Skip to main content

Full text of "ERIC ED088216: Computerized Scheduling in Vancouver Schools. A Research Report."

See other formats


DOCQfiSHT BESOHE 



BD 088 216 



El 005 950 



AUTHOB 
TITLE 

IHSTITOTIOH 

BEPORT HO 
POB DATE . 
NOTE 

EDES PBICE 
DESCBIFTOBS 



IDENTIFIEBS 



Durward, Lynne 

CoBputerized Scheduling in Tanccuver Schools. A 
Research Report. 

Vancouver Board of School Trustees (British 
ColuBbia) • Dept. of Planning and Evaluation. 
RR-73-05 
Apr 73 

35p,..- • •|;. ;.v; 

HP^$p*75 HC-$1.85 ; 

AdBinlLstratiye ProbleBs; ^Class Size; GoBputer 
Oriented Programs; *CoBputers; Facility ptilization 
Research; *Flezible Scheduling; Principals; 
Questionnaires; Research; ^Scheduling; School 
Schedulea;; Secondary Schools; SiBulation; Tableis 
(Data), ; : - : . ■; 

British Columbia; CoBputerized Scheduiing; 
♦Vahcoiiver ^ 



^ ABSTBACT': ... ^ '".v-. ' 

This study examined coBputerized ischeduling in 16 
Vancouver secondary schools by analyzing (1) the results of a 
gueistionnaire to the principals of the schools, (2) class size 
balancing by coBputer/ and (3) the ief feet of additional simulate runs 
on the nuBber of student conflicts and the "dat€ of smooth 
op^riation." A siBulate run is defined as being tbie saB^ as a 
schedulii^ run except that the operation is stopped after students 
have-lj^n placed in cburises of their choice for purpose 
oredictin^ possible conflicts in the final run. Results Indi^ 
iliat computerized scheduling saved both secretarial and teacher time, 
the majority of schools had sBoothly operating timetables vitbin the 
f irst vtvo veeks of school, and class lists and textbook rental 
receipts mere the most Widely used extensions of the computer 
scheduling system . Analysis of the course masters cohf irmed that the 
class size balancing vas; good. Hhile no significant relationship 
betveen the number of simnlate runs and the conflict rate could be 
found, it appeared that ia^Mitional simulate runs^ v 

Schools with extra simulate runs vere, in general, operating smoothly 
earlier. (Author/«M) 



U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. j 
EDUCATION AWELFARE 
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF 
EDUCATION 

THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN REPRO- 
DUCED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED FROM , 
THE PERSON OR ORGANIZATION ORIGIN- 
ATING IT. POINTSOFVIEWOR OPINIONS 
STATED DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRE 
- SENT OFFICIAL NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF 
EDUCATION POSITION OR POLICY". 



RESEARCH REPORT 



COMPUTERIZED SCHEDULING IN VANCOUVER SCHOOLS 

April, 1973 
Lynne Durward 
Research Report 73-05 



Department of Planning and Evaluation 
Board of School Trustees 
1595 West 10th Avenue 
Vancouver 9, B. C. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Page 



Abstract i 

A. Introduction 1 

--The Scheduling Process « ........ . 1 

--The Advantages of Computer Scheduling • . . . . 3 

--Flexible Modular Scheduling ,. . . 4 

B. Outline of the Study 5 

C. Questionnaire to Principals re Computer Scheduling ..... 6 
Class Size Balancing by Computer .... i . . • . 13 

E. Si-nulate Runs . 19 

F. Discussion 19 

Appendix A - -Example of a Simple Tally . • . • . . . 22 

Appendix B --Example of a Pairing Matrix 23 

Appendix C--Questionnaire re Computer Scheduling to 

^— P«ncipals of Secondary Schools . 24 

Appendix D--Updated Master Schedule . . . • 26 

Glossary of Computer Scheduling Terms 27 

Bibliography 30 



LIST OF TABLES 



Table Page 

I Sumrpiary of the Responses of Principals in Sixteen 
Secondary Schools of Vancouver to a Questionnaire 
on Computer Scheduling Practices and Their Effects 

on the School 7 

II Analysis of Smooth Operating Dates of Timetables 
for Secondary Schools in Vancouver Classified by 
Timetabling System and School Enrolment ....... . 8 

III Summary of Responses to Item 2 ...... ... ..... . . 9 

IV Frequency Distribution of Conflict Rates ........ . . 10 

V The Average Conflict Rates of Schools Under Four 
Timetable Systems ... . 10 

VI Summary of Innovations and Extensions Used by Schools 
with Computer Scheduling . 1 1 

VII A Summary of the Class Size Balancing in the Four 
Sample Schools ... .... .... ... . . 18 



LIST OF FIGURES 



F^^^re Page 

1 Flowchart of the Steps in the Computer -Scheduling 

of Students in Vancouver Secondary Schools 2 

2 Class Size Balancing by Computer for School 1 ... 14 

3 Class Size Balancing by Computer for School 5 ... 15 

4 Class Size Balancing by Computer for School 9 ... 16 

5 Class Size Balancing by Computer for School 11 . . . 17 



ERIC 



Computerized Scheduling in Vancouver Secondary Schools 



ERIC 



Abstract ^ , 

The purpose of this study was to examine computerized scheduling in sixteen 
Vancouver secondary^schools, fifteen of which use the Honeywell Scheduling 
Program and one which is served by Columbia Computing Services Limited. 
This was accomplished by analyzing: 

a) the results of a questionnaire to the Principals of the sixteen schools, 

b) class size balancing by computer, and 

c) the effect of additional simulate runs on the number of student conflicts 
and the *'date of smooth operation'*. 

The principal findings of the questionnaire were: 

1. Scheduling students by computer saves both secretarial and teacher 
time. It was not determined how much time was saved for administrators. 

2. Under the computerized system, the majority of schools had smoothly 
operating timetables within the first two weeks of school. 

3. For the schools using the Honeywell Scheduling Program the median 
conflict rate (the percentage of students per school with conflicts) after 
the final sjcheduiihg run in August was 4. 7%. T^he remaining school, , on 

a flexible modular system of scheduling, had a 62% conflict rate. Conflict 
rates varied proportionately with the complexity of the timetable system, 

4. Class lists and textbook rental receipts were the most widely 
used extensions of the computer scheduling system. 

5. The three main advantages of having computer scheduling were cited as 
the saving of secretarial time, more complete and accurate student 
lists, and better balancing of class size. 

6. The two main criticisms of the system were that the turn-around time for 
simulate runs was too long and that the run dates were too early and inflexib 

7. All sixteen Principals wished to continue to have computer scheduling, t 

The analysis of the course masters confirmed the opinions of the Principals, 
that the class size balancing was good. 

While no significant relationship between the number of simulate runs and the 
conflict rate could be found, it appeared that additional simulate runs were 
advantageous: schools with extra simulate runs were, in general, operating 
smoothly earlier. 

It wias noted that many of the difficulties of the present system could be eliminated 
through improvement of the present hardware. 



COMPUTERIZED SCHEDULING IN VANCOUVER SECONDARY SCHOOLS 



A . INTRODU C TION 



Computers are a faet of life in Vancouver schools: grade 6 and 7 students are 
using a computer terminal ta^ improve their arithmetic skills; high school students 
are learning the fundamental^^ of programming in computer science classes; and 
students in eight secondary schools are bringing home computer>produced report 
cards. This report is concerned with yet another computer application in 
Vancouver schools: computer scheduling. ^ 

Traditionally, the task of scheduling students has been done entirely by hand. 
However, in recent years the increased number of studentSj the broader offer* 
ingS;-of courses , and the additional flexibility of programs and timetables have 
put a strain on manual methods of scheduling. Computers have been introduced ; 
to alleviate that strain. % 

The Scheduling Process 

The over -all object of student scheduling is to produce a conflict-free timetable 
(the "master timetable") which allocates students to courses in accordance with 
their indicated choices. Clearly this must be accomplisheid within a set of : 
constraints: the availability of teachers, room capacities, student cour se - ^^^^^ 
requests, time pattern of the school day, and so on. The number of sections 
of each course is another contributing 'factor: it is theoretically eaisier to 
build a timetable for a large school, where a course may have several sections 
open to students to fit, into their schedules, than for a small school which has 
only one section for a given course. The task of a timetabling committee is to 
construct a master timetable which takes all such factors into consideration. 
The resulting tinietable has aptly been described as . . the principal, if not the 
only, bulwark staviding between the administrator and chaos- " ^ Once this 
master timetable has been built, students are assigned to class sections within 
it. 



