Helpful Hints for Scheduling

General Hints

  • Must-haves to process a request:
    • Department
    • Event name
    • Date
    • Start time
    • End time
    • Seat count
    • Room tech needs
  • If you have a question about how to request something, feel free to ask us for guidance before submitting the formal request. We cannot quote specific room availability but can help you phrase your request.
  • We accept requests up to 12 months in advance and begin processing:
    • Spring requests after November 1 of the previous year
    • Summer requests after March 1
    • Fall requests after June 1

This is written procedure detailed in the Student Code and is done because events are contingent on the class schedule.

  • If you have a class-related request that falls over the main class period (e.g., extra exam space, breakouts, or film showing), it is considered an event and needs to be routed to fms-reserve@illinois.edu, not through courses. We do not physically move a course in our system in these cases; we just assign the additional space.
  • When juggling multiple requests (e.g., if you are receiving multiple review-session requests from several TAs), please put the requestor’s last name in the subject line of your email and we will make sure to include it on your confirmation so you do not have to hunt to remember who requested what.
  • Smaller rooms are much more abundant than larger rooms. If you actually need space for 60 and you request a lecture hall for 200, it limits your options. We do have theater rooms in the 60- to 120-seat range.
  • When requesting a consistent weekly event, you can put “Wednesdays in the fall term,” etc. in your request instead of listing each date individually (date lists tend to have an error in calendar transposition). If the request is not strictly following an academic term, please make sure that you include the start and end dates for your sessions. We automatically exclude any meetings falling over a break (Spring or Fall), and we do not automatically include Reading Day.

Start & End Times

  • Events are scheduled on the same standardized scheduling grid as classes. This means we end most events (those ending prior to 8:00 p.m.) 20 or 50 minutes after the hour to allow for traffic flow in and out of the room.
  • If you know the presenter will want either set-up time before or a question and answer segment after the session, please build that time into your original request. It could change the location of your event.
  • With the rise of scheduling classes into early evening, requesting large space at 7:00 p.m. instead of 6:30 or 6:45 p.m. may give you additional options (as an example, two of our largest rooms have classes in them until 6:50 p.m. for the Spring 2013 term).
  • If a request goes beyond normal building hours, we will make every effort to make sure the building hours are extended. If it is your home building or you are unsure whether that is possible, a reminder in your request will help us as well.

Weekday Events (particularly 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.)

  • When scheduling long daytime events, keep the standardized schedule in mind. For example, an event on a Tuesday from 9:00 to 11:20 a.m. crosses three class periods, as opposed to 9:30 to 11:50 a.m., which only crosses two. Adjusting your time appropriately may not only increase room options but also attendance.
  • For events needing tech, please let us know if a partial tech room (projection capabilities, but no resident computer, or PITS/P-ITS) is acceptable. This can add over 70 rooms to the list of available room options.

Midterm and Evening Exams

  • In an attempt to avoid multiple rooms for large exams:
    • Administer multiple copies of an exam so that alternate seating can be eliminated.
    • Print copies on colored paper to differentiate them easily or place them facedown on the seats prior to student arrival.
    • If your department is giving two exams on the same night, share rooms and alternate students between courses (for example, coupling a 100 course with a 200 in the same room).
  • Try to avoid Wednesday and Thursday dates, as we receive more requests for those days than for Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • With the rise of scheduling classes into early evening, requesting large space at 7:00 p.m. instead of 6:30 or 6:45 p.m. may give you additional options (as an example, two of our largest rooms have classes in them until 6:50 p.m. for the Spring 2013 term).
  • If you have a backup date for an exam, please let us know. Wording such as “If Wednesdays are not available, Tuesdays would be an acceptable alternate” or “We need to give the exam during that week, but the day is flexible” will give us the chance to give you options.
  • If you want extra space for a daytime exam, mention the original class location if you wish to have additional space nearby.

Final Exam Reviews

  • Any requests for space on Reading Day must be for optional reviews or makeup classes per the Student Code. You cannot require students to attend all or part of an event on this day.
  • Requests for reviews on final exam days are processed only after all other exams are processed. Also, so that exams can have their full allotted time, we will not schedule any review to start or end within the 15-minute period of the start or end of an exam administration period. The open time for scheduling between exams would be either between 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. or 4:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.