Meeting Patterns

Time zone grids for class meeting patterns are below. Select the grid below that corresponds to the type of course being scheduled. The grid outlines options for meeting patterns for classes based on credits and session offered.

  • Any afternoon or evening time zone (3:00pm or later) can be used as a start time for any class (1 credit, 2 credit, 3 credit, 4 credit, Discussion or Lab) as long as it meets for the appropriate contact hours.
  • Example: A 2 credit 1 day a week class - starts at 3:00pm and ends at 4:50pm
  • Contact the Registrar's Office at [email protected] for help with other options.

Time Zone Grids

 

 1 Credit   2 Credit   3 Credit   4 Credit   5 Credit   Discussions  Graduate Once a Week
 Afternoon/Evening   3 Credit - 8 Week   Downtown/Health Sciences Only 

 

List of Approved Time Zones by Credit

1 Credit 2 Credit 3 Credit 4 Credit 5 Credit Labs Discussions Graduate Once a Week
Afternoon/Evening 8 Week Downtown/Health Sciences Only

 

Blank Time Zone Grids for Department Scheduling

1 Credit 2 Credit 3 Credit 4 Credit 5 Credit Discussions Graduate Once a Week
 Afternoon/Evening   3 Credits-8 Week   Downtown/Health Sciences Only 

 

How to Pick a Time Zone

Establishing standardized time zones is the most effective and efficient way to ensure the maximum use of the instructional week, to avoid student conflicts (which can delay persistence toward graduation), and to facilitate scheduling of academic facilities. This is done while recognizing that University facilities must accommodate the needs of many academic programs serving a variety of student populations and programs. Making use of the standard time zones offers the best solution for accommodating the greatest need.

  • 1 Credit and 2 Credit Classes scheduled 1 day a week or discussion sections should be balanced with other course offerings:
    • ex. Offer a MW 11:40am 3 credit and a F 11:40am 1 credit
    • ex. Offer a WF 11:40am 3 credit and a M 11:40am 2 credit
  • Classes may not be scheduled using any format other than the standard time zones.
  • Requests for exceptions must be made in writing to [email protected]. Instructor
    preference is not considered to be a valid basis for an exception.
  • If exceptions are approved, the class will be scheduled only after all other courses have been assigned a classroom. Any request for an exception must have the approval of the department or program chair. Requests for exceptions should include a rationale for why the class or classes cannot fit the regular meeting patterns as well as an assessment of student impact resulting from the exception.

Eight Week One and Eight Week Two

If a department offers several sections during the 8-week format, they should make every effort to balance the distribution (e.g., 8-week 1 Tuesday class offered 3:00pm-5:50pm balanced by an 8-week 1 Thursday class offered from 3:00pm-5:50pm). This method allows great flexibility in scheduling for students and allows greater utilization of space.

Blended/Hybrid

The University at Albany seeks to expand such options for students at all levels of study with a goal to
enhance student engagement and learning. As we do so, we also hope to achieve increased efficiencies in utilization of classrooms space and to relieve some demand pressure at popular class meeting times. Dates and times for blended/hybrid classes tend to vary widely and have historically contributed to low room utilization.  We offer the following guidelines for conceptualizing blended learning courses.

Suggested options for scheduling Blended Learning courses:

Class meets once a week during one of the MWF, TTH, MW, or WF time slots. This option provides the most promise for sharing classroom space. It allows for two to three classes to meet at the same time but on different days. It has the potential to increase our ability to schedule classes in the most popular time zones. Departments are encouraged to “pair” classes where possible to increase student access to a wider range of courses. If it is determined that there is not an even distribution of blended/hybrid classes, departments will be asked to reevaluate their schedule and submit new dates/times.

For example:

Required Class #1 meets on Tuesday at 9:00 am; required class #2 meets on Thursday at 9:00am. Both classes require 50% or more of the coursework to be completed online.

Dates for blended sections must be provided during initial scheduling. If dates/times are unknown, departments should cancel the class and re-add the class when dates/times are available. hybrid/blended session classes are not cancelled during initial scheduling and dates are not provided, the Registrar’s Office will cancel these classes.

How to Balance your Schedule

To address imbalances in scheduling and corresponding consequences, each academic department must offer a schedule distributed across the full week. For some time zones, there are more requests for classrooms than there are classrooms available. The time periods of highest demand are TTH at 10:30am, 12:00pm, 1:30pm, 3:00pm and MW 3:00pm, and the demand for these times continues to increase. Such clustering of academic offerings into a limited number of time zones or days has a significant effect on the entire scheduling process. It can limit students’ access to needed courses, overtax facilities and services, restrict opportunities for student-faculty interaction, and affect student’s ability to complete their degrees in a timely manner. The following principles of schedule balance should be followed by each department/college when developing its schedule for three (3) credit Lecture and Seminar sections:

  • Schedule more early morning classes
  • Evenly balance the use of MWF, TTH, MW and WF classes within a department/college
  • Evenly balance the use of high demand time zones
  • Distribute one day a week classes equally across M, T, W, TH, F (e.g., one on T and the other on TH)
  • Increase the use of MW and TTH 7:30pm and Saturday/Sunday
  • Pair blended/hybrid class offerings - Examples:
    • Monday offering 9:30am-10:25am for one class balanced by a Wednesday offering 9:30am-10:25am, and a Friday offering 9:30am-10:25am 
    • Tuesday offering 3:00pm-4:20pm for one class balanced by a Thursday offering 3:00pm-4:20pm
  • Classroom enrollment and room capacity should be based on actual enrollment trends of the last three years’ like-semesters to ensure a realistic estimate of room needs and proper seat and room assignment.
  • Departments should take care to evenly distribute classes requiring lecture centers of up to 138 or more students. These should be distributed evenly through the week’s schedule (both day and time of day).
  • Distribute across all time zones (e.g., MWF, MW, TTH, WF, and single days)
  • An 8W1 course should be scheduled to balance out an 8W2 where possible
  • Effort should be made to use underutilized days/times:
    • MW, WF 8:00am-9:20am
    • TTH 7:30-8:50am
    • Friday beginning at 3:00pm
    • Saturday and/or Sunday

Example of Even Distribution

 

Related Links

Guidance on Credits hours

Academic Scheduling Guidelines

Distance Learning Classifications