Under a computer scheduling system, the master timetable is likely still to be 
constructed manually, but computer -produced information may speed its pre- 
paration considerably. The tally and the pairing matrix, (see Appendices A and B) 
listed in step 5 of Figure I, are two such aids. The tally gives an accurate 
count of the total number of students requesting each course by course number, 
sex and grade. The pairing matrix lists the potential student conflicts between 



^Studies on these computer applications are now in progress. 
2 

A glossary of computer scheduling terms is included at the end of this report 
(page 27). ^ 

3 

Murphy, J. and R- Sutter, School Scheduling by Computer - The Story of 
gj^^SASP , New York: Educational Facilities Laboratories Inc. , 1964. 



r 



u 
CO 



^ 





^ «J M 
S H ^ S 



g Q 



ERIC 



U O H P 




o 
o 

u 

§ 

o 

CO 

IH 

0) 

o 
u 
a 

(a 
> 



(0 

I 



a 

•H 

I. 

X 

o 

CO 
I 

u 

a 

I 

E 

o 
U 

0) 



0} 

CU 

0) 

CO 
0) 

.a 



u 
u 



w 

D 

a 

I— f 



3 



any two courses (i. e. , the number of students that have chosen any two 
courses). A selective listing of students requesting any one course may 
also be produced. These statistics provide invaluable assistance to the 
timetabling committee in their attempt to build a conflict-free master time- 
table. Simulate runs (step 7 of Figure 1) enable the committee to test and 
improve the timetable. 

■ . ■ . * • ' ■ ■ . ■ . 

The Advantages of Computer Scheduling ^ 

The possible advantages of computer scheduling are many, but Richardson and 
Clark, in their article, "Understanding the Process of Computer Scheduling" 
cite what they consider to be the "reaV* advantages: 

In the first place, computers will usually do a better job of scheduling 
than is done by hand when measured in terms of class balance and the 
successful scheduling of pupils. This is true for two reasons: First, 
with computer scheduling, it is possible for the Principal repeatedly 
to revise his master schedule and try additional scheduling passes 
(simulate runs). With hand scheduling, the time involved in scheduling 
the pupils is so great that it is not feasible to revise the master schedule 
and i*e -schedule pupils once a large number of them have been scheduled. 

Second, the computer does not tire and quit after several trials at ischeduling^/^^ ^^^^^^. v 

a pupil. Instead, it continues to try different possible schedules for each 

pupil until it finds the schedule which is best for the pupil and which results 

in the best possible class balance. In the UPDATE program, the computer "\:.r.-]l/^' 

may make as many as 100, 000 tries for one pupil before settling oh a , 

schedule. This results in better class balance than is the case with hand 

scheduling."^ 

The output from the final computer run has also been cited as an appreciated 
"extra*' of computer, scheduling. Most of the resulting lists would not be 
produced under manual methods, simply because of lack of time and clerical 
help. The output for each of the fifteen Vancouver secondary schools using 
the Honeywell Scheduling Program, for example, may include any or all of the 
following, according to the individual needs of the school: ^ 

1. Updated course masters --give the number of seats used (students 
scheduled) per course section. 

i2. Conflict pattern for students not scheduled indicates 

(a) all the courses^a student has chosen, 

(b) all the time blocks in which those courses air ie available, ' 

(c) the particular time block selected for each scheduled course, and 

(d) the course that conflicts and which has not been scheduled. 

Richardson, D. and J. Clark, "Understanding the Process of Computer Scheduling", 
School Progress, February, 1969, p/ 55. 

■ERJC~rSource:^f 

V -v'Schqpl. Board, March,; 1973, . ■ 



3. 



Multiple copies of student schedules 



4. Alphabetical homeroom lists 

5. "Subject Section/Marks Gathering" Form used by subject teachers 

to record students' marks 

6. Teacher timetables i 

■ it • 

7. Program-specialty report--presents a count of the number of students 
/by specialty 

8. Alphabetical school lists 

9. Textbook rental and fee receipts - r 

10. Master revision cards --contain a copy of the information on the student 
file (only for schools using the computer grade reporting system) 

11. Quick reference copy of school timetable. > 

The availability of multiple copies of such printed records helps distribute the 
workload. With additional copies of the master timetablej for example, more 
teachers and counsellors may assist in the final hand-scheduling of students with 
conflicts. 

Actual research evidence on the merits of the computerized versus the manual 
approach to scheduling, however, is scarce. A study by Jacobson involving 
seven high schools which were scheduled by computer and fivie comparable 
schools using the manual method did not reveal consistent advantages for either 
approach.^ One of the purposes of this study was to determine the viewpoint 
of Vancouver secondary school principals in regard to this question. 

Flexible Modular Scheduling 

As mentioned previously, fifteen Vancouver secondary schools are using the 
Honeywell Scheduling Program o:?i the Honeywell 200 Computer at the Vancouver 
City College Computing Centre. One school. King George Secondary, is being 
served by Columbia Computing Services Limited, 1336 West Pender Street, , ; 
Vancouver 5, B. C. 



■^Jacobson, M. E. , "A Study of Scheduling Problems arid Practices in High 
Schools which Employ and do not Employ Data Processing". Ann Arbor: 
University of Michigan, unpublished doctoral dissertation, 1966. 



5 



7 

King George is involved in what has been described as a ''bold departure from 
traditional scheduling plans'': it has adopted a flexible modular system of 
scheduling. M. Clemens Johnson, in his book Educational Uses of the Computer; 
An Introduction, describes it thus: 

Modular scheduling represents an attempt to achieve more individualized 
student programs through changes in the school day and the organization 
of classes. In modular scheduling the school day is divided into 
modules as small as fifteen minutes with different courses meeting 
for varying lengths of time, for instance, two niodules for one course, 
five for another. The key characteristic is flexibility in the organ- 
ization of the master schedule of classes. ^ 

The complexities of a flexible modular system of scheduling are such that in 
most cases it would be unfeasible to schedule by hand. 

B. OUTLINE OF THE STUDY 

The purpose of the study was to examine the use of comput^^ scheduling in 
Vancouver secondary schools. The evaluation consisted of three parts: 

1. Questionnaire to Principals - The Principals of eighteen Vancouver 
secondary schools were asked to complete a questionnaire in an attempt 
to determine their views on computer scheduling (See Appendix C). 

They were invited to comment on such aspects of computerized scheduling 
as the amount of teacher and clerical time required as compared to the 
time spent under manual methods, the length of time needed to get the 
timetable running smoothly, the number of residual student conflicts, 
the use of the optional extensions and innovations of the scheduling system, 
and what they saw to be the advantages and/or the limitations of computer 
scheduling. A summary of the responses to the questionnaire appears 
in section C of this report. 

2. C lass Size Balancing by computer - The updated course masters were . 
obtained from four schools chosen to represent different school setups 
(different timetable systems, school size, etc.) A summary of the class 
size balancing of the four schools was made on the basis of these data. 
The results appear in section D of this report. 

3. Number of Simulate Runs - The number of simulate runs used to produce 
the final timetable was' obtained from each school. A summary of the 
number of simulate runs and its relation to the conflict rate and the 
''date of smooth operation'' is presented in section E of this report* 

'\ ■ . 

j 

7 

M. Clemens Johnson, Educational Uses of the Computer; An Introduction , 
^ Chicago: Rand McNally & Company, 1971, p. 64. 



ERIC 



f 



6 



C. QUESTIONNAIRE TO PRINCIPALS RE COMPUTER SCHEDULING 

Principals of all sixteen schools using computer scheduling responded to the 
questionnaire. The questionnaire was not applicable for two secondary schools 
still using manual methods of scheduling. 

