Posts Tagged ‘calendaring’

Logging learning center attendance using MS-Exchange Calendars

  1. Over the years, I had to find a number of solutions for monitoring student attendance in the learning center, by repurposing existing infrastructure (there are dedicated solutions which, however, are often too costly for a departmental center, or not shared well). Here is another idea:
  2. We’ve used the existing campus-wide MS-Exchange infrastructure’s resource mailboxes for room booking and equipment circulation.
  3. We have creatively repurposed this infrastructure for managing the staffing of “offices” (center help desk and tutors). Here we needed to allow conflicts:
    1. multiple students staff the help desk.
    2. 1 tutor staffs the “office”- 1 additional student can book the tutor.
    3. Additionally, we set up a time clock system, based on an Excel Macro, to prevent cheating:
      1. Only the person logging in can sign up to the resource;
      2. while only the help desk can provide the time clock value.
  4. It looks like that a similar setup could be extended to support the common requirement that students, while taking a certain course, spend a certain amount of time per week working in the learning center:
    1. which has been traditionally handled using paper-based sign-in-sheets or, at best, spreadsheets.
    2. With digital input, the data could be basis for analytics and visualizations, taking advantage of existing tools like MS-Calendaranalytics.
    3. Such a system would, however, require creation of resource calendar per course section that need to monitor learning center attendance. However, this needs to be done only once and would be reusable, since data can be filtered by input time, as long as no entirely new courses/sections come online.
  5. But hasn’t mandatory weekly learning center attendance been made obsolete by ubiquitous computing and the web?
    1. Definitely in some of its more antiquated forms: I have worked at institutions where the computer-savvy students attended the learning center once at the beginning of the term to copy all the learning materials on the network share onto a thumb drive, and I would not want to force somebody to come to the learning center continuously for such a trivial purpose as accessing files on a not-web-accessible network share.
    2. However,  there seems to be a lot of unmined pedagogical value in learning center group work and blended instruction (under tutor supervision), like in a homework emporium (provided your program is big enough to have continuous tutor support and sufficient learner overlap).

Protected: LRC calendars requirements and configuration management

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Web browser popup blocker exceptions need configuring


  1. Which computers
    1. This I found on the Reception desk
    2. but isn’t that then also wrong on all student pcs which have the same base image?
  2. Which exceptions missing: I noticed immediately:
    2. should read
  3. Which browsers
    1. Example is IE9,
    2. But are others different?

Student email in Office365/ slow on reception desk computers

  1. Problem: Since last week (or so; interestingly, only individual users seem to have been affected at first), we seem to experiencing regular (but not consistent) issues with meeting requests mostly
    1. slowness
    2. browser-specific behavior
      1. internet explorer 9: crashes
      2. chrome: crashes
      3. Firefox: (sometimes just seems to hang, with some coercion can bring up an “unresponsive script” warning dialogue that a script is hanging: image
  2. Workaround:
    1. Best so far: if you see the Firefox warning dialogue, check “do not warn again” and click on “continue”(?)
    2. we will try to look into common browser configuration (like popup blockers).
  3. Root cause: ?
    1. Firefox provides only this help on unresponsive script error;
    2. the slowness could be in the actual script, on the client, in the network, on the server…
  4. Resolution: ?

MS-Exchange and Outlook enable managing scheduling of 100+ functional resources

High-level Reporting: clip_image004[5]

Also, it is easy to manage calendars by  group calendars, e.g.


Creation of calendar groups is also easy via the outlook address book:


It is Outlook (Desktop) currently only (not Exchange 2010 OWA) that allows for High-level Reporting. And even here, there are limitations:



Aggregate room and resource calendars for Overview


Bugs in MS-Calendaranalytics?

  1. Is there an Off-by-1 bug in MS-Calendaranalytics pivot chart?
    1. I am hovering (as an example) over the first name in the upper list which displays the right name as tooltip, the first name in the second listimage
    2. I guess I could learn DAX to fix this one myself, but what I have found myself doing is copy/paste the legend control from underneath, which does not exhibit this apparent bug, as a screenshot over the wrong legend (Seems strangely inadequate!).
  2. Cannot run visual basic macro because of a syntax errorimageVersion 1 on Excel 2010 (64-bit) on Windows 7 (64-bit). Restarting (Excel/Windows) made this go away.
  3. This stopped working on load from one day to the next, without the file getting saved and updated in between: System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException (0x80070490): Element not found. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070490)
    at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Tools.Office.Runtime.Interop.IHostItemProvider.GetHostExtender(String extenderType, String extenderCookie, IntPtr& extenderObject)
    at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Tools.Office.Runtime.DomainCreator.ExecuteCustomization.Microsoft.Office.Tools.IHostItemProvider.GetHostExtender(Type primaryType, String primaryCookie)
    at Microsoft.Office.Tools.Excel.ControlSiteImpl..ctor(IServiceProvider serviceProvider, IHostItemProvider hostItemProvider, String primaryCookie, String identifier, Object containerComponent, UInt32 officeVersion, Control control, _OLEObject extenderControl, Boolean isDynamic)
    at Microsoft.Office.Tools.Excel.FactoryImpl.Microsoft.Office.Tools.Excel.Factory.CreateControlSite(IServiceProvider serviceProvider, IHostItemProvider hostItemProvider, String primaryCookie, String identifier, Object containerComponent, Control control)
    at Microsoft.Office.Tools.Excel.Controls.Button..ctor(Factory factory, IHostItemProvider hostItemProvider, IServiceProvider serviceProvider, String cookie, String extenderCookie, Object container, String identifier)
    at ExchangeAnalytics.Sheet4.InitializeControls() in C:\tfs\Exchange Analytics\ExchangeAnalytics\ExchangeAnalytics\What.Designer.cs:line 169
    at ExchangeAnalytics.Sheet4.Initialize() in C:\tfs\Exchange Analytics\ExchangeAnalytics\ExchangeAnalytics\What.Designer.cs:line 55
    at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Tools.Office.Runtime.DomainCreator.ExecuteCustomization.ExecutePhase(ExecutionPhases executionPhases)
    at Microsoft.VisualStudio.Tools.Office.Runtime.DomainCreator.ExecuteCustomization.Microsoft.VisualStudio.Tools.Office.Runtime.Interop.IExecuteCustomization2.LoadEntryPoints(IntPtr serviceProvider)

Our Drupal now allows Add to Calendar links.

  1. Neat: Click on the calendar icon at the end of the date line:
  2. image
  3. When prompted, Click open (which will stat your default file association for ICS files, likely MS-Outlook):
  4. image
  5. if necessary, add a suitable reminder, and click””save&close”image
  6. Your appointment, with location, will be put in your calendar and come alive when you need the reminder(and where, if you connect your other, home and mobile devices to MS-Exchange): image
  7. But as of yet, not everybody seems to be using this handy facility (I find myself manually copying over info into manually created appointments).
  8. Unfortunately, this is still only a static ICS file, not a subscription which would be automatically updated in your calendar if the originator/organizer changes the schedule.