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Scheduling Studio 8
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 Introduction

Lantiv Scheduling Studio is an installable, cloud based, collaborative software application that helps registrars in educational institutions create a viable schedule of academic activities and manage it throughout the year. It is suitable for a multitude of scenarios in which one or a few administrators are in charge of scheduling the classes of a faculty or the entire institution. That's what we call centralized scheduling (as opposed to a booking system in which every staff member is in charge of his/her own calendar).

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What can the software do?

Below you will find many videos and explanations about various aspects of the software. The videos are 1-2 minutes in length and are provided to give you a quick overview of what the software can do. Each section below contains links to the relevant topics in the user's guide which provide more detailed explanations about how it's done. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email us at support@lantiv.com.

Can multiple users work with the program together?

Scheduling Studio is a collaborative software application. This means that multiple users can work on the same schedule together, at the same time, each one at his/her own computer. They will all see each other's changes in real time, i.e. as soon as they are made, without having to synchronize anything manually. When one user adds a course or schedules an activity, everyone else sees that instantaneously.

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Will the program suit my institution?

The software is very generic, highly configurable and meets a wide range of scheduling requirements. As you will learn, the first pane of the data entry is called the "Institution" pane. In that pane you can:

  • Select which types of resources you need to schedule (e.g. whether to create personal student schedules or not);
  • Determine how they should be called (e.g. "instructors" or "teachers");
  • Choose which data fields are associated with each resource type (e.g. whether you need to enter room sizes or not);
  • Add additional textual data fields (we call them custom properties) which are specific to your institution;
  • Specify how that data should be displayed (e.g. whether to display course IDs as part of the course list or not).

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Can the software schedule activities on calendrical weeks and months?

Some institutions need to create a generic recurring schedule of 1 week (or more) which repeats itself during the semester, while other institutions schedule activities on particular dates so that each week could be different from the next. The software supports both of these scenarios:

  • It can either work with actual dates (e.g. October 1st, 2020), weeks, months and years which you pick from a calendar; or -
  • With generic days (e.g. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc.) or weeks (e.g. Week 1, Week2, etc.) which are not bound to specific dates (or bound to more than one).

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Can the software schedule activities at flexible times or only in periods?

The way the software can present the time scale is also flexible:

  • The first possibility is to present an hourly time scale such as 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 etc. In this case activities can be scheduled at any given time (down to a precision of 1 minute) and can have variable lengths. For example, you can schedule one activity from 8:25 to 10:37 and another from 10:21 to 11:17.
  • The second option is to define periods such as "Period 1", "Period 2", etc. Then, the time scale will be divided to the periods you have defined, and activities will be scheduled on exact periods (although you can still adjust their duration to partial period length if you want to).

By the way, it is even possible to mix the two types of time scales and even define different lists of periods for different resources and days. For example, for some students Monday through Thursday could have one set of periods while Friday another.

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What kind of resources can the software schedule?

The types of resources which the software can schedule are:

  • Subjects - course names.
  • Groups - either with or without specifying their exact participants (students or instructors).
  • Students - when personal student schedules are required.
  • Instructors
  • Rooms (and buildings)
  • Equipment - if needed, each type of equipment can specify the number of items in stock.

Note: The types of resources which are irrelevant can be disabled in the Institution pane's Vocabulary page.

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Can resources be organized in a hierarchical structure?

Subjects, groups and rooms can be organized in a hierarchy: there can be top-level resources and sub-resources. For example, there can be a top level subject such as "Biology" and a sub-subject such as "Marine Biology". All the sub-resources' scheduled activities appear in the schedule of their parent resources, i.e. all the activities of "Marine Biology" and "Microbiology" will appear in the schedule of "Biology". This is very convenient because it allows you to see the "big picture" when you need it.

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What are activities?

Activities are what's eventually scheduled in each time slot in the schedule and as such they are the building blocks of the schedule. An activity unites all the resources which need to be scheduled together. For example, an activity could involve 3 resources: "Jane Smith, Microbiology, Room 101". When an activity is scheduled at a particular day and time (we call it an occurrence of the activity, or a "cell"), all the participating resources are booked and the activity's cell will be shown in each resource's personal schedule.

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Can activities have optional resources?

Activities can define optional resources. For example, an activity with an instructor and a group of students can have several optional rooms in which it can be scheduled. In such case, each occurrence of the activity can be scheduled in a different room, but they will still be considered as occurrences of the same original activity.

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Can activities have a maximal weekly quantity?

