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February 23, 2020, 03:49:47 pm

Author Topic: RMIT Class Allocation  (Read 612 times)  Share 

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Tatlidil

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RMIT Class Allocation
« on: January 04, 2020, 06:11:58 pm »
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How does the allocations work? So we can choose our preferences on the 28th jan, then it closes on the 10th feb, after that it reopens for adjustments on the 17th feb. Can someone run me through the whole process so I know what to do?
Im currently enrolled in civil engineering and business double degree, so it shows that I need to complete 9 classes, I've enrolled in those classes but not sure if I have to worry about this allocations etc. Thanks in advance

AngelWings

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Re: RMIT Class Allocation
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2020, 07:15:37 pm »
+2
I'm not sure if RMIT's allocate system is similar to Monash's. However, given I've seen Deakin (whose allocate system operates the same as Monash's), I assume RMIT would be similar.

In basic terms: the allocate system is the timetable allocation system. It's the system that allows you to pick when you'd like to have which classes when and spits out your official uni timetable for that semester (or whatever you call the teaching period).

Generally, how it runs is as follows:
1. Pick your units - You pick your units, which is what you've already done.
2. Allocation system opens - The allocate system opens and you will be provided access to a range of class options for each class each unit has e.g. you might be able to pick between a Monday 8am session, a Tuesday 9am session or a Tuesday 10am session for 1 out of 2 lectures for OENG1166.
3. Choose your preferences - You pick your preferences for each session e.g. Preference #1 might be the Tuesday 9am session for the above example, Preference #2 might be the Tuesday 10am session, Preference #3 might be the Monday 8am session because you know you're a night owl and can't study at 8am. The number of preferences will be stated somewhere, but not all options may make it on to your preferences e.g. you might be forced to list 6 preferences, while there are 10 options in total. In this case, list 6 (or however many they want you to put on your preferences). Please note that you need to pick your top preferences accordingly to make up part of your ideal timetable, so keep any other commitments e.g. work times, and limitations e.g. commute times in mind when picking a preference. When you put your Preference #1s for all of your classes together, it should make up your ideal timetable. (This might be a bit confusing, so let me know if you don't understand.)   
4. Allocation system closes temporarily - Preferences later close temporarily. All preferences will be considered and RMIT will try to allocate as many people the best possible timetable they can.
5. Allocation system opens again and your official timetable is allocated - The allocation system opens up again. This time they will have given you a timetable. There's a period in which you can try to switch out of times you've been allocated that you're not happy with,  have (avoidable) clashes with other classes, or simply can't do e.g. because you can't make it due to work. If a time slot is full, then you'll either (a) watch if someone else moves out of the one you want and you pick that class as soon as it's available or (b) ask someone who is in that time slot you want to switch with you. (Note: If it's a lab or attendance-based class, you might need to see a staff member e.g. the unit coordinator to ensure that the change is made on the attendance records.)
6. Allocation system closes for that teaching period - After the 'switching out' period ends, you will only be able to withdraw from units and no more timetable changes can be made for units that teaching period e.g. Semester 1 2020. This is usually close to the census date or final withdrawal date.

Some side notes:
- You'll have to repeat this entire process each teaching period e.g. each semester, if there are options for you to pick from. For now, you'll only have to pick preferences for your first semester of 2020.
- If a subject only has one slot or doesn't have any designated contact hours, you don't have to put any preferences down. If there's just one slot, it's usually automatically allocated.
- If you forget to pick preferences within the given time frame or get a late course offer and accepted it, you'll be automatically allocated classes.
- There's usually a few weeks between most steps in the process.
- If you switch units, you'll have to pick or switch preferences for that new unit (where applicable).
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 07:29:46 pm by AngelWings »
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Tatlidil

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Re: RMIT Class Allocation
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2020, 10:10:18 am »
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I'm not sure if RMIT's allocate system is similar to Monash's. However, given I've seen Deakin (whose allocate system operates the same as Monash's), I assume RMIT would be similar.

In basic terms: the allocate system is the timetable allocation system. It's the system that allows you to pick when you'd like to have which classes when and spits out your official uni timetable for that semester (or whatever you call the teaching period).