Table I presents a summary by school of the responses to items 1-6 and 10 
of the questionnaire. The number of simulate runs, the timetable system and 
the population size of each school are also included in the ta.ble. 

An analysis of the questionnaire responses by item follows, 

QuestiDn-^y--? By what date in September 1972 was the timetable operating 
^smoothly in your school ? 

The ''date of smooth operation'' ranged from September 5 to November 9. 
Table 11 presents a breakdown of the smooth operating dates of the 16 schools 
with regard to the timetable system and the school population. 

The majority of the schools (62, 5%) reported smoothly operating timetables 
within the first two weeks of school. School number 15 (refer to Table I), 
with a smooth operating date of November 9, attributed the delay to an unexpected 
influx. of 100 students which necessitated an extensive reshuffling of the time- 
table. School number 14, with a smooth operajting date of October 1, cited the 
loss of the master tape as the delaying factorT 

It appears that those schools on the semester system had fewest problems 
in obtaining a smoothly operating timetable (all five were operating smoothly 
within the first two weeks). The dates for the schools on a partial semester 
system, on the other hand, ranged from the first to the tenth week. With regard 
to school size, the four smallest schools (as might have been expected) were 
operating smoothly within the first two weeks, 

■ ' • ' ■ ■ / ■ ' • ■ ■ ■■■■ ■ 



7 





looqos 






0* Ui Ui Ui Q^UiU4 Cki^ 


sunH 






00 {oco cn coio^ootQ to n 10 00. oo n oom 




•5X3 pU-e SUOT+'BAOUUI 




Ooeratinc Innovations and Extensions 1 


sou'epiPQ uioaj -e^vQ 






X X X X XX X 


uoi^'BDTjpuapi 
spsaMiBToadg 


X ■ X X XX- A X 


ABQ looqos 
pspus^x^ 


X . x 


jnoH q^unT 
3|qnoa 


X X 


8uoi)i8inb3Y 3? 




s^sn 


XX XXX X XX X X XXX XX 


BUTliaq'BT 
OHd 


X X XX X X " X • X 


pJOD3>J 




!siooq^X9X 


XXXXXX XXX XXX 




X X XXX X X X . 


. auTiunooov 

3DU?pU3))V 


X 


^ui^jodd'H 


X X . X X X X X X 


, . autinpaqos 
jBinpoxv 


" ' / . ■ X 




X X X XX X 


3UIJI 3)891X1 as 


X X X X X X 




fi^uspn^S JO 0^ 


^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

0^ in 0 <M CO ^ 00 t* ^ 0 t* t* in 0 




tn ^lotn (fl mcftcfl um ^ m cow com 
4)'0 ^ ■ <y 0 flJ ^ ^ 4* ^ 0 V V 


6 3t"TX aui|qB)9uitx 
jaqo-caX 89Dnp9"H 


cn m (0 (A u (0 u n to m oo cn /. o O 


p9Jisdtuoo .9UltX 


01 QJ , 01 « 0) * 0 SI S? . . 

. 1 E s E u 6 ti g s.u E 1 1 < 0 

Ji{ _ J rtJ ^ (iJ , i rt . ^ . ♦ ^ f z 


i{;oouJS 


fvj fsi in in r^ ofvj -v"^ 
in in vO 00 00 »-4 —« ^ cj ro iNj i-» c7^ ^ 

aaaaaaaaaacxaat; ^ ^ 

0)-tl> (U 0 V <ii 0) Qj Q^ 01 Qj^^ 3> 

cococnwcflwtow wjo w tf) (/) 0 Z w 


j9quin^j looqDS 


^ ^-t 



o 

. o 
o 



00 o 
000 

m in o 

^ «M 

V A 

H II II • 

< rt u 



■ >» ■ 

_d 

O 

> 

d 

I 

- a 
E 



a 

o 
E 



14 

E 

0) 



A) cu u 

2 Sis ?l 

I S t - 

« 0) 

II II If H 



o < 

d ;2 



cn 0. U« 



w 
O 

o 
u 



2 

O 
O 
W 
w 

aJ 
O 

U 

< 

H 
W 



o 



S 



< 
U 

cm 
o 



o 



2 



o 

ai 
U 

O 
O 
X 
o 

Q 
< 

w 

H 
w 

w 

a 



W M 



H 
W 



0 s 



Q 

w 

I— I 



X 
H 
O 
O 



< 
U 



> 

D 
O 



yj U 



< 



o 
o 



o 
o 
o 

o 
o 
in 



o 
o 
< in 



CO 

> 



I— • 

s 

H 



CO 
I— • 

o 



U 
CO 
m 

O 

6 

2 



o 
o 

^ o 



CO 
0) 

Q 



^4 

2 



e OH 



oH I 



CO 



<V3 



CM 



CO 



CO 



in 



in 



CO f-i 











u 




in 






9 


00 




r 






1 


1 




cn 


o 


in 




»— » 




CO 




















cu 








0) 


0) 




w 


w 


CO 


CO 



CO 



in 



in 



in 



in 



in 



B 

0) 
CO 
CO 

0) g 

Is 



s 

0) 

4* 

(0 

>> 



CO )Qi 



5 ^ 

>> o 

«2 G 



yj OT iH 2 

^ ^ 



9 



2. How does your response to item 1 above compare with the time taken when 
timetabling was done entirely by hand? 

TABLE III: SUMMARY OF RESPONSES TO ITEM 2 



Response 


Number 


^•Better" 


3 


"Slower" 


2 


"Same" 


5 


"Can't Compare" 


3 


No Answer 

■ • 


3 


Total 


16 







Two schools reported that it took longer to get a smoothly operating timetable 
using the computer, one of these being the school whose master tape -was 
lost; on the other hand, two schools on a partial semester system noted that 
they could not have handled the timetable complexity without the computer; 

Has the use of computers reduced the amount of time that teachers spend in 
timetabling activities ? 



"Yes" - 13 
"No" - 2 



(8!. 25%) 
(12.50%) 

No comparison available - 1 (6. 25%) 



One school principal commented that using the computer had reduced work for 
most teachers, but had increased the work for those involved in computer 
scheduling; another that the work load of counsellors was heavier with the 
computer system. 

4, Does the use of computers in scheduling save secretarial time that can be 
d e vot e d-to-other ta s ks ? — : ^ 



"Yes" - 14 (87. 50%) 
"No" - 2 (12. 50%) 

One of the schools that answered "no" noted that secretaries have never been 
used in timetabling work. 

5. During the final computer run in August for how many students did the computer 
print out a conflict sheet ? 

For each of the schools, a conflict rate was produced by converting the number 
of students with conflicts to a percentage of the total numbrjr of students. A 
frequency distribution of these conflict rates is presented in Table IV. 



ERIC 



■■10- 



TABLE IV: FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF CONFLICT RATES 



Conflict Rate 


Number of Schools 


0 0-0 9% 


2 




3 


2 0 - 2 9% 


0 


3 0-3 9% 


1 
1 


\J tmy/0 




5. 0 - 5. 9% 


1 ' 


6. 0 - 6. 9% 


1 


7. 0 - 7. 9% 


1 


8. 0 - 8. 9% 


0 


9. 0 - 9. 9% 


2 


10. 0 -10. 9% 


2 


11. 0% and above (62%)* 


1 


Total 


16 



*See explanation in subsequent paragraph. 

As mentioned in the introduction, several factors (teachers available, rooms 
available, time pattern of the school day, etc. ) affect the building of the 
master timetable and consequently the conflict rate. Table V examines the 
relation between one such factor - the timetable system - and the conflict rate. 

TABLE V: THE AVERAGE CONFLICT RATES OF SCHOOLS UNDER FOUR 
TIMETABLE SYSTEMS 



Timetable System 


No. of Schools 


Average Conflict Rate 


Semester 


:^ ' 5 ~ 


3. 0%~ ' 


Full Year 


5 


4.4% 


Partial Semester 


5 


7.9% 


Flexible Modular 


1 


62.0% 



The partial-semester schools (i. e. those which offered both year -length and 
semester length courses) had a high average conflict rate (7. 9%) in comparison 
with those on the full year (4. 4%) and with those on the semester system (3. 0%). 

