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How to Build a Classroom Scheduling Software from Scratch

Building a classroom scheduling system: guidelines, technologies, challenges



The popularity of scheduling software is on the rise as businesses look for ways to improve their efficiency. What’s the global market size of the appointment scheduling software? It is expected to reach $546 million by 2026.


The need for a digital scheduling tool is even more pronounced in the education industry. Matching available space and equipment with students’ and teachers’ needs can be a challenging task. That’s why a company designing a classroom schedule software will definitely find its customers.


This article deals with different aspects of creating such a product. We will start with the “why’s” moving to the “how’s”: best practices, important features, and tech stack to consider. Read on to learn more!


Сlassroom scheduling app benefits


Scheduling campus activities most conveniently and efficiently is a tall order. Different courses and events have different requirements for the size of classrooms and equipment. It is where scheduling apps come in handy. Their key benefits are listed below.


Improving resource tracking


Modern campuses may house expensive specialized equipment. The learners and the faculty need a way to reserve, rent, and track these important resources. A scheduling solution can allow students or educators to borrow any physical item for a certain period. On top of it, the time tracker for teachers would provide administrators with more information for staff management.


Streamlining exam organization


Exams or certification courses occupy a prominent place in the education process. A comprehensive scheduling tool would make organizing such events much easier. Professors, assistants, and faculty get one digital spot to schedule rooms and resources. Moreover, proper classroom customization, such as open seats between participants, can be handled more efficiently. Much less paper waste and human errors arise in the process.


Simplifying administrative tasks and avoiding conflicts


With the class scheduling solution, there is no need for cumbersome paperwork. Bulk scheduling and detailed reporting allow faculty members to focus on teaching rather than tedious aspects of class planning. A user-friendly and collaborative interface saves time and increases staff efficiency.


Class scheduling software arms educators with a clear calendar view and resource tracking options. Therefore, one can avoid such issues as double-booked classrooms or back-to-back classes. An academic scheduling solution can also log instructor and course preferences. The latter may be easily used again automatically. Thus, manual re-entry of data is not required.


Boosting safety


Scheduling platforms go further than merely organizing the learning process. They can help schedule third-party visitors, on-campus events, and even campus police forces. The latter know where and when their attention will be needed most (large events, for instance).


Also, the COVID-19 pandemic added a new touch to the definition of safety. Scheduling solutions can help to ensure proper social distancing. For instance, students can get information on how many people use the particular room and when it was last sanitized. Exam rooms can be scheduled for socially distant exam-taking with desks spaced out or clear barriers installed.


Course scheduling app design best practices


If you decide to build your own classroom scheduling software, you’d better start by analyzing the best features of the existing tools. They may seem quite different. However, some common practices proved to be useful. Check out the list below.


Customization and flexibility


Ensure that users can change the timetable or course structure easily. Your software should provide room for adaptation to changing circumstances. Also, allow educators to save their preferences for later use. That would boost their efficiency and free some time and energy for actual teaching.


Intuitive and user-friendly interface


A scheduling instrument should be easy-to-use to make the life of educators simpler. The less time and effort they spend trying to figure out how to operate it, the better. Make sure that your platform requires the least amount of technical knowledge from end-users.


Mobile-friendliness


Offering users an option to access your classroom scheduling software via smartphone is a must. 85% of US adults own a smartphone, and teachers are not an exception. Educators should be able to check their schedules on the go and make necessary amendments. Make sure they can do it on their smartphones as easily as on their PCs.



The important features for a class scheduling app


Classroom scheduling software features may vary considerably. Some solutions go as far as to integrate messengers for chatting with students, payment systems, social sharing buttons, etc. However, there are some essential features you should pay attention to in the first place. If you decide to build a classroom scheduling system, consider the list below.


Bulk scheduling


This feature is essential for optimization. Scheduling dozens or even hundreds of classes and exams at once is a great time-saver. Also, consider allowing users to specify preferences such as instructor accommodation to provide a custom scheduling experience.


