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Classroom Management - Academic Class Scheduling

Academic General Assignment Classroom Scheduling

With such a large campus and so many courses being offered, we must use some guidelines in order ensure maximum use of our general assignment classrooms and provide a fair distribution across campus departments. We have highlighted the most important guidelines below. Issues about policy are governed by the Campus Committee on Classroom Policy and Management.

3 Phases of Classroom Scheduling

Classroom scheduling occurs in 3 distinct Phases.

Phase I: Room Assignment & Compliance


This is the scheduling phase in which you submit your requests for general assignment classrooms. Over 85% of classrooms are assigned at this stage. At the end of this phase, when departmental schedulers enter their requests, the Scheduling Office runs compliance checks for:

  • total number of hours requested by department
  • prime time vs. non-prime time use of classrooms
  • standard time blocks
  • instructional format compliance

Standard Time Blocks

The heavy demand for classroom space requires us to assign general assignment classrooms to academic courses that fit standard time blocks (see table below).  This allows us to minimize the number of unused half hours and is instrumental in accommodating room switches.  Non-standard times must be assigned in departmentally controlled space.

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Capacity Study

Click here to access the Ad Astra 2010 Capacity Management Study for the general assignment classrooms at UC Berkeley (CalNet Authentication is Required).

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Prime Time Requests - 70% / 30%

The most impacted times are called prime time and these are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  You must limit your prime time requests for academic courses in general assignment classrooms to no more than 70% of your total general assignment space requests.  Prime time requests for primary sections are calculated separately from prime time requests for secondary sections.  Prime time hours are in bold type in the table above.

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Phase II: Schedule Review & Publication


During the review and publication phase of the classroom scheduling process, you've received your room assignments and finalize the schedule in anticipation of the publication of the Online Schedule of Classes.

Phase III: Adjustment Period and Semester Start-Up


General Assignment Classroom Requests at Semester Start-Up

Here are the guidelines for department schedulers to use that will help us respond to room requests. Please inform your instructors of the following deadlines:

General Assignment Classroom Requests for Academic Classes
  • We will accept requests for either primary or secondary sections starting with the first day of the Tele-BEARS Adjustment Period.
  • All room requests should be submitted via the Online Room Request Form.
  • DeCal courses are considered regularly scheduled academic courses so all the same deadlines apply, including the deadline to submit requests.
  • Courses which do not meet during the standard 15 week period are not permitted to use general assignment classroom space as this does not constitute good utilization of space.
  • No change of classroom can be requested after the Friday of the second week of instruction. You will receive an email notification concerning your requests by Friday of the third week of instruction.
  • You may switch classrooms for classes scheduled the same number of hours per week, as well as release any rooms that you are not using, using the room switching function in DB2. However, changes or cancellations involving a cross-listed course scheduled in a general assignment classroom must be submitted on a General Assignment Room Switch & Release Form.
Classroom Reservation Requests

We are unable to make any daytime reservations during the first three weeks of instruction (MTWTF 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.), because we’re still accommodating requests for the academic class schedule. Check our Classroom Reservations page for more information.

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Disability Access to Campus Rooms

The campus is committed to ensuring the accessibility of all its courses, programs, and activities. The wheelchair accessibility of almost all rooms on campus can be ascertained in advance online, see "Classrooms" on the Campus Access Guide which has a wide range of campus information of value to wheelchair users.  If you use a wheelchair and have enrolled in a course scheduled for a room that is not physically accessible, please immediately notify your Disabled Student's Program Counselor.  To resolve issues related to physical access to a room scheduled for a non-academic purpose, promptly submit a Request for Mobility Accommodations or telephone 510.643.6456 or TDD 510.642.6376.

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Berkeley Campus Policy on Course Enrollments Relative to Classroom Capacity

It is the policy of the Berkeley campus that no instructor or department allow the occupancy of a classroom to exceed the limit specified by fire and life safety codes. To enforce this policy, the default setting for course enrollment limits in the Tele-BEARS registration system is set to equal the classroom capacity as reflected on the campus' computerized room inventory.

The campus recognizes, however, that in most courses, the number of students listed in the Tele-BEARS system as enrolled at the beginning of the semester includes both students who never intended to take the course and those who will drop a few weeks into the semester. Thus it is almost surely greater than the number enrolled - and therefore obligated to be present in the classroom - after the course adjustment period ends. Moreover, the campus also recognizes that not all enrolled students attend class on any given day. To compensate for these discrepancies between enrollment as recorded in Tele-BEARS and actual attendance in a classroom on a particular day (i.e., to allow for both attrition and absence), individual departments will be given the technical capability to raise enrollment limits in individual courses up to 10% above the room capacity if, in their judgment, this is desirable in order to enable enrollment by students whose physical presence is not likely to cause the course to exceed classroom occupancy limits.

Departments do not need special permission to make this adjustment. However, it is the responsibility of the department and the instructor to ensure that actual attendance does not exceed classroom capacity. Questions about the capacity (i.e., legal occupancy) limits of classrooms may be referred to the Classroom Scheduling Office (510.642.0313) or to Space Management and Capital Projects (510.642.1781), which maintains the campus classroom inventory.

In addition, the campus recognizes that in a very few cases, valid academic reasons exist for allowing registered enrollment in a specific course to exceed classroom capacity by more than 10%. (For example, some courses are in great demand but have historical patterns of very high attrition; allowing an over-enrollment of only 10% in such courses would still result in many empty seats.)

In these cases, department chairs may appeal to their deans in writing for special consideration. Special arrangements will be considered only in cases where (1) demand is high and enrollment in the course in question is vital to students' ability to progress through the curriculum and (2) departments can demonstrate that they have a plan in place to avoid over-crowding. Examples of such a plan include: statistical evidence regarding previous attendance relative to registered enrollments that indicates it is extremely unlikely that more than the allowable number of students will actually attend; or reservation of an overflow room and arrangements for instruction of students displaced to that room because the primary classroom is full.

As in the case of over-enrollment by 10%, described above, it is the responsibility of the department and the instructor to ensure that actual attendance does not exceed classroom capacity. This responsibility obligates instructors in particularly crowded rooms to know the capacity of their classrooms, to count the number of students present, and, if necessary, to request that some students leave, for their own safety, before class can proceed.

This policy was approved by the Registration and Enrollment Policy Committee on 5/17/93.  Questions about this policy should be directed to Classroom Scheduling in the Office of the Registrar (510.642.0313).

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Request and Reservation Forms

Click on the links below to either submit a room request or download the Portable Document Format version of the room switch and release form. You must have the free Acrobat Reader software installed to view the latter.

 

This page was last updated on Tuesday, April 15, 2014