The median conflict rate for all the schools was 4. 7%. 

The exceptionally high conflict rate (62. 0%) of the school with a flexible modular 
scheduling system is misleading. Most of these conflicts were resolved by 
"backscheduling modules'*: teachers agreed to hold classes during their free 
modules (20 minute blocks) to accommodate students who, for examplej^ f > 



might be missing one module in a five-module course because of a 
conflict on one day. The success of this backscheduling procedure 
was evidenced by the fact that the timetable was operating smoothly 
by September 15* 

6. The following innovations and extensions may be accomplished with 
computer schedulinjg* Check those that are operating in your school . 

Table VI summarizes the responses of the principals in regard to 
innovations and extensions. 

TABLE VI: SUMMARY OF INNOVATIONS AND EXTENSIONS USED BY 
SCHOOLS WITH COMPUTER SCHEDULING 



Innovation or Extension 


WiinriViP'r fipyinnl^ 

Reporting Uije 


% of Schools 


Class Lists 


15 


93. 75 


Textbook Rental 


12 


75. 00 


Grade Reporting by Computer 


8 


50. 00 


Marks Analysis 


8 


50. 00 


Permanent Record Card Labelling 


8 


50.00 


Pi:?pil Personnel Data 


7 


43.75 


Partial Semesterlng 


6 


37. 50 


Semestering 


6 


37. 50 


Identification to Subject Teachers 






of Students with Special Needs 


■ 6 


37. 50 


Double Lunch Hour 


2 


12.50 


Extended School Day 


2 


12. 50 


Modular Scheduling 


1 


6.25 


Attendance Accounting 


1 


6.25 


Record Keeping 


0 


0.00 


Library Loans and Acquisitions 


-.. ^.-.0:. - ^ 1- 


-0. 00- - 


Data from Guidance Testing Program 


0 


0. 00 



It is evident that the class lists and textbook rental receipts produced by the 
computer are the two extensions most widely used. The mark reporting system, 
an outgrowth of the scheduling system, is now being used in eight Vancouver 
Secondary Schools. 



7. What do you consider to be the advantages of having computer scheduling ? 
ji. e. , what are its strengths and benefits for your school?) 



Some of the more frequently cited advantages were: 
••Saves secretarial time" 

••More complete and accurate student lists" 
"Better class size balancing** 
'•Informative conflict matrix!' 
'•More information produced for teachers •• 
•^Better master timetable produced through use of simulates 
for testing^^ 

••Greater complexity and flexibility in timetable format" 
"Individualized student timetables" 
••Multiple copies^^ 

"Timetabling committee time saved" 
••Saves student •sign up^ and resultant chaos^* 
••The school is ready for 100% operation on opening day" 

8. What do you consider to be the limitations (if any) of computer scheduling? 
What constraints does it impose on the operation of your school ? 

C().>mments cited regarding limitations and constraints included: 



••No constraints^' (6) 

••No limitations' • (3) 
'•Turn-around time for simulate runs too long-- 

slowness of feedback" (4) 

••Early, inflexible run dates --inadequate time allotment^^ (4) 

••Program itself needs refining--not flexible enough^^ (3) 
••In spite of continuing improvement of soft-ware, the output 

to the school continues to be less accurate" (1) 

••Program errors negate advantages if extra work is needed^^ (1) 
••Procedure for hand tir stabling difficult conflicts, late 

registrahts, etc. - very demair^^ (1) 



9. What are your expe ctations from computer scheduling in the years ahead ? 

Listed below are some of the expectations noted: 

••More extensive use of the innovations and extensions 
listed in item &•• 

"Generation of master timetables" 
"Few conflicts^' 

••More flexibility in the final run time" 
"An updating facility'^ 

•'Improved advice, consulting, reference material, etc." 
••Better balancing of classes" 



(7) 
(6) 
(5) 
(4) 
(4) 

(4) 
(3) 
(3) 
(3) 
(2) 
(1) 
(1) 



(7) 
(4) 
(2) 
(2) 
(2) 
(2) 
(1) 



13 



T ■ ■ 

1 0. Do you want to continue to have computer scheduling ? 

Fifteen principals responded with an unqualified 'yes'. One answered 
''absolutely --but with reservations" and noted a need for greater 
accuracy and better coordination. ' 

D. CLASS SIZE BALANCING BY COMPUTER 

In order to examine the class size balancing by computer, updated course 
masters (see Appendix D) were obtained from four of the secondary schools^ 
(school numbers 1, 5, 9 and 11 in Tabt^ I). The printouts covered first term 
only courses for schools ! and 5, full year courses for school 9v and both first 
term and full year courses for school 11 {on a partial semester system). : 
Schools 1, 9 and 11 had populations between 1500 and 2000 students; school 5 
had fewer than 1500 students. 

Five subject areas were consider edi English^ social studies, mathematics, science 
and languages. It was felt that additional courses, which varied considerably 
from school to school and which, in general, were small in size, did not 
provide a valid basis for inter -school comparisons. 

Within each subject area, the range of section sizes for each course was d/3termined,v 

A difference score (calculated by subtracting the number of seats in the V/ 

smallest section of a course from that of the largest section) was determined 

for all the pertinent courses within each school and the results were representqd^^^^^^ -/^^^^ 

by means of a bar graph (see Figures 2 - 5). The names of the cour ses and 

the number of sections per course are included on the graphs. A large number i 

of courses with low difference scores indicate a ''good'' class size balaiiicing. 

For all schools, there was a marked clustering of courses at the lower end of 
the distribution of difference scores, with a difference score of being the 
most prevalent. Note also that courses with high difference scores generally 
had a large number of sections. 

Table VII presents a summary of the class size balancing of the four sample 
schools. 



ERLC 



14 



























II 




II 



m K ^ v> 



u 



f4 

1 

Z 



»9 



09 

> « 



0) 
f-t 

o 
u 

09 
0) 

u 
o 

0> 



c 



. < ^ 
« lu 9 



O ^ 

5 « 









•o n 










r* 
















o 




• 




d 


o 






O 


«» 


2 


o 


m 






5 f 




« 


o 


lu 

o 


X 






•) 
•) 




to 

C4 




- g- s 

: 3 S 



. < s s 

ft. (4 «4 »» 



u 

> 
O 



GO 



O 
U 
w 

u 

Q 



w O 



(0 
4) 

g 

ID 



to 



I 

0) 

Id 

ID 

o 

u 



d 
o 

•fH 
4-1 

(J 
0) 

09 

<a 
«f 
tin 
u 
n 
f— < 



0) 



0) 



U O 

.2 
Its y 



« 
Q 
D 

U 

I 

H 

O 

03 
CO 

OS 
D 
O 
U 

u< 
o 



o _ 

O T 

o s 

CO O 



O 



H 
> 

< 

to 
ai 

6 2: 



OS 

w 

H 

PU 

2 
o 
u 



u 

2 



< 

w 

N 
CO La 
CO 33 

CO H 

^2 

O H 

w 

D 

(X4 



ERLC 



o 



15 



CO 



14 

o 
u 



B 



9} 



M 



01 

o 
u 
n 

«) 
u 
c 

0) 

14 




< i 



0) 




f 2 5 •» 
K a s «) 



* 2 o 

• s «» 



M n N <n 



S 2 : - . 

