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REPORTS: Using Reports for Schedule Planning

Table of Contents

Metrics in Action
Additional Solutions
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  • Student enrollment in course sections averages about 60% of maximum capacity at most colleges and universities, with as many as 20% of all sections less than half full.

  • Institutions commonly offer more sections than needed to meet student demand. In many cases, the number of sections could be reduced substantially without significantly inconveniencing students. Canceling these sections could reduce adjunct costs, or it could free up faculty time to support bottleneck courses or spend more time on research. 

  • This article is designed to explore the metrics we recommend analyzing – and how you can use reports in Academic Scheduling to optimize schedule planning. 

  • Also check out the PDF attached at the bottom of this article for further guidance on scheduling for student success.  


Overview | Enrollment Ratio | Primetime Hour Scheduling | Academic Space Utilization | Scheduling Conflicts


Key metrics to take note of are enrollment ratio, primetime hour scheduling, academic space utilization, and scheduling conflicts.

Enrollment Ratio

Overview | Balanced Schedule | Underfilled Section | Overfilled Section | How Coursedog Can Help


  • The enrollment ratio is the total enrollment in the course section divided by the total max enrollment for the section.

  • This is a useful metric to understand section utilization and to help you identify sections as being either balanced, underfilled, or overfilled. 

Balanced Schedule

  • A balanced schedule means you are offering the right number of seats and sections to meet the needs and demands of your students throughout your academic schedule.

  • A balanced section enrollment ratio is between 70% and 95%. 

Underfilled Section

  • An underfilled, or “underutilized” section enrollment ratio is anything below 70%.

  • For example, if a section can handle 50 students, but its actual enrollment is 25, that means the enrollment ratio is 50% and the section is classified as underfilled. 

  • Underfilled sections are a drain on instructional resources – paying for the instructor, room, facilities for a section that’s only 10-15% filled when you could combine that section with another and eliminate that expenditure for the un-needed section.

Overfilled Section

  • Best practices dictate monitoring for overloaded course enrollment rates that are at or above 95%. If this metric is only addressed once you reach 100%, then it is likely students are already facing waitlists or an inability to register for the course, causing delays in their progression.

  • Excessive overfilled sections point to an unbalanced academic schedule that is likely over-scheduling low student demand courses, and under-scheduling courses in high demand. Reducing overfilled sections translates to faster time to completion for students and more optimal resource allocation for the institution.

How Coursedog Can Help

  • The Reports available at Academic Scheduling > Reports > Enrollment can help you gauge enrollment ratio.

  • Learn more about using our Enrollment Reports here.

Primetime Hour Scheduling


  • Primetime hour scheduling refers to the most popular days/times for scheduling academic sections, where room utilization is often disproportionately high.

  • Most students today are predominantly interested in flexible scheduling options. Because many students rely on degree audits or other scheduling platforms to remain on track, they seek (and can support) more flexibility.

  • The rise and convenience of online courses further contributes to the desire for flexible scheduling options. 

How Coursedog Can Help

  • The Reports available at Academic Scheduling > Reports > Times can help you gauge primetime hour scheduling.

  • Learn more about using our Times Reports here.

Academic Space Utilization


  • Academic space utilization refers to the proportion of time an assignable space is actually used for the intended purpose, as well as the proportion of seating capacity when assignable space is a classroom.

  • The concept of “right sizing” is also common when considering how space is utilized on campus. Generally this is a space or room size that logically fits the number of students or program square footage requirements. When used as a verb, the term means to evaluate and confirm that the spaces are appropriately sized for the program and the amount of users in that space. 

  • A common scheduling-related academic bottleneck occurs around physical space limitations and room capacity – restricting a learning experience to the size of the room. This is what happens when enrollment in labs, for example, is limited to accommodate lab space.

How Coursedog Can Help

  • The Rooms Report available at Academic Scheduling > Reports > Rooms can help you gauge academic space utilization.

  • Learn more about using our Rooms Report here.

Scheduling Conflicts


  • A scheduling conflict could mean double-booked rooms or instructors, overlapping sections of co-requisites, etc. 

  • Conflicts are sometimes called “bottlenecks”. The term “bottleneck” refers to any barrier that students need to overcome to progress along the pathway to completion. These can include educational credentials, test scores, or any other university-wide requirements, such as broad-based introductory or general education courses.

How Coursedog Can Help

  • The Conflicts Report available at Academic Scheduling > Reports > Conflicts can help you identify conflicts.

  • Learn more about using our Conflicts Report here.

Metrics in Action

Check out this case study to see how Coursedog helped reduce scheduling conflicts by 60% and overfilled sections by 14%. 

Additional Solutions

We offer an additional solution called Academic Operations Analytics, which is designed to empower campus and department leaders to confidently project instructional resource requirements. You can learn more here.

Related Links

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