Getting Started with Astra Schedule 8

We have created a guide to help you find the pages in the Support Center that assist our new users during the implementation of Astra Schedule. We also recommend using this tool when implementing a new portion of the software. Each link includes an article with a video, and we have linked related articles for additional support. 

Security

A user’s access to Astra Schedule is dictated by their role. Within each role, permissions are established to impact what a user can and cannot experience within the application.

 

Color Branding & Homepages

Astra Schedule allows for color branding of the navigation and primary header bars. Homepages can be customized for guests and users to include content and shortcuts to various pieces of information from multiple sources (i.e. Institution website, Astra Schedule, policies, and procedures).

 

Calendars, Holidays, & Announcements

Calendars and Scheduling Grids are designed to help meet your calendaring needs. Calendars are traditional, event-based calendars that can help users and guests quickly find events that are taking place on campus in a month, week, day, or list view. Scheduling Grids are room or resource-centric visualizations that can display event and academic-related activities in a day view for multiple rooms and a week view for a single room. The Available Room and Resource Tool allow users the ability to query room and resource availability to meet a specific scheduling need.

Consider what types of calendars/grids/capabilities make the most sense to have visible for different roles.

Holidays and Announcements are non-events, non-academic calendar items that appear on the calendar views and grids. Examples include standard or school holidays (Thanksgiving, Spring Break), and general campus announcements or items of interest (First day of registration, Mid-term exams, classes canceled due to inclement weather). These items are displayed at the top of the calendar views as an all-day activity, on the grid views next to the date, and on the list view as a line item.

 

Rooms

An accurate room inventory is a key element of the Astra Schedule system. Every space that can be scheduled must have a room record defined. Astra Schedule will use this information to determine appropriate locations for activities scheduled within the application. Success with the application, therefore, depends on the configuration and organization of your room data. One of the best ways to use rooms is by setting up regions, which are user-defined groups of rooms.

 

Academic Terms, Imports, & Exports

Academic Terms allow for the mapping of academic sections between the Student Information System (SIS) and Astra Schedule. Imports/Exports define the type and frequency of bi-lateral data transfer between the SIS and Astra Schedule.

 

Academic Scheduling

Academic sections in Astra Schedule are composed of the general information that defines the course section offering, including term, campus, subject, course, title, and section number, as well as section meeting information that includes meeting type, dates, times, days, instructor and room assignment. An academic department is an organizational unit to which courses are associated. Once configured, the department becomes useful to filter courses and course section offerings throughout the application. Department filters are available on list pages, room optimization sandboxes, and various reports and dashboards where applicable.

 

Academic Room Optimization

Scheduling Preferences allow you to specify a preference for certain Room Types, Features, Regions, Buildings, or even specific Rooms based on the subject, course, meeting type, instructor, and/or campus of the course section in question. Scheduling Preferences are applied in the Room Optimization Scheduling Sandboxes.  Whether you are optimizing room assignments for an active term or experimenting with scenarios, the sandbox will contain a complete copy of all the sections included by your sandbox settings. Academic scheduling and editing tools are provided, allowing the entire schedule to be completed and reviewed before publishing. Production data is not updated until you are ready.

 

Exam Scheduling

The Exam Schedule can be applied to academic sections based on mapping of section meeting patterns to exam meeting patterns.

 

Building Blocks of Events and Events Scheduling

Certain data elements must be established before events can be scheduled. These data elements determine options that are available for selection when adding and editing event records. They include Event Types, Rooms, and Customers with Customer Contacts.

 

Events Workflow

Astra Schedule allows event requests that must be approved before becoming an official event record in the system. To help capture the necessary event request information, Astra Schedule allows one or more event request forms to be customized and made available to users (including the Guest user) based on their security role. The information captured on the form is then routed to the appropriate people and either approved or declined.

 

Equipment & Services

Astra Schedule provides tools for the maintenance, scheduling, and management of resources. Resources include items such as A/V components, furniture, computers, setup or tear down, ushers, operators, and other schedulable equipment items and/or services.

 

Reporting

Astra Schedule includes a report server component that is installed with the application providing integration with Crystal Reports. This integration allows institutions to take advantage of industry standard report generation tools, using Astra Schedule or Platinum Analytics to make them available to users either on-demand or by subscription.


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