£ < * < U 

« u m «t. VI 



r« r> ^ r« r» 



* I: * 2 • 
X « f « fio 
u m o a «» 



ERIC 



I I I 



»4 

> 
O 



4: 



€> 



I 



o 
o 



d 
o 

U 

m 



o 
o 

CO 

O 

U 

ai 

s 



14 



«« 

V 
(0 



l4 

E 

... c . — 

4^ V 

« 5 

> u 

x» ^ 

g ° 

CD C 

^ o 

^ u 

•«-» 0) 



c 

o u 7: 
o c 



O 00 >o 

<NJ ^ 



Q 

D 
»^ 
O 

S 

a 

I 

H 
O 
W 
W 

M 
w 
PC 
D 
O 
O 

O 

0: 
H 



X 



O 

O ^ 
X w 

6S 
cog 

H 

JS 
> 

n 

<" 
ta 

CO 

aj 
D 
O 
O 

X 
H 

&« 
O 

H 
X 

o 



PC 

g 

PC 

H 

D 
PU 

2 
o 
o 

>* 
« 

o 

S 
u 
2 



< 

Nl 

CO « 

CO X 
CO H 



OS 



16 



o 

o 
u 

E 

d 
2 



o 



• 4 • 5 

« s 2 2 
k o > s 



In 

O 

U 
09 

« 

a 

0) 
01 



c 
•a 



• s s = 

o p lit Ct 
t4 



2 2 



* 2 



o f* r> 



r) VI r» cn r* *^ o* 



: ^ S 

U O lu 



E 8 



S s 2 . a a 5 

<C ^ ^ » K 

a a a $ £ 



o o 







Ul 


; SOI 








o 


«f 
O 




• 




* 


K 




* 


X 




Ul 




o 






Ul 


Uj 


Ul 




u. 


o 


«4 





«0 

» » » ^ i 

UU<Z%Z«UlUl 
lu tu Ul Ui ^ Ul k O o 



2 = »• o 2 t « 

• ; I n s : s 

O O O O O K 



f4 

>■ 

o 



o 
u 
in 

o 
w 

W 

»-« 
Q 



o 

to g 



.13 



ft 

4) 

f 

:. c • 

•o 
Id 

01 
CO 
h 

d 
o 

u 

rt 

■m •■ 
o 

' c 
o 

•H 
4-) 

u 

0) 
00 

<M 
CO 
0) 

(4 

■ 



« 
♦J 
(4 

(0 



01 

I 

. d 
c 

A 



0) 0) 

o 

u3 U) 



0 

Q 
D 

a.. 
O 

S 

a 

H 
O 

CO 

W 

D 
O 
U 

111 

o 

fx: 
U 



o 

w Q 



05 

g 

a: 
u 

H 
D 

a< 
2 
o 
u 

>* 
n 

o 



> 

u 
a: 
n 
n 
< 

CO 

a: 

D 
O 
p 

u 

H 

o 



u 

CO X 
CO H 

^ 2 

^' 
W 

D 



o 



ERIC 



17 



00 



o 



E 
z 



o 



< i 



pi 



o 



4) 
O 

c 

Ik 



d 

• H 

2 





in 


K 


K 






a 
«. 




X 


u 


u 


Ul 


«0 



o 

U (4 
(0 Vi 



« n n ci 



^ 2 5 5 

^ X Ul ^ 

a u o X 



5 5 or 9 

o o ? * • 

tel Ul IM lu 9 

o a o a o 



2 s 



i I 



I I 



> 
O 



00 



0) 

si 

01 

. d . 



u 

o 

t 

g 

c 

(4 

0) 
- 09 
U 

g 



o 



O 

o 

CO 

O 



01 



09 



U 

t 
i 

01 

o 
u 

4-* 

o 

*z *-» 

i-l . o» 



C 



o ^ 
u ^ 

OQ O 



O 00 ^ ^ <M O 
(VJ ^ ^ ^ 



ERIC 



Q 

Q 
D 

o 
3 



CO 

i 

H 

O 

CO 

M 

to 
a{ 

8 

O 
oi 



D 



O ^ 

O V7 

w Q 



c5 
O 

H 

D 

a< 
2 
o 
o 

>^ 

A 

O 



H 

> 

< 

CO 

D 
O 
O 

M 
X 
H 

Cm 

o 



o 
< 
< b 
«2 

no; 

CO u\ 
CO 3 
CO H 



8 



>. 
w 

s 

















o 
























CO 






Scori 


• 


• 


■■ • 


• 


• 


Medi: 
Differ 






i-H 








GO 












re 














0 












4) 
(0 


Sc 










■ 


»^ O 














:3 1 












0 o 




in 






If) 


•-4 




a 

(U 




00 


00 


00 


00 


















a> 














Dif 














10 














(U 














Vf 














0 












4) 


0 












CO 


w 












§<=^ 


0) 














ren< 


00 










^1 


00 








CO 


0) 














Dif 














0) 














(U 














CO 














^1 


00 




CO 


in 


0 


1 


no 








CO 


0^ 
















2 


of 




























Q> 
























rage 
s Siz 














Se 


0^ 




• 


CO 

• 






0 


0 


(M 


Csl 






0 




cn 


CO 


CO 


CO 


> js 














< 5 


6 






























u 




Jh 




bl 


c 




a> 


(U 


0) 




neta 


ster 


rtia 


>* 
f-» 


(0 

c 


to 

fi 




•■-1 


> 




si 


(U 


4^ 




H 


to 




ti 


WJ 


fn 








2000 




0 


0 










0 


0 






0 




0 


in 






•i-i 


fM 


M 








»— < 

'St 

a 

0 


[500- 


1500- 


1500- 


\l 

V 
































ool 


ibe: 








in 


>ols 




t! 












Sc 


Nui 










< y 

V3 



Some 75% of the courses of school 11 (on a partial semester system) fell 
within the 0-6 range of difference scores, while 85. 9% of school 5's (on a 
semester system) fell in that range. For all schools, 73. 7% of the courses 
fell in the 0-3 difference score range, and the median difference score was 1. 7. 

E. SIMULATE RUNS 

A summary of the number of simulate runs per school is presented below: 
Number of Simulate Runs Number of Schools 

• I • 1 

• , 3 ■ 3 

■ 4 - .'"^ I 

It appeared that having additional simulate runs was advantageous: three of 
the four schools with three or more simulate runs were operating smoothly 
in the first week. (See Table I) However, no significant relationship between 
the number of simulate runs and the conflict rate was evident. 

F. DISCUSSION 

The success of a school's scheduling system is- related to many factors, --the v- 
availability of rooms and teachers, the pupil course-requests, tiie courses 
offered, the school size, and, of course, -the diligence and endurance of the 
timetabling committee, counsellors and teachers in their quest to perfect the 
Master Timetable and to hand-schedule those students with conflicts deemed ^ 
unresolvable by computer. It is thus both difficult and unwise to form conclusions 
about computer scheduling when dealing with a non-homogeneous group of schools. 
However, there are a few noteworthy trends in regard to computer scheduling^ ^^^ ^ 
in Vancouver schools. 

Scheduling by computer saves time: over 80% of the Principals indicated that 
computer-scheduling-saved both teacher and secretarial time; The^^^^ 
timesaving for administrators and counsellors was not determined. 

Class lists and textbook rental receipts are the most frequently used extensions 
of the scheduling system. Several Principals intend to make further use of the 
innovations and extensions in the future. 

The dates of smoothly operating timetables varied considerably- -from the day 
of the school's opening until ten weeks afterward, but the majority of the schools 
(10/16) were operating smoothly within the first two weeks. The effectiveness 
of the computer in balancing classes (apparent from the data from the four 
sample schools, -and from the comnieuts of "five Principals) makes such early 
smooth operating dates possible. 




20 



Under the manual system, students were often redistributed to better balance 
the classes and this often disrupted classes for several weeks. Now, with 
computer class balancing, students can quickly settle into their studies with no 
fear of being moved. 

The data from both the questionnaire and the examination of class size balancing 

suggest that schools on a partial semester system experience the greatest 

number of difficulties in scheduling. The partial semester schools had the 

highest average conflict rate (disregarding the one school on the flexible modular ^^-^^^^^^^ v 

system) and the lowest percentage of courses falling in low difference score 

ranges. The semester system schools, on the other hand, had the lowest average ; 

conflict rate and showed a high percentage of courses in the low ranges of 

difference scores. Thus it would appear that the more complex the school's 

schedule (semester system, full year system, partial semester system and 

flexible modular system, in ascending order of complexity) the more difficulties / 

it experiences in scheduling. 

