I know we haven’t written the blog lately but there’s a reason.

We’ve been spending our entire day working on the project for the company in Melbourne.

It has proven to be a massive task and I wonder if we had realised this at the beginning we would have taken it on, but it has evolved along the way.

Originally we were told they had all the data we needed to complete the assignment.

WRONG… they honestly thought they did and are still amazed that what they have been looking at all these years is wrong.

Now the data doesn’t come from one source, but several such as IT, Timetabling, Facilities etc., and our job is to collate this all together to formulate a meaningful report which tells them the buildings they’ll need to build in the future.

So what started with Chris designing one program to produce the information they require has now turned into Chris designing 2 more programs to enable us to bring all the data together and for me to be able to collect all relevant data from timetabling.

This is all the units that are offered at all 5 campus, around 45,000 of them.

Say you are doing a “Bachelor of Business” course you will have to do so many units per semester over 3 yrs to complete your course. Each of those units consist of Lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars, computer or lab classes depending on what you are studying. Now most of those are over every week of the semester (those I love) others are a couple of weeks here and there and something else will fill in other spots etc. (these I dread).

I start about 8:30-9am and work to 8-9pm .

I have  2 computer screens up, one has the new program that Chris developed open, then I have 2 excel spreadsheets open, one contains all the units broken down to ½ hr slots and the other is a copy of Syllabus + (This is a program that universities use to timetable all the units. I worked with this at ACU thank goodness) If I had a copy of the program on my computer it would be easier but you need a licence and I’m not getting one.

I also have open 2 internet sites from the Uni to compare dates and units as then I am able to copy and paste a lot of info from there.

So I have filtered the spreadsheets and work one unit at a time taking the information from the spreadsheet and transferring it on to the program.

Then I have to look up on the internet and find what that unit’s name is and copy that over. I then go to the spreadsheet that has the enrolment numbers for that unit, this has been sent to us from IT.

I go back to the S+ spreadsheet and check if they have to attend all the lecture and tutorials or just some of them. I then place all this information on to the program. Now remember Chris had to build this from scratch, and so if I have any problems because he put it together so quickly he has to fix it for me.

So when I am finished all the units will be in, what they are called and how many students attended them. Now we can’t be 100% perfect as I can only go on the enrolment numbers I have no idea if the students evenly spread themselves over the teaching sessions.

Chris on the other hand had developed another program to bring all this information that I’m collecting together and match it all the sq meterages of all the buildings and locations on campus as well as Faculties, times etc.

Chris starts any where between 1am – 4am and goes through to 8-9pm. His mind is obsessed with this.

He is working query’s and codes to bring all this together behind the screen so that the company and the Uni can put in any scenario they want to try and see how it affects the space they use now and in the future.

What courses could be done away with and what would that impact have on the room usage?

What would happen if they increase nursing? What rooms, labs would need to be built?

Do they really need to build multi million $ buildings or just change rooms around to be able to have flexible rooms to suit small groups then open up walls for larger lectures?

All this is to be decided on the information that we give them. Scary isn’t it.

So we haven’t forgotten you and we will get back to writing the blog when we are doing something else than sitting in the caravan watching the world literally pass us by. Every time I see another van leave for travels unknown I seem to find myself singing “On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again”

Sigh…