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I had one of my CS tutors write a scheduling program once, but it didn’t work very well. It created a lot of 30-minute shifts for the tutors, in its effort to fill all of the holes. I have always tried really hard to schedule them for at least an hour at a time, unless they requested a 30-minute shift.

Since that was more or less not useful, I returned to doing it manually, but over time have come up with a spreadsheet for them to fill in their schedule preferences on each semester. It has some conditional coloring (green for times they really want to work, yellow when they can work, but it’s not their favorite time, red for when they could work if they absolutely have to, and gray for non-availability) that happens as they fill it in. When I work on the schedule, I can easily find the green entries for each time period and work from there. I rarely schedule yellows, and will usually use 30 minutes of someone’s yellow time at the beginning or end of their green shift, to fill a hole. I don’t schedule red times without asking first, but it does give me an idea of availability if I’m trying to plan a meeting or something.

I’m sending this from my iPad, so I can’t attach my spreadsheet; if anyone would like to see it, send me an email and I’d be happy to share it.

Suzanne Rousseau
Coordinator Math and Science Tutoring Center
Lewis-Clark State College
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