Automated scheduling


Fitting a course with multiple requirements into a tight high-school or university timetable is a challenging task. Employ an intelligent scheduling algorithm to help educators accommodate student preferences, holidays, classrooms, and faculty availability. The ability to share a suggested schedule to get some reviews and accumulate feedback from learners and teachers would be a great bonus.


Menklab’s team have developed software solutions that automate scheduled tasks. For example, our platform for preschool management, Nurture, takes into account the standards for the number of children and caregivers in one classroom. Nurture generates real time reports and alerts to keep classrooms within the ratio as required by unique licensing requirements in each US State.


Notifications


Here is one of the primary features expected from any scheduling software. Students and teachers can rely on notifications about scheduled or canceled classes, upcoming deadlines, educational events, etc. Consider adding various options (text, email, push, etc.) to suit different categories of users.


Reporting and analytics


Educators might need some statistics to fine-tune their scheduling strategies. For instance, data on space utilization would help understand who, when, and how is using available space. Reports on the prime time of usage or course changes over time can also be useful. Armed with that information, planners will be able to build better schedules.


Classroom scheduling system tech stack


Our engineers can consult you on how to develop a class scheduling software. We will choose the technologies most suitable for your needs. The list below is based on our experience in custom classroom scheduling software development. Read it to get some general idea about the technologies you will probably need.


The back-end


The back-end, or behind-the-scenes part of your system, may vary greatly depending on your specifications. It is the tech stack we usually use for our projects.


Node.JS is a popular JavaScript-based runtime environment. Developers use it because of its ecosystem with thousands of libraries and solid corporate support. Moreover, using Node.JS ensures great speed. We’ve used Node.JS and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to create Nurture, preschool management, and communications systems.


Those interested in Node.JS may consider NestJS, an open-source framework. Applications built with its help are scalable and testable. NestJS has a rich ecosystem of its own and can be combined with other libraries.


While choosing a programming language for back-end development, make sure to consider Go. It is clear and simple, with syntax and speed, similar to those of C++. Developers can write readable and maintainable code with the help of Go.


MySQL and PostgreSQL are popular choices for dealing with databases. PostgreSQL is an open-source and free database management system. It ensures scalability and has a strong community to rely on.


The front-end


The front-end is what your users actually see and interact with. Let’s have a look at the tech to make it functional.


HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) helps the browser to decode the way you want your app to be displayed. For instance, with its help, the developers specify hyperlink effects, the font type, color, graphics, etc.


Our team has experience using ReactJS and Redux for front-end development. ReactJS is popular with web developers. It

  • makes JavaScript coding simpler

  • offers great cross-platform support

  • simplifies template designing


As we’ve already mentioned, your classroom scheduling software development will probably include creating a mobile app. iOS Swift and Android Kotlin are the programming languages our developers recommend for the task.


The challenges of the class scheduling app development


Designing a classroom schedule software may seem relatively easy. Still, from our experience, there are some important things you should keep in mind.

Firstly, building a great system is not enough. You should teach the client to use it properly and integrate it into the business process. For instance, the time tracker for teachers contains some important information for scheduling. However, it is useless unless the teachers remember to check-in and out.


Secondly, a comprehensive scheduling system should be meticulously maintained. The data should be consistent across all its parts. The apps should be updated to keep up with the changing needs of the clients. Make sure that all users can benefit from the features you add.


The cost of developing a classroom scheduling system


While preparing to develop a classroom scheduling system, you will surely wonder how much it will cost. There is no one-size-fits-all answer as various factors come into play. The first thing you should consider is the number and complexity of the features.


The support of multiple platforms also requires some extra effort from the developers. On top of it, the hourly pricing of developers depends on the region. The USA or European engineers may charge much more than those from Eastern Europe or India.


If you have a specific project in mind, contact Menklab and describe it in detail to get a cost estimate. To provide you with some general idea about the development process, learn more about the main stages of the process.