Generally, how it runs is as follows:
1. Pick your units - You pick your units, which is what you've already done.
2. Allocation system opens - The allocate system opens and you will be provided access to a range of class options for each class each unit has e.g. you might be able to pick between a Monday 8am session, a Tuesday 9am session or a Tuesday 10am session for 1 out of 2 lectures for OENG1166.
3. Choose your preferences - You pick your preferences for each session e.g. Preference #1 might be the Tuesday 9am session for the above example, Preference #2 might be the Tuesday 10am session, Preference #3 might be the Monday 8am session because you know you're a night owl and can't study at 8am. The number of preferences will be stated somewhere, but not all options may make it on to your preferences e.g. you might be forced to list 6 preferences, while there are 10 options in total. In this case, list 6 (or however many they want you to put on your preferences). Please note that you need to pick your top preferences accordingly to make up part of your ideal timetable, so keep any other commitments e.g. work times, and limitations e.g. commute times in mind when picking a preference. When you put your Preference #1s for all of your classes together, it should make up your ideal timetable. (This might be a bit confusing, so let me know if you don't understand.)   
4. Allocation system closes temporarily - Preferences later close temporarily. All preferences will be considered and RMIT will try to allocate as many people the best possible timetable they can.
5. Allocation system opens again and your official timetable is allocated - The allocation system opens up again. This time they will have given you a timetable. There's a period in which you can try to switch out of times you've been allocated that you're not happy with,  have (avoidable) clashes with other classes, or simply can't do e.g. because you can't make it due to work. If a time slot is full, then you'll either (a) watch if someone else moves out of the one you want and you pick that class as soon as it's available or (b) ask someone who is in that time slot you want to switch with you. (Note: If it's a lab or attendance-based class, you might need to see a staff member e.g. the unit coordinator to ensure that the change is made on the attendance records.)
6. Allocation system closes for that teaching period - After the 'switching out' period ends, you will only be able to withdraw from units and no more timetable changes can be made for units that teaching period e.g. Semester 1 2020. This is usually close to the census date or final withdrawal date.

Some side notes:
- You'll have to repeat this entire process each teaching period e.g. each semester, if there are options for you to pick from. For now, you'll only have to pick preferences for your first semester of 2020.
- If a subject only has one slot or doesn't have any designated contact hours, you don't have to put any preferences down. If there's just one slot, it's usually automatically allocated.
- If you forget to pick preferences within the given time frame or get a late course offer and accepted it, you'll be automatically allocated classes.
- There's usually a few weeks between most steps in the process.
- If you switch units, you'll have to pick or switch preferences for that new unit (where applicable).
Oh okay, so its about selecting the times. One question though, is there first come first served? so as soon as the timetable opens and I pick the times straight away, will I have a higher chance to get those times?

AngelWings

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Re: RMIT Class Allocation
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2020, 05:20:50 pm »
+1
Oh okay, so its about selecting the times. One question though, is there first come first served? so as soon as the timetable opens and I pick the times straight away, will I have a higher chance to get those times?
Depends on which allocation system RMITís like.

If itís like Monashís and Deakinís systems, itís not on a first come, first served basis). With this system, someone who picks that one 9am tutorial right after it opens will have equal chance of getting it against someone who picked it at the last minute, for example.

If itís like Melbourneís old system (they changed their allocation system within the past year from memory), thatís a first come, first served basis - thatís it. Anybody who came along at the last minute had the few remaining picks (and theyíd often be at very unusual times).
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 05:22:55 pm by AngelWings »
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Tatlidil

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Re: RMIT Class Allocation
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2020, 08:59:06 pm »
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Depends on which allocation system RMITís like.

If itís like Monashís and Deakinís systems, itís not on a first come, first served basis). With this system, someone who picks that one 9am tutorial right after it opens will have equal chance of getting it against someone who picked it at the last minute, for example.

If itís like Melbourneís old system (they changed their allocation system within the past year from memory), thatís a first come, first served basis - thatís it. Anybody who came along at the last minute had the few remaining picks (and theyíd often be at very unusual times).
Hmm, makes sense, but wouldn't it be unfair for someone who picked the class first to not get his/her preference? If (according to Monash/deakin system) its equal chance to get that time preference then who would they choose and why?

Aaron

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Re: RMIT Class Allocation
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2020, 09:07:19 pm »
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What's unfair is creating a first in best dressed system where those with the ability to rush in and choose classes takes priority over somebody who can't that easily. I used to think the first in method was fantastic until somebody at my old uni raised the issue of equal opportunity, particularly those students with special needs (not to mention the other issues that result e.g. server overload which is discussed below).

It sucks that the alternative is to rely on a software algorithm to decide who gets what, but it really is the best method. I have experienced both the first in methods and the equal opportunity methods and while the equal opportunity method results in some not getting what they want, the alternative is worse imo.