Activities can have a length (i.e. the duration of one occurrence of an activity) which can be set either in hours and minutes or in periods (depending on how your institution's time scale looks like). Activities can also have a total planned quantity (also either in minutes or in periods) which the program monitors to prevent a situation of "over booking" (when the total scheduled time is more than the planned quantity of hours/minutes or periods).

Note: Resources can also have a property named "Max. Quantity" which the program checks against all the activities in which they are involved to make sure they are within the limits of their work quota.

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How easy is it to schedule activities?

There are two simple ways to schedule activities: using drag-and-drop or by defining a recurrence pattern:

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How easy is it to modify already scheduled activities?

Once an activity is scheduled, it appears as a cell in the schedules of all its involved resources. If you move or modify the cell in any one of these resources' schedules, it will be modified in all of them. To move cells around, you can use drag-and-drop as before, or use copy/cut/paste. This applies both to a single cells and to multiple selected cells. When you are working with multiple cells, the program will maintain their relative time difference when you move or paste them. To change the start or end time of a cell, you can drag the cell's time markers while holding down the Shift key on the keyboard, or use the Properties pane to edit these times.

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Is it possible to view the schedules of all classes or instructors together?

Above the main schedule there is a toolbar which we call the navigation pane. The last selector in that pane is where you choose the resources whose schedule is currently displayed on screen. You can choose one resource, or you can choose many. If you choose many resources, there are 4 ways in which the program can display the schedule: the names of the resources can be laid out either vertically or horizontally; so can the days and the time scale of hours or periods. The program can even merge all the resources' scheduled activities into a single table.

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Is it possible to view all the scheduled activities of a resource throughout the semester?

To the left of the days selector in the navigation pane, there is a button which we call "Only scheduled days". If you click that button, the program will display all the days on which the selected resource is scheduled, and only those days (as opposed to the usual mode, in which you use the navigation pane to select exactly which days to display in the main schedule). By the way, this applies to activities too: if the Activity resource type is selected in the navigation pane, you can click any activity in the Activities list and see all its scheduled occurrences across all weeks.

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Is it possible to control what information is displayed inside each cell?

Our program has an incredibly versatile mechanism for defining what data should be displayed inside each cell, how it should be displayed and where. If you select "View", "Settings" in the main menu, you will see a window which displays all the types of resources and their properties. Inside that window, you can configure which properties of resources (or activities) should be displayed inside the cell, where in the cell, using what font and size, in what angle, whether it should span over multiple lines and a few more options. These settings give you maximum control over how the schedule looks like and allow you to make sure it contains all the information you need.

What kind of conflicts (clashes) can the program detect?

A conflict is any unreal situation which arises from the way some activities are scheduled. The most common example is double booking: when an instructor or a student are scheduled in two activities at the same time, it is considered as a conflict, because they cannot physically be located in two places at the same time. Here are the kinds of conflicts which the program monitors:

  • Double booking - When a resource is scheduled in two activities at the same time (unless the two activities are explicitly defined as non-conflicting by uniting them into a simultaneous or overlapping set).
  • Unavailable resource - Any resource can be marked as unavailable at certain times. Attempting to schedule a resource at a time when it is unavailable is considered as a conflict.
  • Exceeded capacity - This conflict refers to rooms. It is possible to define the capacity of each room in terms of the number of people (or activities) it can host at any given time. If more people are scheduled in the room than the maximal capacity, a conflict arises.
  • Too many enrolees - For any group or activity it is possible to define the maximal number of students who can participate in it. Having more students enrolled to it than this maximum is considered as a conflict.
  • Distance too far - For each two rooms or buildings it is possible to define the distance between them (in minutes). When someone participates in two activities such that the gap between them in minutes is less than the travel time between their rooms or buildings, it is also considered by the program as a conflict.

When the program detects a conflict after something you've done, it displays a warning window which lists the conflicts that were detected and lets you either cancel what you've done, ignore the conflicts or resolve them by deleting some of the conflicting activities.

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How does the program help me prevent conflicts?

Whenever you schedule an activity or move an existing cell, or when you choose an optional resource for an activity or a cell, the program displays what we call conflict prediction stripes. These stripes, which have a green, yellow or a red color, inform you which decisions, at the "junction" you are in, would cause a conflict and which would not.

For example, when you schedule an activity, the times at which all the activity's resources are free and available are marked with a green stripe, whereas the times at which at least one resource is busy are marked with a yellow stripe. This helps you decide when to schedule the activity, without having to manually check the availability of all the involved resources.

Can I take care of conflicts later?

