There has been no progress on CSE Vision for quite some time now but recently I have had a bit of time to work on it. I decided to work on trying to integrate the time table into the system. This would give everyone a good idea of where lecturers are in our department of CSE (Computer Systems Engineering) at TUT (Tshwane University of Technology) during the course of the day.
Our department is given a time table every semester in the form of an Excel workbook. It consists of every subject, lecturer, venue etc. in the FoICT (Faculty of Information and Communication Technology). I had to read all this data in from the workbook, sort through it and get any data about lecturers in our department from it. Most notably what time their classes start and end for all their subjects, and what venue they will be in during that time.
Once I had successfully managed to achieve that, I had to construct a database to store that information. Now that that is done, I can get to the “fun” bit!
Now every time a lecturer’s class starts, their availability status is automatically changed to “in class”. Yes, that is a new availability status. I decided that “in class” needed it’s own status because the “busy” status could also apply to when a lecturer is in their office and not just when they are physically in a class.
Here’s what the new status looks like at the kiosk in the lobby:
Once the class passes its end time, the lecturer’s status reverts back to whatever it was before then.
I have also introduced yet another status. One for when I have no data about a lecturer’s status. i.e. They have not said yet what state they are in. To depict this they get a “beautiful” grey coloured card:
The system works well at the moment – I just need to cater for events such as public holidays and University holidays where the automatic updates should of course not occur.
This all needs to be done from the admin side which is still some way away from being completed!