How to Manage Student Group Timetable with FossLook

Introduction

The article describes an example of how you can use FossLook to automate certain aspects of the educational process. In particular, things like scheduling of classes and remote interaction of teachers with students. The solution will allow teachers to remotely send tasks to students, notify them on schedule changes and exchange other important information.

It is assumed that FossLook platform server is installed in a school (we'll call it the University), consisting of faculties within which there are different departments with the teaching staff. Also, we assume that the teachers and students have their user accounts within the system and have access to the server with the help of FossLook client.

The proposed in the article solution of course does not cover all the issues of automation of educational institution, but is a great example of how someone might use FossLook in the education process.

Let's look at the tasks that we need to accomplish in the process of the creation of our solution:

  • "Class" Document Type
  • Classes schedule based on virtual folders
  • Access rights for students and teachers
  • Reminders for students

"Class" Document Type

First of all, create your own library "Educational process" and the document type "Class", which will be used to store data about the training activities (classes). This document will contain the following fields:

  • Group
  • Day of the week
  • Subject
  • Lecture room
  • Class time
  • Class type
  • Teacher

For everything that we'll do next we'll use FossLook Administrator program:

Main document type in educational process library

Also, enable the "Periodic tasks" function, the purpose of which will be discussed later.

Here, all fields other than "teacher" are simple dictionary fields and have their associated directories:

Class dictionary example

The "Teacher" field is a reference to a group of users "Teachers", which must be created earlier. Let's set the link in a following way:

Let's copy the link to the "Teachers" group and paste it as link in the dictionaries folder:

Creating a link to the group

Next, in the "Teacher" field settings we'll select the "Teachers" dictionary:

Selecting dictionary in the Teacher field

Finally, save changes.

Classes Schedule Based on Virtual Folders

Now, with the help of filters we'll set up a timetable for the selected student group. Click on "folders" hierarchy in the "Class" library and create a subfolder, for example, "101 Group Timetable".

Setting up folders structure

In the folder settings setup a filter, to see only classes for users of a certain group. In our case it's going to be a group number 101:

Schedule for group 101

After filling the folder "Class" with the test data, virtual folder "101 Group Timetable" will also contain filtered documents:

Filtered data in the document folder

The next step is to create a virtual subfolders corresponding to the days of the week. So, the data source for a virtual folder "Monday" will be a folder "101 Group Timetable", and the condition for the filter will be "Day of the week = Monday":

Settings for days of the week

Next, let's copy the "Monday" folder and paste it in the same hierarchy of subfolders, rename it, for example, to "Tuesday" and change the rules for document selection. After that, repeat the same procedure for all days of the week.

By default, subfolders are sorted in alphabetical order. In order to change this behavior, on the "Folder properties" tab, in the top-level folder, select the "Enable custom sorting" option, and arrange the data in subfolders in the desired order:

Enabling custom sorting for the folders

Similarly, using the "copy-paste" technique and the corresponding filter settings, we can create multiple virtual folders for another student group or a teacher (keep in mind that we have to ensure that there is no "overlap" - different classes can't be held at the same time in the same classroom). Also, if you like, in the same way you can create another timetables, for example, exam timetable, or a course timetable. But for now, group timetable will be enough.

Access Rights for Students and Teachers

All right, it's time to give the students access to the timetable. First, create an example student group 101 and add users to it - students of the university. In practice, it would be possible to create a single user that will be representing the whole group, and give it a login / password for all students. But we can do it later. If you'd like to learn more about how to use FossLook groups, please read this article.

Users of the group 101

Next, we'll grant "Reader" access to "101 Group Timetable" folder for students from the group 101. To do this, break the permissions inheritance from the root folder "Class" and add the group "Employees Group 101":

Granting access for students from 101 group

By default, the students will be granted "Reader" access level, but in our case it's enough:

Reviewer access level

If you log in to the program FossLook client as a student from the group 101, the workplace will look like this:

Client application view

Reminders for Students

Finally, we'll give the opportunity for teachers of the University to remotely send tasks to students, remind them about upcoming examinations and different events. To do this, we'll use the functionality of the external module "Recurring tasks", which must be connected and running on the server. Learn more about how to use "Recurring tasks".

Recurring tasks external module

In the "Recurring Tasks" folder hierarchy create a "Reminders" folder:

Reminders folder in the FossLook client

Now we need to make so that this folder is accessible by every teacher of the University, to create all sorts of reminders for students. Every teacher should see only the records that he created himself. To solve this task, let's create a "Teacher" user template in extended FossLook Administrator:

Creating a teacher-template

To start, simply copy an existing template "mail user" in the same folder and rename it to, for example, the "Teacher". Then copy and paste reminders folder and group folder into the template as shown in the picture above. Keep in mind that we need to paste them as reference.

As a result, when you create a new user using "Teacher" template, he'll automatically get necessary folders and be placed in appropriate groups:

Teacher with the corresponding template

Finally, our teachers have a "Reminders" folder, and we can create a message in it. We'll choose all students of the 101 group as recipients of our message:

Recurring task creation

At the appointed time all recipients will receive a task in their email folders:

Incoming task

As mentioned earlier, when we designed the "Class" document, we enabled the function "Periodic tasks", which means that we can create a task directly from the "Class" document card. Let's make it so only the teachers can create tasks. To do this open permissions dialog of the "Class" document.

Recurring tasks permissions

As a result of this, the teacher will be able to choose from their timetable a class and create a reminder for students associated with this class.

Conclusions

Using FossLook platform we created a small solution for the organization of educational process in the University, without the need to involve developers in the process. This software solution brings ease to administrators, teachers, and students. It can be further developed, for example, in the direction of the document management workflow automation in the institution, or we can even create a fully functioning student portal with the help of our external module "Web server".

If you would like to use this solution, but with some additional improvements like calculation of the workload per given teacher, reports generation and others, contact us, we'll gladly help you with all your questions.

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