The program does not entirely forbid you from creating conflicts. As you recall, when it warns you about a conflict that has been detected as a result of your last operation, you always have the option to ignore the conflict and continue with the operation. In such case, the conflict is added to a list in the conflicts pane, and you can view and resolve it later, if you choose to, at your convenience.

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What kind of printouts (and PDFs) can the program create?

Having to meet the requirements of many kinds of institutions requires our software to have a very versatile mechanism of generating schedule printouts. As you have learned before, the contents that are displayed in each cell can be customized in many different ways - both on screen and in the printout. On top of that, the program supports 6 different layouts of the table axes and allows to print several tables on a single page as well as to span a single table over several pages. Let's go over some examples of PDFs created with the program and learn about just a few of its many possibilities.

Note: All the PDFs below were created in color, but they can also be generated in "gray and white" or in "black and white" formats.

  1. The most basic example is a weekly schedule of a single resource:
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    View PDF
  2. The same kind of schedule as above can also have the time axis horizontally and the days vertically. The page is in "Landscape" orientation this time:
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    View PDF
  3. This is an example of a daily schedule of several instructors. Here the times are also in the horizontal axis:
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    View PDF
  4. Here are two weekly room schedules on a single page:
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    View PDF
  5. A weekly schedule of an entire building's activities in landscape format:
    Pdf 5 studio8.png
    View PDF
  6. A monthly schedule of a course's activities. Course colors were deliberately disabled here and only the text of the room names appears with the room's assigned color:
    Pdf 6 studio8.png
    View PDF
  7. A schedule of 3 rooms, only the 4 Mondays of a certain month:
    Pdf 7 studio8.png
    View PDF
  8. The following one is a weekly schedule of 3 courses in landscape format with a horizontal time axis:
    Pdf 8 studio8.png
    View PDF
  9. A merged weekly schedule of all the scheduled activities of 7 rooms:
    Pdf 9 studio8.png
    View PDF
  10. And this one is a 4-day schedule of 15 courses:
    Pdf 10 studio8.png
    View PDF

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What kind of reports can the program generate?

The printouts that you have seen above contain a graphical representation of the schedule. But the software can also generate a wide variety of textual reports which can be printed or exported to PDF or CSV formats. There are several types of reports, and the most important thing is that each report can be customized to a great deal. You have full control over which columns and properties a report displays, in what order, how they are sorted and aligned, which fonts are used, whether text is spanned over multiple lines, whether subtotals are displayed and more. You can create daily, weekly, monthly or semestrial reports. You can decide whether each resource you have selected will have its own dedicated report or all resources will be included in the same report. Let's see some examples.

Note: All the PDFs below were created in color, but they can also be generated in "gray and white" or in "black and white" formats.

  1. This is a report of daily scheduled activities on generic weekdays. Each weekday is in a separate table, and each table contains the start/end times of the scheduled activity, the length, subject, instructor and room:
    Pdf report 1 studio8.png
    View PDF
  2. In the following report each department's scheduled activities are in a separate table. Each table is sorted by the course name and contains subtotals of the number of scheduled events for each course.
    Pdf report 2 studio8.png
    View PDF
  3. The next example is a single table monthly schedule report sorted by date and course title:
    Pdf report 3 studio8.png
    View PDF
  4. This is a report of an activities list with the recurrence patterns of activities and sums of the total number of scheduled hours of each activity:
    Pdf report 4 studio8.png
    View PDF
  5. The following report contains each date's scheduled activities in a separate table, and the students who take part in an activity are also listed in a separate row below the activity's details:
    Pdf report 5 studio8.png
    View PDF
  6. This is a different kind of report - it contains a list of resources (instructors in this case) with their total scheduled quantities for each semester:
    Pdf report 6 studio8.png
    View PDF
  7. This is a similar report to the previous one, only in this case it's a report of rooms per month, sorted by the total scheduled quantity of hours of each room in that month:
    Pdf report 7 studio8.png
    View PDF
  8. This is a report of corporate training classes. Each day's scheduled classes are in a separate table which is sorted by the start time of classes:
    Pdf report 8 studio8.png
    View PDF

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How is it all done?

The best way to learn how to do everything in the software is to download the software from our web-site and try it out. The software comes with several sample files which will help you get started without having to enter any data. Experimenting with the sample files together with following the chapters in this user's guide is a guaranteed way to master the software.

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If you have any questions, we are always at your service at support@lantiv.com.

The next chapter: Getting Started.

  Have a question? Email us at SUPPORT@LANTIV.COM