Block scheduling

With Block scheduling you can schedule events in Timetables view using predefined blocks. Use the Tools|Block scheduling menu selection to open the Block scheduling window and allocate the periods of your days and weeks to numbered blocks. You can define different block patterns for each week and you can copy and paste them across weeks, or to or from other applications, with the Clipboard.

Typically the blocks will contain mutually exclusive events. For example, you may offer sets of optional courses that students may take where all options are scheduled at the same time and each student will select and attend only one of them. Blocks may also be used to conveniently schedule long events. For example, it is common in many schools to divide the day into an even number of periods. Some courses are only timetabled as single periods whereas others are always timetabled as double periods. By defining a block for each double period, or even a pattern of double periods across the week, you can greatly simplify the scheduling of your double period courses.

By dividing the schedule into blocks you can schedule events to several periods of the timetable at once and the predefined blocks ensure that their placement follows a certain pattern. When you double-click one of the coloured block numbers on the table the current event is scheduled into all blocks with the same number - if there are no conflicts and there are sufficient periods of the event still to be scheduled. Note that you do not have to schedule all events, or even all periods of an event, using block scheduling, you are free to use any of the scheduling methods offered by Mimosa in any combination. You can also schedule some of your events with one block pattern and then change the pattern to schedule the rest.

Mimosa offers many different ways to schedule your events in recurring patterns. If Block scheduling does not suit your needs then you should also consider Cycling timetables, Intake scheduling, Bulk scheduling or copying pre-scheduled days (Edit|Copy daily schedules in Events view) or weeks (Edit|Copy week and Edit|Paste week in Weeks view).

In block scheduling you often use a predefined set of possible schedules, which often makes scheduling simpler, since you can just pick schedules from the existing set. You can use tool Edit|Copy schedules in Events view to copy schedules from other scheduled events to the current event. This tool always checks that the copying is permitted and does not cause conflicts. You must first create one template schedule for each block type and then copy them to other events.

Block scheduling window

After you have defined the blocks, either manually, randomly or from your Mimosa file, they are stored in the Mimosa file. When you start scheduling events in Timetables view, the blocks are displayed on the timetable cells, using the same colours and tags. These cells are all then available for scheduling. When you double-click any of these cells, the event is automatically scheduled also in other cells with the same tag. In this way it is possible to schedule events in consistent way, using the tags as guidelines.

Each block can be linked to one or several events, and when blocks are created, users normally have already a vision how they are going to be used:

Define blocks manually

If you have several weeks, you can define different blocks for each week, or you can copy the blocks across the weeks.

Each block contains:

  1. Block tag ([1,2,3,...,9,A,B,C,...,Z])
  2. Week number ([1,2,3,...255])
  3. Set of slots ([H1,D1],[H2,D2],...,[Hn,Dn])

Blocks are "placeholders" for the events in timetables. For many or all events there are predefined sets of slots in the timetables where the events are going to be scheduled. The number of blocks depends on the number of the slots in the timetable. If the timetable contains 5x10=50 slots, it can contain one 50 slot block, 5 blocks of 10 slot each and so on. Blocks do not need to have equal number of slots. You can use the numbers and characters [1,2,3,...,9,A,B,C,...,Z] as block tags which identify the block in question.

Blocks in Mimosa are exclusive: slots cannot belong to two or more blocks. All other slots of any block are automatically defined, if only one slot and week of a block is known.

  1. Select a slot on the Block timetable.
  2. Click an item on the Block tags list.
  3. Continue this for all the blocks you are going to define.

Press the [Delete] key or select the first item on the Block tags list to clear the selection on the current slot.

You have two options which help you to create the blocks or a template for them - you can create them either a) randomly, or b) from your current Mimosa file.

[Random] - define blocks randomly

Click the Random button on top to create random blocks. The blocks which are created are different on each time, and each block has the same number of slots.

Select first the number of blocks (default number is the same as the number of days in a week):

Select next the number of periods for each block:

[From file] - define blocks from the current Mimosa file

Click the [From file] button on top to create blocks from the event timetables of the current Mimosa file and all weeks. The blocks represent the style of the previously scheduled periods - if they exist.

First you are shown a summary of the block sequence lengths and weekly scheduled periods:

Select first the minimum number of periods to include:

Select next the maximum number of periods to include:

[Clear] - Clear block timetable

Click the [Clear] button to clear the contents of the Block timetable from the current week.

[Copy] - Copy Block timetable

[Copy] button copies the Block timetable to the Clipboard.

[Paste] - Paste Block timetable

[Paste] button pastes the Block timetable from the Clipboard.

Select the week you want to define block numbers for from the Weeks list. Click any period from the table and select the block number from the list of Blocks or type it directly into the table. If you want to use the same block pattern in several weeks, click the [Copy] button to copy the current table to the Clipboard. Then select the week you want to copy the table to and click [Paste] to paste the table from the Clipboard. You can use the Clipboard to move the block table to and from any another windows application that supports Clipboard.

[Info] button displays the distribution of scheduled periods of current week.

Check [x] Apply block scheduling if you want the application to search for available block numbers when creating timetables. If checked, block numbers are shown in Timetables view in cells where scheduling is permitted.

You can manage timetables in Mimosa with the help of 10 alternative scheduling tools. Select from this link the most appropriate and effective tool for your scheduling requirements.