Astra Schedule Definitions

The glossary describes the key concepts and terminology used throughout Astra Schedule.

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Academic Scheduling Preferences
Settings that indicate room type, feature, region, building and/or room preferences or requirements. These settings impact a room’s score relative to a section during room assignment. Academic scheduling preferences saved at the system level are automatically applied to sections. Individual section overrides may be applied as needed.
Approver Group
A list of people to whom requests for events or resources are routed for approval.
Arranged Section
A section that has components of its meeting pattern that are undetermined. Section Meetings with “arranged” checked will not hold room usage.



A scheduling deficit caused by a scarce resource or heavily used time period. A bottleneck is indicated when suitable rooms exist, but none are available for a given section. For the purposes of room utilization and HESI metrics, a bottleneck is indicated for rooms at 80% utilization.



The campuses in Astra Schedule should mirror the campus information found in the student information system. These will be geographical divisions used in room assignment and security settings.
Classroom Utilization Primetime
The percentage of hours in the primetime subset of a standard week (as defined by each institution’s usage patterns) that a typical classroom is in use.
Classroom Utilization Standard Week
The percentage of hours in a standard week (as defined by each institution’s usage patterns) that a typical classroom is in use.
A collection is a grouping of equipment and/or services that is typically reserved as a single unit. Equipment items and services may be required or optional when reserving a collection. This functionality is currently unsupported in Astra Schedule 8.
The name and definition of a room’s physical arrangement used for scheduling purposes. A room may have one or more possible configurations.
Contact Hours
This is the number of hours the meeting must meet per week or term. The contact hour value determines the valid meeting patterns for the course meeting type.
A scenario when two or more courses meet in the same room at the same time, indicated by a code.
Custom Field
Custom Fields are fields that are defined by users to be displayed on various record types in Astra Schedule. Custom Fields may be desired to capture information in the system that isn’t captured by default. Record types for which Custom Fields may be defined include Buildings, Rooms, Sections, Section Meetings, Events, Event Meetings, and Event Request Forms.
A customer is a client, business, organization, or other entity used in event scheduling to which one or more individual contacts are associated.
Customer Contact
A person that is associated with a customer. Customers may have multiple contacts, one of which is the primary contact. A person may be a contact for multiple customers.
Customer Group 
Customer Group is a customer field that categorizes customers for reporting purposes. Examples include Student Group, Alumni Association, Community Organization, Faculty and Staff, etc.



Delivery Method
Delivery Methods represent the various course offering formats. Examples include "On Campus", "Blended", "Online", etc.
Do Not Optimize
Indicator flag that room assignments should NOT be automatically made for sections of this course during bulk scheduling.



Effective Date
A date defined for a record on which changes will occur. For example, a room may be reconfigured to have scheduling attributes (i.e. seating, features, room type) that become available as of a certain date.
Enrollment Ratio
The overall average fill rate for course offerings calculated as census enrollment divided by Enrollment Capacity.
Event Meeting Type
The Event Meeting Type is similar to Event Type but is specific to event meetings. This field provides a categorization for types of meetings within an event record.
Event Type
The Event Type is an event record field that describes the general category of events. The Event Type is used for grouping events, primarily for reporting purposes. Examples include Student, Community, Staff, Athletic, Corporate, or any other category that is important to your institution.



Facility Layout
A standardized physical layout that may be associated with room configurations on one or more rooms.
A permanent attribute of a room or resource that is significant from a scheduling perspective. (e.g. sink, LCD projector, maps, etc.).
A visibility status setting that allows events and reports to be highlighted on the homepage.
Fill Ratio
Ratio of average enrollment or max enrollment to the average room capacity. This is based on either actual or max enrollment, depending on the specified report parameter ((Max) Enrollment/Room Capacity).





A central access point to information from various sources. The Astra Schedule homepage is a gateway to the application and provides configurable views of various pieces of information, both internal and external.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning zone; an HVAC zone defines a specific area within a building that can be affected by the buildings climate control system; definition of these zones will allow scheduling decisions that can take into account energy efficiency considerations.



An event scheduling status indicating that a room assignment is still required or that room or other resource approvals are pending.
A scenario in which a section has a combination of scheduling requirements that are impossible to meet.
Institution Contact
An institution contact is a person that is available to be listed as an internal contact person for an event.
Instructor Availability Template
Instructor Availability Templates are used to show when instructors are available for section assignment. The following details can be populated on the Instructor Availability Template: days, start and end times, campus, and term types.









Meeting Pattern
Meeting Patterns are the distinct combinations of Term Type, Meeting Type, days met, and start and end times.
Meeting Type
The Meeting Type is an academic field that describes the valid general meeting categories for courses and sections. Examples include Lecture, Lab, Discussion, or any other category used by your institution.




Off-Grid Utilization
The percentage of scheduling using non-standard meeting patterns during Primetime Hours.
Off-Grid Waste
The percentage of capacity wasted by scheduling non-standard meeting patterns during Primetime Hours.
The tool used to automatically assign rooms to a large number of sections using scheduling preferences and user-defined optimization parameters.
Optimizer Run
Saved optimizer settings and results.



