see warning below)
  • Colleague: Classroom Equipment Codes
  • Other: Any appropriate field available in your SIS (preferably one that is part of the meeting pattern itself)
Warning: Campus Solutions does not have meeting pattern level room characteristics

One of the quirks of Campus Solutions is that you can only assign room characteristics to sections, not at the meeting pattern level.

Sections that only have one meeting pattern are fine, but those with multiple meeting patterns, where each meeting pattern has different assignment requirements that you want to pass along to Schedule25, are problematic. The solution is to pre-assign all the meeting patterns except those that have the same assignment requirements, and then add those room characteristics to the section. When the section is processed by Schedule25, the preassigned meeting pattern assignments will be honored, and the remaining meeting patterns will be assigned based on the section's room characteristics.

How Location Features Are Used by Schedule25

In your SIS, departments and instructors may be able to indicate that a section has particular requirements such as a lab space or a room with movable seating. When such a section is imported into 25Live from your SIS, it contains location features in its list of location preferences. When Schedule25 attempts to place the section, all its feature preferences are treated as hard requirements, meaning that the section will only be placed in a location that has all its required location features. If no such location exists (also taking into account headcount requirements and partition preferences), the section will be listed as "Impossible to Place."

Warning: Limit location feature requirements

Allowing departments to specify their own classroom feature requirements can backfire if not controlled. Too many feature requirements can drastically reduce the number of possible locations the section can be placed in which also affects optimization and overall placement. If possible, limit the number of feature requirements to just a few, such as:

  • Required Campus (Campus - A, Campus - B, Campus - C)
  • Required Type of Space (General Classroom, Computer Lab)
  • Required Technology (Tech - Level 1, Tech - Level 2, Tech, Level - 3)
  • Moveable Seating
  • Chalk board vs Marker board
  • ADA Accessibility