Last update: August 30, 2021

Below are frequently asked questions about course scheduling.

On this page:

Scheduling Preparation

What is the Unassigned Section Management Survey?

The Unassigned Section Management Survey will be shared with T-Reps at the beginning of each scheduling cycle. Academic units can choose to submit the survey if they would like to change the order in which unassigned sections are adjusted to enable scheduling. As per the General Teaching Space Allocation Methodology, the default order to adjust sections is:

1. Remove zone
2. Remove room features
3. Decrease Planned Size to match previous year’s enrolment (if applicable)

What is the Prime-Time Report?

The Prime-Time Report identifies the number of sections that need to move outside of Prime-Time (10:00 am – 1:59 pm) in order to achieve the required distribution of no more than 55% of course sections per course code in Prime-Time. The report only applies to sections in general teaching space during the Winter session.

Can academic units continue to offer blended delivery with the new scheduling model?

Yes. The WDC User Guide available on our Training page has instructions for how to set up course sections in a blended delivery format.

Who is responsible for ensuring core courses are conflict-free?

Academic units are responsible for ensuring core or otherwise designated required courses are kept conflict-free.

Does the schedule still roll from year to year? Do rooms roll?

Only section days and times from the previous Academic Session will roll to the new Academic Session (e.g. 2021W to 2022W). Departments have the agency to decide which, if any, sections need to be adjusted. As an exception, Restricted Teaching Space rooms will be rolled each year. General Teaching Space rooms do not roll from year to year.

What term dates should be used for direct-entry undergraduate programs?

Ensure you adhere to the Senate approved term dates. Incorrect dates will affect the withdrawal dates and may affect student loans and awards.

How do academic units make a request for a specialized technology classroom?

Starting in the 2022W scheduling cycle, there is no longer a need to designate certain classrooms as having specialized technology. Academic units provide their room requirements, including AV or other room features, for sections in WDC based on pedagogical need.

Multi-Block Pattern

What is the Multi-Block scheduling pattern?

The Multi-Block pattern designates day(s) and start time combinations for daytime course sections (8:00 am to 4:59 pm). To view the complete pattern, please refer to our Academic Course Scheduling Operational Procedures.

What if course sections need to be scheduled off-pattern?

Please inform Scheduling Services before the scheduling cycle begins if off-pattern sections (non-standard times) are required due to specific program requirements. Collaboration will occur in order to facilitate optimal space utilization while meeting program needs. It is recommended to use RTS for off-pattern sections wherever possible.

Can academic units schedule a 4-hour section?

Yes. Daytime 4-hour sections can be scheduled on any day of the week with a start time that aligns with the 2-hour block start times of 8:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, or 16:00.

Can academic units continue scheduling on the previous MWF and TR pattern?

Yes. That pattern exists within the Multi-Block pattern.

Can academic units schedule on Saturday and Sunday?

Yes. The Multi-Block pattern does not include Saturday or Sunday but academic units may continue to schedule courses on these days.

 

Departmental Zone Room Allocation Model

What is the Departmental Zone Room Allocation Model?

The Departmental Zone Room Allocation Model creates a group of General Teaching Space for each course code within 400m of a chosen centroid building. Scheduling Services schedules course sections within the zone according to the General Teaching Space Allocation Methodology available on our Resources page. This model replaces the Tier system.

Where can academic units find their centroid building(s) and zone(s)?

The current list of all departmental zones and centroids is located on our Resources page.

How do academic units request a different centroid for their departmental zone?

To request a different centroid, please email Scheduling Services at: schedulingservices@students.ubc.ca

Do all course sections need to be in a zone?

No. If a section needs to be scheduled outside of the zone for its course code, this can be indicated in the WDC Comment Box for the section. Sections of Planned Size 300 and above do not have a zone; they are scheduled across campus according to room size and features only.

What if Scientia isn’t able to find a suitable room inside the academic unit’s zone?

If Scientia can’t find a suitable room within the zone, it will allocate a room elsewhere on campus outside of the zone.

 

Web Data Collector (WDC)

What is Web Data Collector (WDC)?

Web Data Collector (WDC) is a Scientia tool T-Reps use to enter their course section information so that Scheduling Services can allocate General Teaching Space to course sections. WDC is not a scheduling tool, nor does it show location availability.

How long will WDC be open for academic units to enter information?

Generally, WDC is open for approximately 7 weeks for Winter session. Please refer to our Timelines page for specific dates. Course information can be updated at any time while WDC is open and does not need to be completed all at once. The date of completion of WDC does not affect the priority in which course sections are assigned space.

What is the WDC Comment Box?

Every section has a text box available to enter any comments that will help Scheduling Services allocate a room. The character limit is 255 (about 2-3 sentences). Please refer to the WDC User Guide or Canvas course available on our Training page for more information.

Can academic units request a specific room for a course section?

There is no field to request a specific room in WDC. Academic units provide their room requirements based on pedagogical needs.

Many faculty members prefer to teach back-to-back sections in the same room. Is it possible to enter this requirement in WDC?

Yes. You can provide these considerations in the WDC Comment Box. Back-to-back sections into the same room may be considered if all other scheduling requirements are satisfied (e.g. both sections have a similar Planned Size and the same room can be effectively used for both sections).

Can a T-Rep review everything they have entered in WDC before it closes?

Yes. There are reports available in WDC for this purpose. Please refer to the WDC User Guide available on our Training page for steps on accessing the reports.

 

Draft Timetable

What do T-Reps need to do after the draft timetable is published?

T-Reps need to:

  1. Review the draft timetable in Scientia Timetabler
  2. Complete course section details in the SISC
  3. (Optional) Make changes to course sections in Scientia Timetabler
  4. (Optional) Submit change requests to Scheduling Services
How can faculty view the draft timetable?

Once the draft timetable is ready, an email will be sent to T-Reps with the link for faculty, or anyone else without Scientia access, to view the draft timetable online.

What types of change requests can be submitted to Scheduling Services? What changes are T-Reps responsible for making themselves in Scientia Timetabler?

Scheduling Services accepts the following types of change requests for sections in GTS:

  • Increase/decrease in Planned Size
  • Adding course section(s)
  • Modification to day/time/duration/term
  • Room changes if the assigned space does not meet the teaching requirements

T-Reps are responsible for all other changes, including updating staff (instructors), and all modifications to course sections in RTS.

Can T-Reps make all changes to their own sections in Scientia Timetabler?

Yes. T-Reps are given full access into Scientia once the draft timetable is published and can make any changes to their own sections. Submitting change requests to Scheduling Services is optional.

 

Student Information Service Centre (SISC)

What is Mode of Delivery?

The Mode of Delivery label describes how each individual activity within a course is going to be delivered to students, whether In-Person, Online, or Hybrid (students have a choice to attend in-person or participate online). For more information, please refer to the Canvas course or Course Scheduling User Guide available on our Training page.

 

Scheduling Impacts on U-Pass Fees

How often are students charged for the U-Pass during the Summer Session?

For the Summer Session, students are charged the U-Pass fee on a monthly basis.

How should academic units schedule graduate and professional programs that do not follow Senate approved term dates so students are correctly assessed U-Pass fees?

Graduate and professional programs that do not follow the Senate approved term dates are advised to schedule course dates to accurately reflect the start and end dates for when students are in class. For example, if the first day a class meets is on June 30th and the last class meets on August 1st, the course should be scheduled from June 30th to August 1st, and students would be correctly assessed for the June, July, and August U-Pass.