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|Resources view | Events view | Weeks view | Timetables view|
In order to create timetables you first need to define the things you want to create timetables for. In Mimosa these are called resources and they are defined and managed in this view. In schools and universities resources are, in most cases, teachers, rooms and students or sets of students (groups or classes) but may also include equipment such as projectors and other teaching aids. You can define whatever resources you like and, with the help of categories, you can give names and shortcuts for each type of resource you create. Once you have created a few resources you can use the Events view to define which of your resources need to be present for each of the events or activities you want to schedule in your timetables.
In this view you can:
Resources are the basic building blocks of the database. Edit the list of resources (such as classes, teachers, rooms and subjects) with the help of the keys [Insert], [Enter] and [Delete] or the corresponding menu selections or buttons.
For each resource, you have to enter a
Go to page Create and edit resources to start creating your resources.
You can create your own categories for resources in Options|Categories and replace the categories suggested here. The maximum number of different categories is 7 and you can create up to 8191 resources.
You may already have a convention how to add shortcuts to the resources, such as the initials for the names of persons or room number. The only rule set by Mimosa is that a code must be unique (any other resource or event cannot have the same code). These codes are meant for internal use, and you can select to display or hide them when publishing the timetables. The maximum code and name lengths are 15 and 200 characters, respectively.
Mimosa has been used in various different environments, not only in schools and universities. Resources and resource categories can be built freely for your specific need. Here are few typical examples of the ways how Mimosa has been used:
Typical examples of resources in schools and universities are Groups, Lecturers, Rooms, Subjects, Students and Equipment. Up to 240 resources can be attached to each event. You can either use the default resource categories or redefine them in Options|Categories according to your special requirements. When you create new resources in Resource editor, you can select the resource type from the list of categories you have defined here.
Below the characteristics of the default resource categories are described:
Groups consist of disjoint sets of students, pupils or other persons. Note that the content (list of students) of a group should stay constant when using in different events. Sometimes this requires that a group is split into smaller parts and in some cases you need to combine two or more groups in a single event to create the required set of students. If students are allowed to make individual selections, you are recommended to use students instead of groups.
Never interpret a student as a member of a group or an individual student, since this can cause overlaps. In some school forms pupils are treated as groups at lower grades, but on the last grade as individual students. This does not cause conflicts, since the students on different grades are not the same.
In most cases events consist of [Group]-[Lecturer]-[Room] triplets:
Exception 1: When students of two (or more) groups are accessed in the same time, they should be added to the same event.
Exception 2: When students of a group are accessed by two (or more) lecturers, they (and their rooms) are added to the same event.
Exception 3: When students of two (or more) groups are accessed by two (or more) lecturers, all groups, lecturers (and their rooms) are added to the same event.
Lecturers (teachers, educators, instructors, professors) are resources, which appear in events in most cases in teaching roles, but it is also possible and common to use events to describe meetings of two or more lecturers; in this case the event consists of a list of attendees plus an appropriate room.
When using rooms in scheduling, you may have the option to split the room in smaller rooms to enable to use the space simultaneously for several events. For instance, if a room can be split in three disjoint rooms ("Sport room" = "Room_A" + "Room_B" + "Room_C"), use only the subdivisions of the rooms in the resource list ("Room_A","Room_B","Room_C") when they are needed.
You can select the resource category that represents the classrooms or similar objects in Options|Timetables. If you do not need any rooms this selection has no effect. By default, initially the third category is set to represent rooms. Some tools in Mimosa (like Tools|Select rooms manually) or the room capacity comparison utilise this special category, since in many cases replacing a room for one or more periods in an event is easier and more useful than some other resource. When you select to optimise room usage in Events view (in Edit|Optimise room usage), Mimosa also uses the category of classrooms defined here. Except this special room category selection, Mimosa does not actually know what the resources mean in the real world.
Use the resources of the "Subjects" or "Info" category for informational purposes, since by default these resources do not have any correspondence in the physical world. Therefore the use of the resources of this category is most cases completely optional. Use the Event name field as the caption for the event content (such as the course name), but you can use the subjects as descriptive comments.
Note that in the selection Options|Timetables you can also uncheck the selection Prevent conflicts for of certain resource categories, if you do not want Mimosa to check for their conflicts, if you want to add this kind of informative resource to some events. This selection has been unchecked for the "Info" category by default, and the use of this resource category is different from others. It is therefore possible to use the resources of this category in any events without causing conflicts with another event having the same resource at the same time. For instance, you can add the resource "English" to several English courses which may possible take place in the same time, and because the Prevent conflicts for is unchecked, Mimosa does not prevent the conflict of using "Engish" in the same in two or more events.
You can use there resources to provide additional information to events without changing the event name or other resources. For instance, you can add the resource "Remember to pack in your sportswear!" as a reminder to Athletics course and so on.
When you use Selection optimisation in Tools menu, you need to create resources in the Subjects category to tell which events are similar (or replaceable), and of course also resources in the Students category. The similarity events is defined by first attaching the same subject to these events, and students may then select any of the events which contain the subjects in their requirements.
If the timetables are scheduled for individual students instead of groups, this resource category is by default used for students. In students-based timetables, the events typically consist of one lecturer, room and a list of students.
This category is used in a similar fashion as rooms. Some events may require an exta tool (overhead projector, instrument, truck). Adding the required equipment to an event prevent other events from using it in the same time.
Never define overlapping resources
Resources are unique: for instance, each group (of students) should always refer to the same set of persons. If the same person belongs to several groups, Mimosa cannot prevent scheduling the same person in the same time since it does not know the overlapping definition of the resources. Avoiding overlapping resources often requires to split the resource in smaller parts until the resulting resources are unique.
If you start with a new empty file, click first the [Insert] key or the appropriate add button to create your first resource. You will then see the view below where you input the Code and Name for the resource and select the appropriate category for it from the list of available resource categories. When you later on create events, they will be displayed below these fields.
If you like to enter the teacher name "John Smith" here,
Replace the suggested code and name ("ComponentX") with something more meaningful and accept your code by clicking [OK]. It is a good idea to create a couple of resources for each category just to test how the system works. At the start, the list of resources may look something like that below:
The columns PLANNED, ALLOCATED, SCHEDULED and LINKS have at the start the value 0, but their values are determined by the values of the events that use these resources and they are automatically kept intact by Mimosa. You cannot edit them in this view.
After you have created your resources (and also events) you can view them in a list like the one below, which represent a complete Mimosa file where they have been scheduled. You can sort resources by any criteria and you can change the current resource by clicking [Enter] or F2.
When some of the resources is double-clicked, the list of events using this resource is displayed on top of the resources (if they exist). Double-clicking some of the resources again hides this list again. This functionality is useful when you like to keep the list of dependent events visible.
The order of the resources in the list can be changed by clicking the title row, or with the help of the Move up and Move down buttons or by sorting them according to some appropriate criteria (Tools|Sort). Note that it is very easy to import the list of resources via Edit|Paste from the Clipboard, provided you have entered it in a spreadsheet application with a format below Code, Name, Category number):
With Edit menu selections you can modify the list of resources. See also Create and edit resources