In general, a positive attitude toward computer scheduling on the part of the 

Principals was apparent: all of them wanted to continue computer scheduling, 

and the advantages of having computer scheduling that they cited far outnumbered 

the constraints or limitations. Their expectations for the system in the years 

ahead were high. Many foresaw the^tise of further extensions and innovations 

of the system, and four of the Principals looked forward to the eventual computer 

generation of master timetables. Three schools noted that the complexity of 

the timetable was such that it would have been too time-consuming to schedule^^^ 4^ 

it by hand. 

Many of the constraints and limitations of computer scheduling cited by the : 
Principails could be eliminated through improvement of the present computer 
software. The difficulties that partial semester schools face, for example, 
are due to deficiencies in the computer programs (software) which necessitate^^^^^^ ^^ 
additional hand-scheduling of students. Software now exists for the Vancouvisr • ; 

School Board coinputer system that could adequately deal with such partial ^ . 

semester systems, as well as with the coniplexities of a flexible modular systemv /^^^^^^^^ 

^~~"^It"is^l¥6 witKiirth^""s^ 

to reduce substantially the turn-around time for simulate runs and the actual 
conriputer time for the final runs. With the present Honeywell D Software Packageic^^:!^ 
some schools require as long as 17 hours for their final run. ^^^^^^^^^^W Honeywell F.^^/^^^^^^ 

Software Package now available, the time could be slashed to about.-l. 7 hours, ' 
one-tenth the tiriie. Similarly, simulate ruiis could be reduced from 6 hours to 
half an hourV^^^^ S ^ v 

have several additional simulate runs to refine their master timetables . In 
addition, with f ewe r^ t^^ the final runs could be made closer to the^:^^^^:■: . \> 

school: opening date/ of handrscheduling, ; 

= last minute enrollees- 

; Principals to conduct ; 

^ii;^^- :xa their own schools.;^ Scheduling information could ^^^^^.^^^^^^^^^^-^^^f^^ 

b^ then carried to a central ^ 




A final caution: no matter how sophisticated the computer hardware and ' 
software, the burden of responsibility still rests with man: 

In scheduling, the computer simply performs a task according to 
rules laid down by the principal. The principal can formulate or 
change rules as he wishes. He can also step in at any point and 
change scheduling decisions made by the computer. The computer, 
will follow exactly the instructions given to it, whether these instruc- 
tions are right or wrong. If the correct instructions are given, the 
computer will schedule correctly more than 200 pupils per minute. 
Given erroneous instructions, the computer will schedule incorrectly 
at the same rate. ® 



Richardson, D. and J. Clark, op. cit. , p. 57. 



APPENDIX A: EXAMPLE OF A SIMPLE TALLY 



22 







01 


67/68 














CoQMf Octe. 




^OTAt 


TOTAt 








r 


r. 


EN6 IE 


010 


53 


31 


22 


EN6 1 A 


Oil 


114 


67 


47 


EN6 1 e 


014 


119 


26 


93 


EN6 1 F B 


015 


22 


20 


2 


ENG 1 BUS 


016 


103 


73 


30 


EN6 I GEN 


oie 


* 121 


22 


99 


ENG 2 E 


020 


44 


24 


20 


ENG 2 A 


021 


86 


37 


49 


ENG 2 e 


024 


56 


14 


42 


ENG 2 F B 




1 i 


10 


1 


9 RllC 

Eniu 2 PU9 




i r7 


119 


56 


ENu 2 UCN 




71 


15 


56 






1 iC 


13 


2 


ENG 3 A 


1 


oo 
Vb 


49 


49 


ENG 3 B 


044 


94 


9 


44 


ENG 9 r D 




2U 


17 


3 


ENG BUS 


O4o 


114 


82 


31 


ENG GEN 


038 


93 


14 


79 


ENG 4 E 


040 


23 


19 


4 


ENG 4 A 


041 


61 


26 


35 


ENG 4 B 


044 


29 


3 


26 


ENG « F B 


045 


14 


12 


2 


ENG « BUS 


046 


94 


75 


19 


ENG 4 GEN 


048 


71 


17 


54 


DEV READG 


065 


lis 


50 


68 


CR WRITtG 


090 


26 


11 


15 


P SPEAK fO 


091 


26 


11 


15 


ANC HIST 


110 


281 


124 


157 


CIVICS FB 


115 


21 


17 


4 


ijCIV BUS. 


116 


168 


84 


84 


GEOGRAPHY 


158 


32 


B 


24 


ECONOMICS 


191 


53 


20 


33 


ECONOMICS 


196 


91 


41 


50 


M MATH IE 


210 


38 


18 


20 


MATH lA 


211 


102 


57 


45 


MATH IB 


214 


176 


76 


100 


ARITH FB 


219 


26 


22 


4 


ARITH BUS 


216 


90 


67 


23 


G MATH ; 


218 


112 


19 


93 


PRE«MATH1 


219 


59 


12 


47 







■ 




COUKSI 










An 

09 




10 






^8* 12 


F 


h 


F 




F 




r 
r 


n 


31 


22 


• 


• 


• • 


• 


0 


0 


67 


h7 




• 




0 


0 


0 


26 


89 




8 


• 


• 


'0 


0 


20 


2 


. • 


• 




• 


• 


0 


69 


22 


4 


7 


• 


1 




0 


19 


86 


3 


13 


• 


• 


• 


0 ' 






24 


20 


• 


• 




0 






37 


49 




• 




0 


* 


■ 


14 


37 




5 




0 






10 


1 




• 




0 


* 




113 


90 


6 


6 




' % ■ 


* 




12 


48 


3 


8 




0 ' 










13 


2 




0 










48 


48 




1 








1 


9 


41 




2 








• 


17 


3 




0 








• 


77 


30 


5 


1 








• 


13 


70 


1 


9 








• 


• 


• 


19 


4 










• 


• 


26 


99 








• 


• 


1 


3 


29 












• 


12 


2 








• 


• 


• 


75 


19 








• 


1 


• 


16 


54 


;26 


24 


15 


24 


7 


17 


2 


9 








• 


3 


8 


8 


7 










3 


8 


8 


r 


124 


1*4 




2 


t 


' • 


0 


1 


17 


4 




• 


• 




■ 0 


' 0 


84 


83 




• 


• 


■■ ■ 


'0 


1 


• 


• 


6 


15 


1 


8 


1 


1 


• 


• 


• 




6 


.6 


14 


27 


.. • 


• 


• 


• 


7 


1^ 


34 




18 


20 


• 


• ' 


• 


■." • 


' 0 


• 


54 


40 


3 


4 


• 


1 


0 


' 0 


46 


94 


15 


28 


• 13 


'9 


2 




22 


4 


• 


• 




0 


0 


'■' 0 


67 


20 


• 


3 




'0 


0 


' 0 ' 


19 


86 * 




4 




2 


■ 0 


I 


7 


40 


5 


. 7 




0 . 


0 


0 



ERIC 



23 



APPENDIX B: EXAMPLE OF A PAIRING MATRIX 



OQUHSE ffmBBWI 
01 e7/6» 



pVOIMi KBOUBfiTS' CX>tntfiS 065 

COimSE CONFLICT MATRIX 



NQMBBR OP POmrXAL OOBPLXCVS BRNBSV CCXmSBS 035 and US 
^ • PAIR 6 TAUtV MATRIX 



COURSE DE5C 


• NO J 




049 


046 


045 


069 


090 


091 


110 


119 


il6 


120 


129 


126 


130 


139 


196 


140 


141 


146 


199 




1 

TOTAtSf 


29 


14 


94 


TI 


ulj) 


26 


26 


261 


21 


166 


197 


7 . 


