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Monday, March 26, 2012

Scheduling update: Course Guide updates

It only takes a few minutes to update the Course
. Instructors can log in from the
faculty Course Guide web page, enter a course
description, upload a recent syllabus, or link to
an existing public website. In a recent survey of
University of Minnesota undergraduate and graduate
students, 89% indicated that they have used the
Course Guide to choose their courses and/or plan
for registration.

The preliminary target date to enter Course Guide
information for May/summer session 2012 (1125) and
fall 2012 (1129) is March 29.

If you would like to send a reminder to
instructors in your department about updating the
Course Guide, you may find the following documents
prepared by the Student Records Training and
Support Team helpful:

Scheduling update: ECS period 1 for spring 2013 (1133) in progress

ECS period 1 for spring 2013 (1133) is open through Wednesday, April 11. Remember to delete any class sections in ECS that have rolled forward but will not be taking place for spring 2013. You can delete courses/sections in ECS by clicking on the minus (-) button on the Basic Data panel of "Maintain Schedule of Classes" in ECS.

You may find the following resources for scheduling courses helpful:

Scheduling update: Fall 2012 (1129) scheduling

Room assignments for fall 2012 (1129) will appear on the Class Schedule when ECS period 3 opens on March 28. At that time, you will have access in ECS to make updates to course information (e.g., cancel, change, add). Please note: changes made to meeting times, enrollment capacities, and/or requested room capacities will result in the loss of the classroom assignment.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Region coding on DVDs

Typically, commercial DVDs are "region coded," a process where a DVD is encoded for its originating region to maintain control over copyright in international markets. Region coding is a problem for foreign language instructors, who frequently buy DVDs in a foreign country and are unable to use it in the U.S.

OCM does not have any equipment installed in classrooms or any equipment available for loan that is compatible with foreign-formatted media. Our classrooms are equipped to play DVDs from region 1 (U.S.) only.

The ability to play a foreign-formatted DVD would involve a combination of a region-free DVD player, a device to convert the signal to American television standards, and/or a monitor capable of displaying foreign television standards.

More information about playing international DVDs, including how to play a non-region 1 disc, can be found in our DVD/VCR topics FAQ.

PC and Mac users should try using the VideoLAN VLC media player

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Scheduling update: ECS room characteristics improved

The ECS room characteristics
have been updated. Room characteristics now appear in alphabetical
order when you select the hourglass to see all room characteristics in
ECS. This means that the number associated with room characteristics has
changed in some cases. You may notice that the room characteristic
description field for spring 2013 (1133) is blank in ECS even though a
number is set. This is a result of the update and will be fixed over the
next few weeks. No action is required on your part.

Scheduling update: ECS period 2 for fall 2012 in progress

ECS period 2 for fall 2012 (1129) is now in progress. ECS will be
unavailable for fall 2012 scheduling until Wednesday, March 28, while
OCM reviews the "Request for Approval of Non-Standard Meeting Time/Day Pattern" forms
and schedules general purpose classrooms. During this time we are also
working with representatives from the colleges to review compliance to
the new class scheduling policy. You can always check the Class Scheduling Distribution Summary to see how your department aligned with the new policies.

Scheduling update: Class schedules posted for fall 2012 and spring 2013

Preliminary class schedules
are now posted for both fall 2012 (1129) and spring 2013 (1133). We
have received positive feedback from both students and advisers about
the preliminary class schedules. Advisers are using the preliminary
schedules with students to assist with full-year planning.

Hotline hours to change for spring break

The Classroom Support Hotline (612-625-1086) will operate with reduced hours during the week of spring break, and will be closed for a University holiday on Friday, March 16. From Monday, March 12 to Thursday, March 15, the Hotline will be staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If an issue arises outside these operating hours, callers can leave a message at the Hotline. The voice mail will be monitored by an on-call manager, who will respond if the situation requires an urgent solution.