Frequently I get asked if users can create templates in CELCAT Timetabler?
Where a set delivery of teaching is replicated across multiple programmes or courses, templates are often seen as a time saving device and preferred over copying events one by one. For example, in Further Education, maths and English classes need to be scheduled alongside the main programme. It’s much easier to simply drop these predefined events into the programme timetable rather than create them from scratch each time.
CELCAT Timetabler designates the term ‘Template’ for Automation related activities. Nine times out of ten though the question above relates to day-to-day interactive timetabling rather than auto-scheduling. So, for clarification when our customers ask about templates, what they usually mean is existing events that can be reused.
It’s a bit like Microsoft Office templates - you download, edit and save it. Do you go back to the original template each time? Probably not. Most people reuse the modified copy and save it as something else.
CELCAT Event Stores work in the same way. Events from single or multiple timetables are copied to a Store and from there the user can do a variety of things to some or all events. For example, events can be pasted into a timetable. In which case, new events are created with the same attributes as the originals but with new event IDs. Alternatively, you can paste all or selected events from a store into a timetable grid with the option of substituting the resource of the receiving timetable for the original resource (of the same type) already allocated to the event in the store.
This is really helpful where you’ve been tasked with creating the same teaching pattern for an additional subgroup. You simply copy the events from the timetable of an existing subgroup to an Event Store and then paste them to the new subgroup timetable replacing the group resource assignment.
Other operations you can perform on Event Stores are:
- Go to event
- Clash check
- Request rooms
- Use Advisor to search for available and suitable times, staff and rooms
- Use Event Wizard to modify or delete events as a batch process
- Copy to clipboard
As you can see, CELCAT Event Stores is an incredibly effective feature.