Ian Gibson is a Business Studies and Computing teacher at St. Andrew’s High School in Fife. He is also a Glow Mentor and a member of the ICT working committee in the school. Last year the committee was tasked with developing an electronic room booking system. This cookbook details how the room booking system was created and the impact it has had in the school.
The school has two ICT suites which are available for staff to book for use with classes. Initially a diary-based system was used to manage the bookings, but this has proved far from ideal. With the diaries kept at reception it was not easy for staff to check room availability during lesson time and inevitably with a paper-based system confusion often occurred over scored-out bookings and amendments!
The school’s ICT working party were asked to investigate options for an electronic booking system. Using the internal email system for this purpose appeared problematic, but the means to create a booking system within Glow looked quite feasible. Such a system would also necessitate staff logging on to Glow regularly and perhaps encourage them to explore further.
Ian searched through the Glow Help forum and the cookbooks to see if any other school had created a similar booking system. Though he found no information that fitted the bill, he did find a cookbook – detailing the creation of graphical interfaces and hidden pages – that proved particularly useful.
Ian Gibson explains the background (5:25)Creating a room booking system on Glow
Ian created the ‘Booking of Rooms’ Glow Group, designed a graphical interface and added links to hidden pages containing a ‘What’s on’ web part for each room. The initial plan of providing a booking system for the two rooms had rapidly grown to include three ICT rooms, the Assembly Hall and Library.
When the Glow Group was launch, there were some teething problems, particularly from staff requiring help to log on, if they were not regular Glow users. The problems, though, quickly diminished, as staff became familiar with the process. Ian added a ‘Help’ button to the graphical interface to provide a support guide.
Staff are now able to see at a glance with rooms are available, make a booking, and create recurring bookings for long-term projects. It was decided, by the ICT working party, that staff would not have the rights to edit or delete bookings, in order to prevent any accidental changes. Ian, and others with Administrator rights to the Glow Group, make any changes that staff request.
Ian Gibson explains the permissions on the Room Booking system (1:01)Creating a room booking system on Glow
Ian Gibson demonstrates how bookings are added and deleted (3:21) Creating a room booking system on Glow
To create the room booking system, Ian required:
* a Glow Group
* an image for the background of the graphical interface
* art software (or PowerPoint) to create the graphical interface
Ian created the Glow Group, removed all the default pages, other than the Noticeboard, and replaced these with ‘hidden pages’ (standard pages but without page tabs).
Next he created a graphical interface, inserted this into a Text Editor web part and added hotspots to link to the hidden pages.
Multiple ‘What’s on’ web parts were then created, one for each of the rooms in the booking system. A ‘What’s on’ web part was placed on each of the hidden pages, and the view of the web part changed so that it displayed as a calendar.
Permissions were set on each calendar allowing staff to view existing bookings and add their own bookings, but permissions to edit or delete bookings were removed.
The video clips below explain each part of this process:
* How to delete pages and close web parts (1:56) Creating a room booking system on Glow
* How to create the background for the graphical interface (4:59)Creating a room booking system on Glow
* How to create hidden pages (2:52) Creating a room booking system on Glow
* How to create hotspots to hidden pages (4:57) Creating a room booking system on Glow
* How to create multiple What’s on web parts and change to calendar view (2:54) Creating a room booking system on Glow
* How to set the Glow Group membership and amend the permissions on the What’s on web parts (8:05)Creating a room booking system on Glow
The use of the room booking system has had considerable impact at St. Andrews. Use of the ICT rooms has increased, as staff are able to check availability far more rapidly – and accurately – than the previous diary-based system allowed. Staff can plan both for long-term projects, making recurring bookings, and also grab last-minute availability, when needed. Senior manager too have benefited in being able to check how effectively room resources are being used.
Ian mentions in particular that the system has been “brilliant” for whole school and special events, where booking the rooms well in advanced give staff peace of mind that the rooms will be available as expected.
Ian Gibson describes the impact of the Room Booking system (1:58) Creating a room booking system on Glow