January 17, 2019 | Students

What to Consider When Scheduling Lab Hours

Scheduling lab hours doesn’t have to be a chore if you consider 3 key factors and use data to drive your decisions.

2 min

Too often, lab managers resort to tedious, time consuming, and expensive approaches to gather a minuscule amount of data that is questionably accurate. Then they’re left with guessing and testing to determine the best lab schedules, which costs time and money.

Scheduling lab hours doesn’t have to be a chore if you consider 3 key factors and use data to drive your decisions.

Time

Tallying every student that walks into a lab is labor intensive and frankly archaic. But still, this is the system many labs still use today! How can you enter the 21st century and use technology to your advantage?

The next most plausible solution would be to create your own system to track lab usage and develop a schedule accordingly. However, a homegrown solution just means more time spent creating, maintaining and troubleshooting something that might work. And then you still have to create the schedule.

With LabStats, you can quickly and easily track the days and times students most use your labs to more accurately decide when to schedule open lab hours. Gone are the days of guessing, now is the time for easy and accurate scheduling.

Money

Scheduling optimal lab hours is a huge benefit to your budget.  If having your lab open on Saturdays means that you have a lab monitor scrolling through Snapchat in an empty lab, it’s time to reconsider your schedule and save some money.

You might find that students tend to overload one of the labs on Mondays and Wednesdays, but desert it on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Empty labs mean money down the drain. Instead, use LabStats to discover peak usage hours for each lab and create a schedule that will give you the most bang for your buck.

Student Experience

An important aspect to consider when planning lab open hours are the students. Sometimes you might see go-getter students who like to wake up and go study at 6AM. But we also often hear of students studying late into the night. At other times you might see random big groups of students come in for a group study session at 9PM because that’s the only time they can get together.

By viewing the data for when these people might decide to show themselves, you can more accurately create a schedule that not only works for them, but works for you. You can also utilize the LabMaps feature in LabStats to direct these students to smaller labs that you specifically keep open for late nights or early mornings.

It’s possible to optimize your lab schedules without spending a significant amount of time and effort. LabStats makes it easy with accurate data and straightforward reports.