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Fall 2024 Puzzling

All puzzles will be on a competition basis - email to indicate which room(s) a department will submit a competition puzzle for.

A puzzled room needs to have 48 hours per week of classes scheduled to secure the puzzle and have a minimum of 75% capacity utilization (enrollment cap over room cap).  Though heavily discouraged, departments may schedule tentative classes in a puzzled space for Fall 2024 provided that no more than 6 hours in the puzzle are comprised of tentative classes.

The College Associate Deans agree on the room allocations during the pre-scheduling part of the schedule build. Half of the available rooms (43) are released for regular puzzling assignments. CHABSS gets 23 rooms, CoBA gets 5, CEHHS gets 4, CSTEM gets 11, and OUGS gets 1.  Regular puzzling does NOT require approval and can be entered directly.

During schedule build, departments can competition puzzle other non-assigned spaces as long as they follow the puzzling guidelines and are in competition for the space if another department also tries to puzzle the room.  Competition puzzles need to be submitted to Academic Scheduling by noon on the Wedesday before the end of Schedule Build.

Three Requirements for puzzled rooms

  1. Minimum of 48 hours and 75% occupancy rate
  2. Utilization product greater than or equal to 40
  3. Room characteristics must be needed by most courses in the puzzle
  4. All classes that are scheduled in a puzzled space must be designated as such using the additional room characteristic of 88 - Puzzled.

Requirement Descriptions:

  • Product of the utilization and scheduled hours in the room has to be more than or equal to 40 
    • To calculate the product: (average class cap ÷ room cap) * total hours scheduled ≥ 40
  • Minimum 48 hours and Minimum 75% occupancy (both cannot be at minimum)
    • There must be at least 48 hours of class time scheduled
    • To find occupancy, take the average capacity of all classes scheduled and divide that by the room's maximum capacity
    • In order to meet the next requirement, one of these two numbers (hours scheduled or occupancy) must be above the minimum requirement
  • The chart below shows some examples of occupancy percentages and hours scheduled that meet all requirements:
Occupancy Percentage vs. Hours Scheduled
Occupancy Hours Needed
75.5% 53
76.9% 52
78.4% 51
80% 50
81.6% 49
83.3% 48

Puzzling Information

  1. Room Chart for Puzzling - this is a downloadable spreadsheet (if you cannot download this, double check your browser's pop-up blockers) 
    • Please use new worksheet on same document for each room puzzled.
  2. Puzzled rooms must adequately meet, but not exceed, capacity
    (i.e. Classes of 25 or 61, cannot meet in a 60 capacity room)
    Do not go under 75% of room capacity and try to stay as close to 100% as possibleNEVER go over 100% of room capacity.
  3. Classroom Capacity and Room Features Information are available on 25Live
    Use location tab and search.
  4. Try to schedule professors with back-to-back classes into the same room
    Sorting a query by professors is helpful for this process.
  5. Approved Course Meeting Times
    Unless you have approval from Academic Scheduling, you must use approved class meeting times for all classes.
  6. Classes in a puzzle must meet for the duration of the semester.  No ad hoc meeting patterns nor tentative classes are be accepted as part of the puzzling equation.
  7. If department is aware of professor with medical accommodations and department puzzled room works for that need, that faculty must be scheduled in the department's puzzled space.

Room characteristics

The room characteristic of the space, must match the space requirement of the majority of classes scheduled in a puzzled room.  If a computer lab is being puzzled, then the majority of the classes in that space must require a computer lab as part of the courses pedagogy.  All classes that are scheduled in a puzzled space must be designated as such using the additional room characteristic of 88 - Puzzled.

If you are unsure if your puzzle meets the above criteria, insert your hours and average cap then select the space to be puzzled below:

If a submission fails to meet the criteria above, the department is given one business day to resolve error(s). If errors are not resolved, the room is released and the courses in it are not puzzled.

Submissions for puzzling specific rooms that have not been assigned to a specific college are allowed. These submissions must be recieved by Academic Scheduling as listed on the Schedule Build Timeline, and must meet the same puzzling criteria listed above. These additional submissions are not guaranteed. Rooms with the highest utilization (most hours and highest occupancy percentages) will be given preference. Submissions should include a second and/or third room choice when submitted in case the first choice(s) are not available. The college/department will be notified no later than two business days after the submission deadline as to whether or not their puzzle has been approved.

All non-puzzled courses go through the current optimizer process.

Some FAQs about Puzzling:

  • What is Puzzling?
    Puzzling is a method that departments and colleges use to schedule classes in specific locations during schedule build.
  • Why would a department/college want to puzzle?
    Puzzling ensures that classes where one instructor is scheduled back-to-back can be placed in the same room.  Additionally, it helps with accommodating faculty so that they may be closer to their offices, and scheduling classes in particular spaces (e.g. computer labs).  Eliminates the chance of classes that are scheduled in the puzzle ending up on the IPC/UPC list.
  • Does each department have to puzzle?
    No.  Puzzling is not mandatory, but many departments and colleges like to puzzle as it is a way that they can ensure a particular space is assigned for a set of classes.
  • Do the puzzled spaces have to consist of only my department classes?
    No.  Academic Scheduling actually encourages working outside of your department/college to fill up a puzzle as much as possible.
  • Can my classes that are scheduled in a puzzled space be moved?
    Only if an instructor is identified with appropriate paperwork on file with HR as having a medical accommodation and no other space will meet those needs.