School timetabling has come a long way from the manual method of planning with hundreds of sheets of paper laid out on the gym floor. VSware has brought sophisticated timetabling features such as automatic scheduling, student elective options generation tools, auto rooming and many more. Schools can now also manually manipulate the timetables before and after publishing. With all this said, it can be a daunting task to dive into your next timetable, especially when you consider the inevitable changes to staff, students and resources that happen year on year.
Each year, we encounter the same spike in calls and messages to support during August and the beginning of September. This time of year can get pretty hectic so being prepared and getting a head start on your timetable is the best way to avoid long wait times on the phone and unnecessary stress. Here are some tips and links which will help you construct a great timetable.
Support – Online Guides
Online guides are your friend! Save time by browsing our many articles on Timetabling. We’ve counted – there are over 20 timetable specific articles and videos covering everything from basic how-to guides to extensive timetable manuals.
Our advice: Add support.vsware.ie as a bookmark on your browser for easy access. Once on our support site, simply search ‘timetable’ and you will see all articles related to the subject.
Our full timetable manual can be found by clicking here.
Guides on the go
Did you know that there are links to video guides on timetabling when you are in the timetabke construction part of VSware? In all of the screens in constructions you will find a little question mark in the top right corner and you will get a video explainer that’s specific to the screen you’re on.
Our intercom chat feature is really useful during timetable season. Chat directly with our support staff and get real time answers on questions big and small.
First thing’s first. Here’s a quick explainer on how to roll over your current timetable to the next academic year. Click here to read.
When to go live and how to publish
Publishing a completed timetable is straightforward and there are some basic rules to follow, however the finer details of the task are easy to forget if you only revisit them once a year. Here they are together in one handy article.
Our customers also often ask us about the timing of publishing and have concerns about releasing their next timetable too early to their staff. We’ve explained how to avoid this so that you have time to double check everything is in order before it is released to all staff.
Click here for the article.
Getting over 99%
In some cases your timetable might quickly schedule up to 98 or 99% and then suddenly grind to a halt. It seems like no change that you make is enough to get it over the mark. Fear not. There are a combination of checks you can make both yourself, and with the help of the solver to figure out what is holding the show up. We’ve compiled some of them in this post.
Timetable not printing
This is a tiny problem with a simple fix, but we get enough calls on this one each year to warrant including it in this list.
Click here for the fix.