118 


■ . ' ■ ■ 
160 


21 


184 


20 


94 


49 


49 


■■ 

ENO I E 




• 


• 




• 


/ 7 


■ • 


• ■ 


93 


• 


• 


• 


• 




- • 




• 


, ■ • ■ 


• 


• 


• 


ENG I A 


oTi 


• 


• 


• 


• J 


r 13 


• 


• 


114 


• 


• 




• 




• 




• 


• 


. . fl 






ENG. I 8 


014 


• 


• 


• 


• / 


14 


• 


• 


112 


• 


• 


3 


• 


3 




• 


• 


• ' ■ 




• 


• 


EMG I f B 


019 


• 


• 






2 


• 




• ■' 


19 


• 4 


fl 




• 


• 


• 


• 


• 


■ '- •/ 




•- •• • 


ENG I BUS 


016 


• 


• 


• 




9 


• 


■ • 


• 




89 




• 


9 


• 


• 


1 


• 






3 


ENG I GEH 


OlS 




• 


• 


/ • 


12 


• 


• 


• 




60 


• 


• 


6 


• 


• 


• 


• 






1 


ENG 2 E 


020 






















SO 




















EMG 2 A 


021 




• 


• 


' • 


9 






• 


I 




78 




• 




• 


• 








• 


ENG 2 D 


024 




• 


• 


I • 


9 


• 


• 




• 




47 . 


• 


• 


2 


• 


1 






• 


• 


ENG 2 F 0 


029 


• 


• 


• 


I * 


• 


• 




• 


• 




• 




• ■ 










• ■ 


• 


3 


ENG 2 BUS 


024 




• 


• 


\ • 


13 


• 


• 


• 




• 




• - 


88 


• 


• 


12 


• 




• 


41 


ENG 2 aEN 


02S 


• 


• 


• 




6 


• 


• 


• 






• 


• 


23 




• 


9 




' ■ . ■ • 


• 


1 


ENG 1 E 


030 


• 


• 


• 




1 


2 


2 


• 


• 


• 


• 


• 


• 


13 


• 


• 


• 


■ ' • ■■ 






ENG 9 A 


031 


• 


• 


• 




3 


T 


7 






• 


■ • 


■ • ; 




90 


^ • 






1 






EfiG 3 B - 


034 




• 






e 


2 


2 


• 


• 


• 






• 






• 








• • 


ENG 3 F B 


039 


• 


• 


• 




1 


• 


' • 






• 




- • 






<S) 


I 


• 


• ' . 


• 










• 


' o 


- • 1 


- A 
O 


• 








• 










' 2 ' 


IAS 






■ • 


-- ' • 


ENG GEN 


. 036 






2 


9\ 


6 


• 


• 






1* 








1 


' •.. 


71 




• . 


1 


• ■ 


ENG ^ E 


040 




• 


• 




• 


7 


7 






• 








4- 


■■ • 




8 


7 






ENG 4 A 


041 




• 




• ■ 


i • 


7 


7 






• 








1 




• 




31 






ENG 4 B 


044 


29« 




• 


• 


\ • 


I 


I 






- • 








2 




1 


2 


I* 


1 


- • 


ENG 4 F B 


049 




14» 


• 


• 


\ • 


• 


. •-■ 






- • 








• 


• 


• ' 






' ' • . 




ENG 4 BUS 


046 




• 


94* 




\ 1 


• 


• 






1 








■ ■ • ■ 




9 


• ■ 




24 


• 


ENG 4 GEN 


046 




• 


» 






• 


• 






t 








• 




9 


• 




24 




DEV READG 


069 




• 


1 


4 




• ■ 


• 


32 




14 


19 




10 


10 


2 


10 


• 


• 


2 


3 


CR HRlTtO 


090 




• 


• 


• 


• 


26* 


26 






• 








7 


• 




9 


4' 


• 




P SPEAK fG 


091 




• 




• 


• 


26 


20ft 






• 








7 


• 




9 


■ 4' 


• - 




AKC HtST 


110 




c 


• 


1 


32 


• 


• 


261ft 




• 








• 


• 


• 




• 


t 


■ " • . 


CIVICS FB 


119 




• 


• 


• 


3 


• 


• 




21ft 










• 


• 


• 


• 


• 






CIV eus« 


116 




• 


1 


• 


14 


• 


• 






I6&ft 








• 


• 








• 


• 


QEOGPAPHt' 


120 




• 


• 


• 


19 


• 


• 






• 


I57ft 










• 


• 


• 


• 


• 


ECONOMICS 


129 




• - 


• • 


• 


• 




• - - 


>• 






Tft 




. . . • . 


• 


• 


• 




_ • ■ 


1 


ECONOMICS 


126 




• 


• 


• 


10 


• 


• 






• 






tl8ft 




• 


• 


• 


9 


• 


5 


M MATH IE 


130 


2 


• 


• 


• 


10 


7 


7 






• 






160* 


• 


• 


• 


I 


• 


• 


MATH lA 


139 


• 




• 


• 


2 


• 


• 






• 










21ft 




• 


• 


• 




MATH IB 


136 


1 


• 


3 


5 


10 


• 


• 






• 








• 


• 


184ft 




• 


* 2 


• 


ARITH FB 


140 


2 


• 


• 


• 


• 


3 


3 






• 








• 


• 


• 


20ft 


8 


• 




ARITH BUS 


141 


16 


• 


• 


• 


• 


4 


4 






• 








1 


• 


• 


6 


54ft 


• 


• 


G MATH 1 


146 


1 


• 


24 


24 


2 


• 


• 






• 








• 


• 


2 


• 


• 


49» 


• 


PK€»MATHi 


195 


• 


• 


• - 


• 


3 


• 








• 




1 


9 








. • . .. 


• 




49ft 



(The reader will recognize that the above is a partial matrix. ) 



ERIC 



APPENDIX C 

24 



VANCOUVER SCHOOL BOARD EDUCATION DEPARTMENT 

QUESTIONNAIRE RE; COMPUTER SCHEDULING 
TO PRINCIPALS OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS 



It is necessary, at this timej to attempt to make an assessment of the use of 
computers for scheduling students in secondary schools. We would appreciate 
having your responses to the following questions: 

1. By what date in September, 1972, was the timetable operating smoothly in 
your school? (This would include the scheduling of students who appeared at 
school on September 5th but whose requests for courses were not included 
in the scheduling run in August. It would also include the processing of those 
students who failed to return to school in September, as well as the balancing 
of size of classes, where required. It would not include the re-scheduling of 
students who made special requests to change courses after September 5. ) 



Date: 



2. How does your response to item 1, above, compare with the time taken when 
timetabling was done entirely by hand? 



3. Has the use of computers reduced the amount of time that teachers spend in 
timetabling activities ? 



4. Does the use of computers in scheduling save secretarial time that can be 
devoted to other tasks ? 



5. 



During the final computer run in August for how many students did the computer 
print out a conflict sheet? 



APPENDIX C (continued) 



25 



The following innovations and extensions may be accomplished with 
computer scheduling. Check those that are operating in your school. 



Partial Semestering 

Semestering 

Modular Scheduling 

Grade Reporting by Computer 

Attendance Accounting by Computer 

Marks Analysis 

Textbook Rental 

Record Keeping 



Permanent Record Card Labelling 
Class Lists 

Library Loans and Acquisitions 
Double Lunch Hour 
Extended School Day 
Identification to Subject Teachers 

of Students with Special Needs 
Pupil Personnel Data 
Data from Guidance Testing Prograni 



What do you consider to be the advantages of having computer scheduling? 
(i. e. 9 what are its strengths and benefits for your school?) 



8. What do you consider to be the limitations (if any) of computer scheduling? 
What constraints does it impose on the operation of your school? 



9. What are your expectations from computer scheduling in the years ahead? 



10. Do you want to continue to have computer scheduling? 

Yes No 



O : 

ERIC Principal 



School 



Date 



APPENDIX D: UPDATED MASTER SCHEDULE 



CENTi<AL HIGH U90ATED MASTER SCHEDULE 67/68 



DUMBER 


SEC# 


DESCRIPTION 


SEM 


DAYS 


PER 


rnf 

CODE 


ROOM 


CREDIT 


START 


SEATS—— 
OPEN USED 


TEACHER 
N0« NAME ' 






01 


PHYSICS 


3 


ALL 


31 


I 


202 


100 


28 


05 


23 


236 


JOHNSON 


ROBT. 


