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MEETING PATTERNS: Assigning Meeting Patterns

Table of Contents
Assigning Meeting Patterns Manually
Assigning Meeting Patterns via the Optimizer
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Once your sections have been assigned instructors, you can assign meeting times to your sections that align with your institution’s rules and your instructors’ preferences. You can manually assign meeting times, or you can leave it to the Section Optimizer which will make the decision for you by taking all rules and preferences into consideration.

Assigning Meeting Patterns Manually

You can assign Meeting Patterns manually in the Section Editor. As with instructors, there are two ways of doing so.

Step 1:

  • Open the Section Editor for the class you want to assign a meeting pattern to.

  • You can access the Section Editor by clicking anywhere on the section row.

Step 2: Navigate to the “Meeting Patterns & Rooms” card.

Step 3: 

  • Decide whether you will be using a Standard Meeting Pattern (a standard timeblock defined by the administration) or whether you will assign a Custom timeblock.

  • In most cases, we recommend using Standard Meeting Patterns to avoid warnings or violating rules.

  • To toggle between Standard and Custom Meeting Patterns, you can click the blue stopwatch icon. 

Step 4 (Option A - Standard Meeting Pattern):

  • To assign a Standard Meeting Pattern, select the blue “+ Meeting Pattern” button to open the meeting pattern modal.

  • Inside the modal, Coursedog provides an interface to select from University-approved timeblocks. Users can filter by days, times, or attributes at the top of the card or scroll through the list.

  • Coursedog helps determine a preference fit that pushes potential fits to the top. “Preference Fit” is impacted by instructor preferences, instances of double bookings (i.e. either room or instructor double bookings), and usage (if a meeting pattern has high usage, its preference fit will decrease).

  • Coursedog also sorts the time-blocks with the same preference fit by showing you the least used time-blocks first. This naturally nudges folks to schedule more effectively, while pushing to the top the best fits to save time.

  • “Usage” refers to the number of instances of that Meeting Pattern across all sections in the institution.

Step 4 (Option B - Custom Meeting Pattern):

  • To assign a Custom (Non-Standard) Meeting Pattern, you will simply input the days and times for the section.

  • Using Non-Standard Meeting Patterns may result in warnings or trigger workflows, depending on your University's “Rules” settings. 

Assigning Multiple Meeting Patterns

  • From the “Meeting Patterns & Rooms” card, you can assign multiple meeting patterns with varying start and end dates.

  • To do this, add multiple meeting patterns and then click the “Set Dates” button.

  • You will then be prompted to set start and end dates for each meeting pattern.

  • These dates take precedence over all dates associated with the term they are being scheduled for, so note that if they are scheduled outside of the term or part of term they are associated with, this could potentially cause issues.

    • Note that if you are editing meeting pattern start and end date within ‘Set Details’ a warning will appear if you are updating a reference date. This warning will not appear if you are editing meeting pattern start and end date within the Meeting Patterns & Rooms card.

Ignoring Double Bookings

PATH: Scheduling > Section Editor > (Open Course) > (Click on Section)


If settings allow, under “Set Details” you can ignore all double booking conflicts caused by a specific meeting. 

Assigning Meeting Patterns via the Optimizer


Instead of manually selecting times and dates for each section, you can leave that to Coursedog’s Section Optimizer. The optimizer will automatically produce a schedule that satisfies all preferences and rules, if possible. In this section, we will show you how to set up your sections to prepare for the optimizer. The optimizer run is usually handled by a user with the Admin role, but if you want to learn how to run the optimizer, check out this detailed guide.

Getting Ready to Optimize for Time

  • In order to have a successful Optimizer run, you must have done the proper set up. Most of this was taken care of in the Section Configuration module. Anything that might affect when the section should be scheduled should be filled in; credit hours and section type are two important examples.

  • Make sure that you have “Optimize Times” set to “Yes” for any section you want to be scheduled by the Optimizer. If you do not see “Optimize Times” as a field in the Section Editor, check in with your admin to make sure that they have added the pre-built “Optimize Times” and “Optimize Rooms” fields into their Section Template Forms.

  • Sections that have been assigned manually or have “Optimize Times” set to “No” will not be assigned a meeting pattern by the optimizer.

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