A permission is a specific right within Astra Schedule to perform distinct actions; permissions include rights to view, edit or delete records, and rights to request, schedule, or approve various resources.
Pre/Post Event Meetings
Additional components scheduled in association with an event meeting to accommodate special activities like seating time, meet and greet, question and answer, etc.
The priority of a given room type, feature, region, building, or room as determined by course or instructor need.
Preference Mode
The preference mode determines how the preference is applied during scheduling. The four preference modes include:
1. Normal - preference weight is considered when scoring room fit
2. Required - preference must be satisfied in room assignment
3. Excluded - preference item must be avoided in room assignment
4. Blocked - preference should not be considered if it has been inherited from another rule
Preference Set
A reusable group of saved scheduling preferences (business rules) applied during room assignment to determine “best fit” based on the scheduling process, term, or scheduling goals.
Prime Ratio (or Prime Time Ratio)
The percent of total average weekly room hours (by subject) offered during prime time (Prime room hours / Total Room Hours).
Prime Room Hour Utilization
Percentage of the prime room hours used in that room / building. The prime week hours are entered as a user-defined parameter when the report is run. (Prime Room Hours / (# of Rooms in room / building*Prime Week))
Prime Room Hours
Average weekly hours occurring in the user-specified prime time. If prime time is M - R, 10a - 3p, a class that meets on MW from 9a to 11a would get counted for four total room hours, but only TWO prime room hours.
Primetime Compression
Percentage that Primetime Utilization is higher than an evenly spread scheduled would be.
Primetime Hours
The most popular days/times for scheduling academic sections, where room utilization is often disproportionally high. The prime week is a subset of the Standard Week Hours.
The process of updating the production section data with time, days and room assignments made during an optimization run.





User-defined groups of buildings and/or rooms used to set academic scheduling preferences and user security restrictions. Regions can also be used as a filter option in various views throughout the system to limit the scope of records returned.
Report Server
The report server is a server component installed with Astra Schedule that manages the Crystal Reports integration, makes saved Crystal Reports files available, and allows the scheduling and delivery of Crystal Reports files.
Report Subscription
Report subscriptions provide automatic delivery of reports to anyone via email. The recipient address, report format, and delivery interval are specified at the time the subscription is created.
Any schedulable item in the Astra Schedule system, including rooms, equipment, food, people and services.
Resource Category
Resource categories are used to help navigate and filter the equipment list for purposes of maintenance, scheduling, management, and security assignment.
Each resource may belong to only a single category. Examples might include things like “A/V”, “Furniture”, “Computers”, or “Sporting Goods”.
Resource Grid
A calendaring option that provides a resource-centric view of activities. This view provides at-a-glance room or resource availability.
Resource Group
Resource groups are used to help navigate and filter the resource list for purposes of maintenance, scheduling, management, and security assignment. Additionally, resource groups are used for purposes of specifying which resources must be approved before scheduling and by whom.
Unlike resource categories, groups are more like keyword tags. A resource may belong to many groups to help define the various kinds of resources being utilized on your campus. Because groups can be used (in addition to categories) to achieve user security and selection, the group tag can be applied as needed to convey the type of resource or something entirely different, like geographic location. Group examples might include “DVD Players”, “Tables”, “Laptops”, or even “Jones Auditorium”.
A person’s responsibility in Astra Schedule reflects a group or groups to which they belong. These include student, user, instructor, customer contact, institution contact, etc. The responsibility tag may affect the kind of data and functionality available for the person’s record and dictates which homepage the user will see.
A role is a user-defined collection of permissions that is applied to a user to define their access to the application. A role’s definition can also include profiles that dictate the data elements to which these permissions apply.
Room Capacity
The number of physical seats in a room. This is frequently more than the number of seats offered for sections scheduled in the room.
Room Hour Utilization
Percentage of the standard hours used. (Room Hours / Standard Hours).
Room Hours
A number of section hours scheduled in that room during the selected date range. Room hours are rounded up to the next quarter-hour (a class meeting from 8:00a to 9:40a would get counted as 1.75 hours).
Room Type
A room description that defines room the intended overall purpose or use for a room (e.g., biology lab, art studio, auditorium, classroom)



Scheduling Priorities
An optimizer setting that specifies the balance between subjective (preference priority) and objective (seat fill priority) scheduling.
A numeric representation of a room’s suitability for scheduling, based on scheduling preferences and seat fill. Score is used to suggest room assignments during manual scheduling and to make room assignments during optimization.
Seat Fill
Percent of seats in use when a room is scheduled (Actual or Max Enrollment / Capacity).
Seat Fill Utilization - Enrollment
The percentage of seats in use (base on enrollment) in a classroom when it is scheduled (Average Enrollment divided by room capacity).
Seat Fill Utilization - Enrollment Cap
The percentage of seats in use (based on section enrollment caps) in a classroom when it is scheduled (Average Enrollment Capacity divided by room capacity).
A Section record is a term-specific offering of a course.
Schedulable activities often performed by a person, including setup and tear down services, usher, parking attendant, security, etc.
Setup and Teardown Service Window
A period of time scheduled before and/or after an event meeting during which room blocking services must be performed.
A SISKey is a key value that links a record to a corresponding record in another system (typically a student information system). Astra Schedule only populates that value for any given record if the record was established either through import, or for the purposes of import. It’s through this value that records are recognized and matched up for incoming data. Records that are created by hand do not get SISKey's generated automatically, but in many cases, a SISKey can be manually added so that it can be recognized during imports. For example, room records that are manually created in Astra Schedule cannot be used to assign sections during import unless they have a SISKey entered.
Standard Meeting Patterns
Only meeting patterns selected as “Is Standard”.
Standard Week Hours
The number of hours in all the days/times that are available for scheduling academic sections.



An event scheduling status that indicates an event creation process that is incomplete or in progress. Any scheduled rooms or other resources are not reserved, and no messaging is triggered.
Terms are defined date ranges during which course sections are offered.
Terms are manually created and configured before section records are imported.
Term Type
A label used to categorize a term. Examples include “Summer”, “Fall”, “Intercession”, etc.



Usage Policy
A set of rules applied to a specific room or resource that define when and if the item may be used and for what type of activities.
Usage Policy (Control)
A set of rules applied to a specific room or resource that define when and if the item may be used and for what type of activities.











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