9KK 




KnTa LAD 


9 


Do 


3 


1 

A 


202 




28 


05 


23 


236 


JOHNSON 


ROBT. 


255 


02 


PHYS LAB 


3 


TF 


3 


2 


202 


100 


28 


07 


21 


236 


JOHNSON 


ROBT. 


255 


02 


PHYSICS 


3 


ALL 


4 


2 


202 




28 


07 


21 


236 


JOHNSON 


ROBT. 


255 


03 


PHYSICS 


3 


ALL 


85 


2 


202 


100 


28 


05 


23 


236 


JOHNSON 


ROBT. 


255 


03 


PHYS LAB 


3 


MT 


8 


2 


202 




28 


05 


23 


236 


JOHNSON 


ROBT. 


255 


04 


PHYS LAB 


3 


RF 


6 


1 


202 


100 


?8 


06 


23 


236 


JOHNSON 


ROBT. 


255 


04 


PHYSICS 


3 


ALL 


9 


I 


202 




28 


06 


22 


236 


JOHNSON 


R0BT# 


255 


C5 


PHYSICS 


3 


ALL 


1 


2 


202 


100 


28 


07 


21 


509 


BATES DAVID 


255 


05 


PHYS LAB 


3 


TR 


2 


2 


202 




28 


07 


21 


509 


BATES DAVID 


255 


06 


PHYS LAB 


3 


WF 


52 


I 


202 


100 


28 


06 


22 


509 


BATES DAVID 


255 


C6 


PHYSICS 


3 


ALL 


5 


I 


202 




28 


06 


22 


509 


BATES DAVID 


256 


01 


SR SCI 


3 


ALL 


3 




211 


100 


32 


02 


30 


105 


JORDAN PAUL 


256 


02 


SR SCI 


3 


ALL 


9 




003 


100 


32 


04 


28 


105 


JORDAN PAUL 


306 


01 


LATIN 2 


3 


ALL 


6 




009 


100 


32 


01 


31 


986 


BRADY FRANCES 


306 


02 


LATIN 2 


3 


ALL 


8 




009 


100 


32 


05 


27 


986 


BRADY FRANCES 


306 


03 


LATIN 2 


3 


ALL 


9 




009 


100 


32 


04 


26 


986 


BRADY FRANCES 


306 


04 


LATIN 2 


3 


ALL 


0 




009 


100 


32 


04 


26 


986 


BRADY FRANCES 


3Ci 


.05 


LATIN 2 


3 


ALL 


4. 




009 


100 


32 


05 


27 


411 


BRADY FRANCES 



27 



GLOSSARY OF COMPUTER TERMS 



BALANCING (CLASS SIZE) 



CONFLICT 



CONFLICT RATE 



Making the number of students in each 
section (or class) of a coarse the same 
or as nearly so, as possible (as opposed, 
for example, to filling up three classes 
and leaving the fourth partly empty). 

Occurs when two (or more) courses chosen 
by the student are available only in the 
same block or period. 

The percentage of students who have one 
or more conflicts. 



CONFLICT SHEET 



A single page printed by the computer for 
each course in which the student had a 
conflict. It shows all the courses chosen 
by the student and all the blocks in which 
those subjects are available, including 
the courses which are in conflict. 



COURSE DESCRIPTION--COURSE 
NUMBER CONVERSION TABLE 



DIFFERENCE SCORE 



A list of the names of all the courses offered 
by the school together with the corresponding 
course code numbers. If there are several 
sections of the course only one entry 
appears on the table. (This table ie 
prepared manually by the school staff). 

The score calculated by subtracting the 
number of students in the smallest section 
of a course from that of the largest section. 



FLEXIBLE MODULAR SYSTEM 
OF SCHEDULING 



A system in which the length of each period 
is a particular number of "modules"; for 
example, typing might take I module of 
20 minutes, auto mechanics might require 
6 modules (two hours), science, 3 modules 
(60 minutes, etc.) 



Note; (In such a system the master timetable provides for a wide variety of 
options but when all students have been scheduled the system is quite 
inflexible because of the many variables that the system accommodates. ) 



FULL YEAR SYSTEM 



ERIC 



A Full Year System is one in which time- 
tabling is on an annual basis and in which 
the master timetable remains relatively 
unchanged throughout the year. 



28 



HARDWARE 



The mechanical, electrical, and magnetic 
devices and materials with which an 
automatic computer system is constructed. 



LISTING 



MASTER TAPE 



MASTER TIMETABLE 
(OR MASTER SCHEDULE) 



MODULE 



One or more pages of information which 
has been printed by the computer; for 
example, a list of all the students in the 
school by student surname, in alphabetical 
sequence. 

The magnetic tape on which is stored one 
record for each student in the schooL The 
tape is permanently kept at the computer 
site and brought up to date whenever necessary. 



A two-dimensional representation (courses 
offered X blocks or periods in the cycle) 
of all curricular offerings in the school, 
each individual offering being called a 
"section". The master timetable is usually 
produced by hand. 

The unit of time for specifying the durPttion 
of a subject period in modular scheduling 
systems (usually either 15 or 20 minutes). 
Duration of the class would be a multiple 
of this unit (e. g. , 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 
45 minutes^ etc. ). 



OUTPUT 



PAIRING MATRIX 



PARTIAL SEMESTER SYSTEM 



Er|c p«™tout 



One or more pages of information printed 
by a computer. Output might also include 
an up-to-date version of a file stored on 
magnetic tape at the computer. 

A computer printout in two dimensions which 
summarizes students* choices of all possible 
pairs of courses. This is useful in 
anticipating potential conflicts and thus 
avoiding such conflicts by the way in which 
the school timetable is set up. 

A system in which for some courses a 
student must attend from September 
through June in order to complete the course 
whereas for other (semestered) courses, 
he need attend only from September through 
January or February through June. 

One or more pages of information which 
. ha s b e en p_r in t e d„ bx 9 P rnput e r 



29 



RUN The process of doing work on a computer; 

for example, doing a "scheduling run** 
and/or doing a "grade reporting run". 

SECTION A class size group of students that study 

a particular course together in the same 
block or period. 



SEMESTER SYSTEM A semester system is one in which the 

timetabling is on a semester basis, i* e. , 
there is a different master timetable for 
each semester. For a semester course, 
a student will attend from September 
through January, or from February through 
June. Some courses may be offered in 
both semesters. 

SIMULATE RUN This is the same as a scheduling run except 

that the operation is stopped after students 
have been placed in the courses of their 
choice and, where this is impossible, 
conflict sheets have been printed. The 
computer does not print the student time- 
tables or class lists for subject teachers, 
etc. The Simulate Run reveals how many 
conflicts are likely during the final run and 
indicates the effectiveness of the manually- 
created master timetable. 

SMOOTHLY OPERATING 

TIMETABLE A situation which occurs early in September 

. after the final scheduling run and all conflicts 
have been manually resolved but before 
students start to request changes in their 
timetables. 

TALLY 



The elapsed time between the school 
submitting required information to the 
computer (such as students' course - 
choices) and the delivery of the resulting 
computer printout to the school. 



A separate computer run (which occurs a 
few weeks before the simulate runs) to 
produce a printout of the total number of 
students who have chosen each course. This 
is useful to the school for determining 
approximately how many sections (or classes) 
will be required for each course. 



TURN-AROUND TIME 

ERLC 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



DODDS, W. , "How to Use V. S. B. Computerized Scheduling'', 
Vancouver School Board, March, 1973. 

JACOBSON, M. E. , ''A Study of Scheduling Problems and Practices 
in High Schools which Employ and do not Employ 
Data Processing". Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 
unpublished doctoral dissertation, 1966. 

JOHNSON, M. Clemens, Educational Uses of the Computer; An 

Introduction, Chicago: Rand McNally & Company, 1971. 

MURPHY, J. and R. Sutter, ''School Scheduling by Computer --The Story 
of GASP" , New York: Educational Facilities Laboratories 
Inc. , 1964. 



RICHARDSON, D. and J. Clark, "Understanding the Process of Computer 
Scheduling", School Progress, February, 1969.