In Select rooms manually you can associate the courses and rooms and slots together if you like (or you are forced) to use different rooms for each slot (because of the limited room capacity). Note that you can handle only those courses here that do not have any rooms in their collections. The category for rooms is defined in Category for classrooms in Options|Timetables (by default, the category number 3 is used for that purpose).
Alternatively, it is possible to create a new course for each time when the room changes, although other components are same in each time. The preconditions to assign rooms manually (and to have those courses listed in this view) are the following:
If the schedules of the courses in timetables are changed after rooms have been assigned to courses manually, manual room selections are not kept intact; therefore this tools should preferably be used after the schedules have been fixed.
The rooms that are manually associated with slots and courses are active or visible only when printing the timetables, and this selection does not prevent changing any of the timetables, which are related to them. When this window is invoked, it always first checks the current manual assignments and clears those, which are not current anymore. Therefore, it is a good hint to check all the assignments in this window just before starting to print timetables (and after making the final changes to them).
Click the last column of the grid on the right to view the available rooms for the current slot-course combination and then click the List of available rooms on the bottom left to select the room with this particular course and slot combination. The timetable above this selection refers to the active course and week. Use the View component timetables to inspect the timetables of associated components.
Using manual rooms excessively may slow down the processing of the data and it is recommended to use this option moderately and as a workaround in situations where creating of course variations with different rooms is too cumbersome. You can also limit the use of manual rooms to selected weeks and selected course categories only. If you can use the same room in all slots of the course, it is always advisable to assign this room permanently to this course. If the course has many lectures and almost all of them use the same room, it is meaningful to create one course with a fixed room for those lectures and another course for the rest lectures without a fixed room to be assigned manually.
Manual room selection is initially planned as a workaround and the total capacity of manual room selections is 10190 slots. When it is used as intended (to handle exceptions), it adds flexibility to room assignment, but when used for the most of the courses, it may cause more problems than it solves. In an ideal case, as many lectures as possible should have fixed rooms (rooms attached as components).
You can use some or all of the tools below to reduce the number of slots. The number of all and used slots used can be seen on the caption line of the window.
1. Click the Capacity button. This will be check if you can replace the manual rooms by fixed rooms (provided you have used the same room in all slots of each course). This functionality is explained in more detail below.
2. Shrink the time range specified in First included week: and Last included week: to clear the slots that are not currently active. For instance, you can increase the First included week to the week number that precedes the current week, since the past room assignments are in most cases not relevant today.
3. Click the Include course categories button. This enables to exclude courses on category level which are not going to be assigned to any room. For instance, you may have scheduled "Field work" courses and attached teacher(s) and student(s) to them, but you are not going to attach any room for those special courses. Since Mimosa does not know that, these courses would be otherwise listed here as well. Uncheck those course categories you do not want to include, since they are otherwise automatically listed in this view. You may need to change the categories of some courses afterwards, if you have not planned to use this tool beforehand.
You can also alternatively select rooms manually in Timetables view, using the selection "Edit|Select rooms manually" or the shortcut [Ctrl+R]. In this view, slots enabling to use manually selected rooms are marked with "m".
This button displays a pop-up menu containing three selections to clear the course-slot-room assignments with varying selection criteria:
You can copy the current room assignments to all empty slots of the same course, "imitating" the previous room selections you have made. This selection is based on the assumption that if a certain room selection is suitable for one slot of the course, it is equally suitable for other slots as well. After one or several rooms has been assigned, you can let Mimosa to automatically assign them also to other available slots of the same course.
For example, you select a course "Transport systems" and assign two slots to rooms "202" and "205". If you accept that these two rooms (if they are available) can be used for all other free slots of this course, you can invoke Imitate and then check how many of the slots you can fill automatically with this tool.
With this tool you can speed up room assignment considerably, since you can assign only some selected lectures to their rooms and then let the application make similar kind of assignments to other empty slots, provided you have done a similar assignment before. When you click the Imitate button, the used course and room combinations are shown:
You can next deselect from this list those combinations that you do not allow to use. When you click [OK], Mimosa attempts to assign these previously selected rooms to the free slots of the courses which are checked. After this process, the number of the assigned lectures are displayed.
You can then select [Yes] to display the list of the slots which have not been assigned to any rooms:
The items on this list are ordered by time or by course code, depending on the sort order you have selected by clicking the first row in the "List of all room slots" grid. You can copy the lists to the Clipboard with the [Copy] button.Capacity
This button shows the used capacity of room selections in this view. The maximum capacity is 10921 selections. Click this option to view if there are any changes to replace manual rooms by a fixed room in order to simplify your room assignment task. If you have used the same manually assigned room for some course, you are suggested to replace it by a fixed room (if it is possible) and remove the course from this list. If you have used the capacity excessively, you are also prompted to reduce the number of manually selected rooms. In this case the gauge on the bottom of the screen is (which measures the number of manually selected rooms) is coloured red instead of blue.
The application starts to search for courses to be eliminated from this list. If a course of this kind is found, you are prompted to accept the room replacement (answer [Yes]), or search for the next one (answer [No]). If you want to stop the process, click [Cancel] and if you accept all replacements found, click [All].
When no replacements have been found or you cancel the process, the number of new and old items plus the number of reduced items is displayed:
Displays the information of the current course in tree form, see Course info.Copy
Click this button to copy the table of manual rooms to the Clipboard with the following column titles:
When you have pasted this table on your spreadsheet application, you can then edit the assignments and add new columns for alternative rooms. Note that numbers are used instead of week names and time period labels, because of the possible automatic formatting of the spreadsheet application.
If you select to also copy all available rooms (expanded list), you will also have the list of all available rooms next to the current room column. When pasting the list of rooms back to the application, you can select from them those rooms that are appropriate.Paste
Click this button to paste the table you have created above with possible additional columns for room alternatives. All cells are checked for compatibility with the existing data and they are pasted row by row until a feasible room is found, if any. If no room is found, the previous value of the table is kept.
Of course the simplest way is to create the table with this selection, and then modify the room column and possible adding new columns, without changing the first four columns, as in the example below:
On the second row, first the room R237 is attempted to assign, and if it fails, then room R203 is attempted and then finally room R111.
The capacity for manual room assignments is approximately 10,000 slots, which might appear restricted in large institutions. Therefore, manual rooms are recommended to be used only in cases, where assigning of rooms in normal way is difficult.
If more than one week is to be scheduled, it is possible to restrict the selected manual rooms by selecting the first and last week. Changing the week range clears all manual room assignments outside the selected week range and more capacity is freed for the weeks that are in the current scope and it is easier to find the slots that are of interest. For instance, it is not normally necessary to assign rooms manually for slots that are already history.
When you click the List of available rooms, the timetable above is that of the current room and that room is assigned to the active course. When you click the slot-course-room assignment grid on the right, the active timetable is that of the active course (and week selected).
You can sort the list on the right by clicking the topmost (title) row of the appropriate column. The sorting criteria is either time, course or room, and the current sorting order is emphasized.