SCHEDULE-EXAMINATION SYSTEM

The Austin Community College Course Schedule contains a great amount of constantly-updated information about the college’s operation, and the ACC schedule website provides multiple modes of viewing that information (e.g., by campus, department, and instructor). But since the ACC site is oriented toward student and instructor use, it lacks several additional views and functionalities using the same information that would be useful to academic administrators.

Here’s a public website that supports such capabilities. It dynamically reads the relevant schedule pages from the ACC website, then processes and displays the information appropriately for the selected task. The specified section lists are displayed in a form from which they can easily* be copied into spreadsheets for further processing (such as sorting on any field) or integrated with further departmental information that is not in the schedule. Users can specify the subset of semesters, departments, courses, and/or campuses for which they want information.

Here are some of the site’s capabilities:

  1. Extraction of subsets of section information to copy and paste to a spreadsheet; this section list can be ‘filtered’ to limit it to specific campuses, courses, rooms, days, or time periods
  2. Summarize faculty loads (adjustment may be needed for combined or special classes)
  3. Summarize room usage, and detect duplicate room assignments
  4. Display any non-enrollment changes in the schedule between different ‘snapshot’ dates (i.e., added/killed sections and/or changes in room, time, size limit, or instructor)
  5. List anomalies in section enrollment limits (where the limit is different both from other sections of the same course and from other courses in the same room)
* To copy a section list to a spreadsheet:
      [1] Focus on the page’s text area by clicking on it.
      [2] Press the "A" key while holding down the "Ctrl" key. This will select all the text in the text area – there is no need to scroll to the bottom of the text.
      [3] Press the "C" key while holding down the "Ctrl" key. This will copy all the selected text.
      [4] Display the destination worksheet in a spreadsheet program such as Excel.
      [5] Select the top-left cell (typically A1) in a worksheet.
      [6] Press the "V" key while holding down the "Ctrl" key. This will paste the text-area contents into the worksheet, putting the field name for each column in the top row (thus you can sort on any field).
      [7] Label the worksheet appropriately and save the spreadsheet.

The site uses open-source software developed by Hunter Ellinger (hunter@ellinger.org), who has offered to expand the site with further capabilities making use of the same information if people express interest in them. He would appreciate any feedback from users of the site, both about any errors encountered and about potential improvements.

Revised 8/21/11