Room Optimization Training Session + Q&A

Learn best practices on how to use the optimizer and the process around it by watching the training session and referencing the Q&A below. At the end of the training, you should feel equipped to optimize using the tips and tricks provided by Ad Astra. 

If you have more questions or want to discuss specific situations, connect with peers and learn what others are doing and provide input in our Community!



How do you prevent Astra Schedule from wiping out placements already in the SIS when you export?
There are a couple of ways to make sure you keep those room assignments.
First, you want to make sure they are importing correctly. Double-check that the room assignments you do not want to change are in the section list. Then, when you run the optimizer, you will select "Keep Existing Room Assignments" so those sections are not touched.
Second, (for Banner clients only) you can choose to export "Astra changed room assignments" only using the Export Filter, which means only sections changed either by publishing a sandbox or by manually changing a room assignment in the section list will be exported.
Will manually assigning the rooms prior to optimization prevent those sections from being optimized?
Correct! As long as you select the "Keep Existing Room Assignments" checkbox when setting up your sandbox, the optimizer will not touch any sections that have been manually assigned either in the SIS or in the section list before you start optimizing.
Can you explain how to layer optimizations with different preference sets?
To layer an optimization run, you will select "Sandbox" and choose a previous run when setting up a new sandbox. Commonly, users will change the seat fill percentage when layering the sandbox runs, but you can also change the preference set.
For example, you can run your production term with a "Restricted" preference set, and then when you run your next layer of the optimizer, you can select that previous sandbox with the "Open" preference set. You can find more information on setting up sandbox runs and watch a video in the Create a Room Optimization Sandbox article.
Is it possible to exclude a certain instructional method (Colleague) from the optimization, or from Ad Astra altogether?
Absolutely. We can do that both for optimization (depending on how we are bringing the data into the application) as well as by adjusting the import configuration file. You can connect with your Client Success Consultant, submit a support ticket, or drop us a line at to get you started!
What does the red box represent and in what situation would we use an override checkmark?
The red box indicates the override checkmark has been checked! Overrides are used as an exception to a previous rule. They are commonly used when specific rooms need to be used exclusively by specific courses.
For example, you can exclude the swimming pool from being used by all courses. You can then create a rule that says Underwater Basket Weaving is required to be in the swimming pool and check the override box to make it accepted by the optimizer. For more information on scheduling preferences, check out the Add Preference Rules article.
Where can we note faculty preferences (i.e., allergic to chalk, whiteboard only or needs a first floor room due to injury, etc.)?
You can create scheduling preferences to handle these! You can set up a rule that excludes a specific instructor from having a section in a room that has a feature of "chalkboard", and you can create a region of First Floor rooms and require them for that instructor.

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