You will also find that if you have a first in approach to allocation, the server usually cannot handle the load purely because everybody wants to get in at the exact moment they open to secure their desired classes.

In most cases you are able to swap with somebody in a different tutorial, lab, etc but this has to be formalised. You can't just change from one tute/lab to another without organising it, as this is an OHS risk.

Quote
then who would they choose and why?
The uni officials dont sit there and manually assign each person to classes..... a commercial package (e.g. Allocate+) is often used that has algorithms that do it for them.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 09:12:02 pm by Aaron »
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Tatlidil

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Re: RMIT Class Allocation
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2020, 11:34:44 pm »
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The uni officials dont sit there and manually assign each person to classes..... a commercial package (e.g. Allocate+) is often used that has algorithms that do it for them.
So it's random. Then what's the point of putting preferences (lets say 1-time A, 2-time B and 3-time C) when I have the same chance of getting a certain time if I did my preference backwards (1-time C, 2-time A and 3-time B). Unless there's something I don't know about the algorithm that plays around with probability...correct me if i'm wrong. I have a few arguments about this but I believe all has been mentioned (and looked into) before, I just want to know if it's worth picking my preferences since, as you have told me, it comes down to "equal" chance. If I have made a mistake or misunderstood what was said, I am sorry and can you please clarify it for me.

Also thank you guys for helping me for the past 2 years!
« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 11:39:19 pm by Tatlidil »

Aaron

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Re: RMIT Class Allocation
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2020, 11:41:10 pm »
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So it's random. Then what's the point of putting preferences (lets say 1-time A, 2-time B and 3-time C) when I have the same chance of getting a certain time if I did my preference backwards (1-time C, 2-time A and 3-time B). Unless there's something I don't know about the algorithm that plays around with probability...correct me if i'm wrong. I have a few arguments about this but I believe all has been mentioned (and looked into) before, I just want to know if it's worth picking my preferences since, as you have told me, it comes down to chance.

The preferences play a role in the algorithm process - where it will try to give you what you've put down in the upper preferences (e.g. 1 or 2)... I can't really comment on how it determines who gets into what since I have no idea (~commercial secret~)

It is worth putting preferences down.... just don't expect to get #1 all the time because it also depends on what other classes you have and what preferences you are given for that too. Timetabling / class allocation is a very complicated process which attempts to successfully allocate thousands of students into classes without clashes. It is much worse than a school timetable because you go from a school cohort to a university cohort of students in courses trying to enrol in the same subject as you.

You also need to consider that students from OTHER degrees are attempting to enrol in the same subject(s) as you. I remember back when I did my undergrad and I was a tutor for a 1st year subject, we had students from business, IT, maths, all the way to health sciences.

Quote
I have a few arguments about this
Welcome to university. Like I said, if you aren't happy with what you get, try to swap with somebody in the desired class. Great thing is in most cases the classes etc change each semester.

Just for clarity, when I say "equal opportunity", I don't mean the preferences are meaningless. Equal opportunity meaning everybody has the chance to put in their preferences due to the time period given. It's as fair as it can be.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 11:48:58 pm by Aaron »
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Tatlidil

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Re: RMIT Class Allocation
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2020, 11:48:52 pm »
-1

Welcome to university.
Come on! I know that :) I thought I would mention that I was thinking of stating my arguments and that its not worth it because, well, this is uni (gotta deal with it), anyway I just asked if its worth picking and you said yes and explained why, thats it!
No need to be harsh... :'(
Thanks again
« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 11:52:39 pm by Tatlidil »

AngelWings

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Re: RMIT Class Allocation
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2020, 10:50:30 pm »
+2
Come on! I know that :) I thought I would mention that I was thinking of stating my arguments and that its not worth it because, well, this is uni (gotta deal with it), anyway I just asked if its worth picking and you said yes and explained why, thats it!
No need to be harsh... :'(
Thanks again
Hey Tatlidil! I appreciate that you are trying to avoid argument, however, the choice of words you've used may unintenionally signal otherwise, and I recommend in future to be more careful with the wording choice to accomodate mutual respect of others as per forum rules.
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Tatlidil

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Re: RMIT Class Allocation
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2020, 10:57:31 pm »
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Hey Tatlidil! I appreciate that you are trying to avoid argument, however, the choice of words you've used may unintenionally signal otherwise, and I recommend in future to be more careful with the wording choice to accomodate mutual respect of others as per forum rules.
Of course, no worries. I did after all barely make the English requirements...sorry for any issues I have unintentionally caused.