Undergraduate and graduate course scheduling

Instructors complete the Applied Health Sciences Course Requirements Form to denote preferences regarding course requirements, including meet patterns and teaching windows. The course requirements form is now closed for Winter 2020 scheduling. Please direct any questions to your scheduling representative.

M=Monday, T=Tuesday, W=Wednesday, R=Thursday, F=Friday

Overview

Scheduling software (Infosilem) was implemented and released for use in Spring 2014. The system replaced a manual scheduling process and is intended to improve scheduling outcomes for students, reduce staff workload, reduce the use of instructor block-offs, and improve schedule predictability for instructors. These changes support the University of Waterloo Principles of Timetabling that have been endorsed by the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Timetabling.

University of Waterloo principles of timetabling

  • Provide a positive academic experience for students by constructing timetables with conflict-free core courses and the widest possible selection of elective courses;
  • Support the pedagogical needs of courses and programs;
  • Endeavour to schedule courses so that faculty members can balance their teaching, research and service activities;
  • Consider the work-life balance of all UWaterloo community members: faculty, staff and students;
  • Foster transparency and collaboration between academic and academic-support units in their timetabling activities;
  • Provide support to academic units in their implementation of timetabling;
  • Promote fair and equitable distribution of instructional times and locations;
  • Reduce the overall time and effort consumed to create a timetable;
  • Promote the effective use of teaching space.

Two processes were implemented to support the software:

  1. Daytime (core) meet pattern system will be monitored and, if necessary, altered to increase conflict-free course selection for students, course offering predictability, and room utilization. The focus is to improve the balance between undergraduate courses offered 3 x 1 hour MWF and courses offered 2 x 1.5 hours TR or late day MW.
  2. Teaching availability: Instructors are asked to select a teaching window within which they are available to teach each day (one of: 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., or 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.) and, if necessary, identify additional times they are not available to teach. An Instructor Constraint Form will facilitate collection of this information.

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Applied Health Sciences procedure

Instructors will receive an email that the scheduling process has begun for each upcoming term. The email will include details of the scheduling process for the term and instructions on how to submit information through the Applied Health Sciences Course Requirements Form. The form collects information on their preferred meet patterns, teaching window, and course details. Instructors must complete and submit the form for up to three course offerings each term by the deadline in order for an instructor’s preferred meet pattern and teaching window to be considered. Instructors DO NOT need to complete this form for online courses. 

The information is then provided to their respective academic unit scheduling representative, who will provide the information to the chairs/director. The chairs/director will review the information to ensure that instructors’ choices are spread throughout the week. If an instructor's meet pattern or teaching window cannot be accommodated, the chair/director will contact the instructor to discuss other options. Course information is then entered into Infosilem scheduling software at which time the course schedules are created.

Teaching windows

Instructors are asked to select a preferred teaching window within which they will be scheduled to teach.  The windows are:

  • 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (default),
  • 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.,
  • 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (1 x 3 hour meet pattern cannot be selected within this teaching window),
  • 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.,
  • 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (evening)

Please note that an instructor selects one teaching window which applies to all courses assigned to the instructor that term. 

It is the responsibility of the chair/director to ensure that teaching windows are spread evenly over the three start times (8:30, 9:00, and 10:00) to maximize course availability for students and room utilization.

Instructor constraints (level 1, 2, or 3) 

Instructors that require additional block off times from within their selected teaching window may submit a level 1, 2, or 3 constraint. Instructors must submit an Instructor Constraint Form with the required level (1 or 2) to your chair/director for approval. Level 3 constraints do not require chair/director approval. The form is available from your school/department scheduling representative. 

Level 1 = Requests categorized as level 1 involve documented medical and religious/human rights necessity. 

Level 2 = Requests categorized as level 2 include some medical considerations, some family care scheduling considerations, and some competing academic or administrative commitments. These requests will be coded and all reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate.

Level 3 = Requests categorized as level 3 include personal preferences, logistic issues and travel arrangement considerations.

Please ask your school/department scheduling representative about deadlines to submit this form. 

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Meet patterns

Meet time patterns should promote maximum access for students to courses, course enrolments, and the number of courses that can be scheduled into a given set of classrooms. To this end, the below guidelines will be followed.

Guidelines

  • The core daytime teaching hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. M - F.
  • Evening teaching hours are 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. M - R.
  • Course components (e.g. lectures, labs, tutorials, etc.) held in core hours will be scheduled within teaching blocks of 8:30 a.m. - 11:20 a.m., 11:30 a.m. - 2:20 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.
  • Course components held in core hours must not overlap two teaching blocks.

Specific meet patterns

Courses will be scheduled with one of the following meet patterns:

Pattern  Start Times 
3 x 1 hour MWF 8:30 - 9:20 a.m., 9:30 - 10:20 a.m.,…, 4:30 - 5:20 p.m
2 x 1 hour MW 8:30 - 9:20 a.m., 9:30 - 10:20 a.m.,…, 4:30 - 5:20 p.m.
2 x 1.5 hours TR only 8:30 - 9:50 a.m., 10:00 - 11:20 a.m.,…, 4:00 - 5:20 p.m.
2 x 1.5 hours MW Start times can be 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., every hour and a half. For courses with less than 250 students.
2 x 1.5 hours MW, TR 8:30 - 9:50 a.m., 10:00 - 11:20 a.m., ..., 4:00 - 5:20 p.m. For courses with less than 250 students.
2 x 2 hours MW, TR, WF 8:30 - 10:20 a.m., 10:30 a.m. - 12:20 p.m., 12:30 - 2:20 p.m., 2:30 - 4:20 p.m.
1 x 1 hour M-F 8:30 - 9:20 a.m., 9:30 - 10:20 a.m.,…, 4:30 - 5:20 p.m
1 x 1.5 hours M-F Start times can be 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every hour and a half. 
1 x 2 hours M-F 8:30 - 10:20 a.m., 10:30 a.m. - 12:20 p.m., 12:30 - 2:20 p.m., 2:30 - 4:20 p.m.
1 x 3 hours M-F 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. For courses with less than 80 students.
1 x 3 hours M-F Start time will be 2:30 p.m. For courses with 80 or more students. 
1 x 3 hours M-R Evening Start time will be 6:30 p.m.
1 x 3 hours M-R Evening  Start time will be 7:00 p.m.
1 x 2 hours M-F Lab  Start times can be 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
1 x 2 hours M-F Lab/Set up time Start times will be 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. 
1 x 3 hours M-F Lab  Start times will be 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. 
1 x 3 hours M-F Lab  Start time will be 1:30 p.m. 

Please note that meet patterns are chair/director approved and are not guaranteed. It is the responsibility of the chair/director to ensure that there is an equitable distribution of meet patterns to promote maximum access for students to courses, and to maximize the number of courses that can be scheduled into a given set of classrooms.

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Questions?

Please direct any questions to your scheduling representative (below) or Leeann Ferries, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies.

Academic unit scheduling representatives

Department of Kinesiology

Marg Burnett, undergraduate course scheduling
Denise Hay, graduate course scheduling

Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies

Sandy Heise, undergraduate and graduate course scheduling

School of Public Health and Health Systems

Doris Makowich, undergraduate course scheduling
​Dan Rodgers, graduate course scheduling
Melissa Santo, professional graduate programs

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