Business analysis


Time: 80 - 100 hours


The business analysts start their work first. Before writing any code, you should define the project outlines. Make sure to research the needs of your potential customers. List general requirements and basic features to direct your developers.


Front-end and back-end development


Time: 670 - 1400 Hours


It is the main part of the project when software is actually built. Databases are designed, and the main functions of the system are linked to them. Technical documentation is prepared to explain available functionality, hardware requirements, and architecture.


UI/UX design


Time: 150 - 300 Hours


The UI should be not only functional but intuitive. Designing it that way takes time and effort. The designers should ensure that the interface is free of clutter, looks good on various screens, etc.


Testing


Time: 250 - 450 Hours


No amount of thinking can substitute tests. Don’t rush to present your new product to the customers. Spend some time looking for possible problems and fixing them. Bugs found after the release make customers doubt the idea of buying your product.


Why should you choose Menklab as a partner to create a school scheduling application?


While preparing to develop a classroom scheduling system, you will surely wonder how much it will cost. There is no one-size-fits-all answer as various factors come into play. The first thing you should consider is the number and complexity of the features.


The support of multiple platforms also requires some extra effort from the developers. On top of it, the hourly pricing of developers depends on the region. The USA or European engineers may charge much more than those from Eastern Europe or India.


If you have a specific project in mind, contact Menklab and describe it in detail to get a cost estimate. To provide you with some general idea about the development process, learn more about the main stages of the process.


Business analysis


Time: 80 - 100 hours


The business analysts start their work first. Before writing any code, you should define the project outlines. Make sure to research the needs of your potential customers. List general requirements and basic features to direct your developers.


Front-end and back-end development


Time: 670 - 1400 Hours


It is the main part of the project when software is actually built. Databases are designed, and the main functions of the system are linked to them. Technical documentation is prepared to explain available functionality, hardware requirements, and architecture.


UI/UX design


Time: 150 - 300 Hours


The UI should be not only functional but intuitive. Designing it that way takes time and effort. The designers should ensure that the interface is free of clutter, looks good on various screens, etc.


Testing


Time: 250 - 450 Hours


No amount of thinking can substitute tests. Don’t rush to present your new product to the customers. Spend some time looking for possible problems and fixing them. Bugs found after the release make customers doubt the idea of buying your product.


Why should you choose Menklab as a partner to create a school scheduling application?


Developing an advanced class scheduling system requires state-of-the-art technologies and skillful developers who know how to use it. We have such a team. Menklab has been developing custom software solutions since 2013. We’ve completed many projects, including those concerning learning. One of the top products in our portfolio is Nurture - the preschool communication and management platform for teachers and parents.


The platform has a web app and Android/iOS apps. With its help, parents can enroll their children in a nursery and get updates about them throughout the day. All relevant information, including the meals, behavior, naps, mood, curriculum, is logged for each child.


Caregivers can also send photos and videos of children to their parents. On top of it, the parents can watch live streams to observe their children in real-time. With the help of Nurture, parents, who traveled to over 30 countries, could always stay connected with their offsprings.


School administrators benefit from the automation of manual tasks. Nurture helps to manage payroll and comply with the demands of regulatory agencies. Thus, administrators can focus on improving the professional aspects of the caregiving team. Moreover, the software leaves less room for human error.


The implementation of a new system allowed our client to open two extra schools a year. More efficient management of operations and improved customer retention resulted in saving part of topline revenue.


Let’s develop a classroom scheduling software together!


Any modern educational institution would benefit from the scheduling software. It makes fitting a new course into the existing timetable much easier for teachers. With its help, campus resources are used more efficiently. The online scheduling platform minimizes the risk of human errors and subsequent conflicts. Students and teachers don’t have to hold timetables in their minds or consult their bulky paper copies. Automatic notifications make their lives easier and more organized.


Menklab can help you to build a class scheduling system. We have a team armed with all the necessary skills, experience, and technologies. On top of it, we love new challenges! Feel free to contact us and discuss your ideas.

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