New Faculty Schedules, Phase One

Posted on January 12th, 2007 by

The new faculty schedules went live yesterday, in place of the old and aging version that had been in use over the last couple of years. While this new version is entirely different under the hood, most of the original experience has been preserved while bringing some new features designed for ease-of-use.

What’s the same?

While the new version of the schedules brings a number of enhancements, there are a lot of similarities with the previous version.

Schedule listing
For starters, the first screen you are presented with still contains an alphabetical listing of the faculty who have schedules.

Additionally, you can still click either on the name to view a single person’s schedule, or check multiple people and select overlay to see a composite schedule. This is especially useful for deciding when to schedule meetings.

What’s new?

The entire project has been re-thought-out and rebuilt from the ground up. While this rethinking helped us add a few new features, we also made a number of smaller improvements.

On the technical side, the new version is written in PHP instead of ColdFusion. This will allow us to be more agile with our development practices and help us to incorporate the code we are writing today into new projects that we might be working on down the line. Plus, PHP is free and it has an enormous community. What’s not to like?

Schedule details
The feature that stands out the most is the new details window that is displayed when you put your mouse over a time. This will give you all of the important information you need. The best way to understand it is to simply check it out.

What’s left?

While this is all new, the project has not been completed yet. This is only phase one, so we have a bit more work to do before we can call things good.

Currently, most of the important functionality is written in JavaScript. While most users have JavaScript enabled in their browsers, a very small percentage will be affected by this. We believe that this works well as a temporary solution; however, it isn’t all that accessible. We will be working on migrating some of the core functionality from JavaScript to PHP, which will improve the performance and accessibility of the application.

We also need to allow people to add non-course events to their schedules. While this step has traditionally been completed in the Deans’ office, we hope to give individuals who are interested the ability to add to and update their own schedules.

What’s on your mind?

We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions about the new schedules. What works for you? What doesn’t? What would you like to see happen? Let us know in the comments for this entry.

Schedules

 


2 Comments

  1. […] putting the new schedule system live in January, we began to explore new ways that people wanted to see schedules displayed. In GTS we […]

  2. Teri says:

    great page – thanks for all your hard work on this