Convention Class Schedule Coordinator

Event(s): OrigamiUSA Annual Convention in NYC and PCOC (Pacific Coast OrigamiUSA Convention)

Committee Chairs: Convention: Jan Polish; PCOC: Patty Grodner

Submitted by: Serena LaVine

Area of the country: Anywhere

Attendance at Convention: Not required

Attendance at PCOC: Not required

Job Description: 

The Convention Class Schedule Coordinator is responsible for all aspects of creating the class schedules for the OrigamiUSA conventions. An example of the final online class schedule can be seen here:

This job generates the data needed by the webteam to produce the final online schedule and begin the online ticketing process.  It also provides downloadable pdf versions of the schedule. For example:

Tasks include:

  • Communicating with teachers to clarify their class information and scheduling limitations.
  • Working with the OrigamiUSA webteam:
    • To download class and teacher information into a database. We are currently using MS Access. This database is where the development of the class schedule takes place and reports are produced.
    • To upload files needed to the run the online ticketing process.
    • Note: we are currently working with the webteam to move some (and possibly all) of the functions done in MS Access to the website, so these tasks might be done on the website instead of MS Access. This may also eliminate some of the uploading and downloading to the website.
  • Careful editing of the data provided, particularly in free-form fields such as class descriptions and scheduling restrictions.
  • Creating the class schedule with careful attention to teacher-specified scheduling restrictions and the achievement of a good balance of classes of varying types and levels of difficulty across days.
  • Editing of the pictures on the Class Preview page.  Often these are truncated or too dark or obscured by a cluttered background.
  • Handling special materials requests.
  • Permissions management.
  • Producing reports and forms to support various related activities.

For more information, see the Workflow Details below.

Job Skills Required or Desirable:

  • Experience with databases (familiarity with MS Access is important).
  • Comfortable navigating the OrigamiUSA Convention website.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Some knowledge of origami (helpful in working with teachers and developing a balanced schedule).


Timeline and Effort:
One or two weeks before the convention go-live date: 1) acquire classroom information from venue (SJU in NY) via the convention committee; 2) perform various setup and initialization tasks on the database including the entry of classroom information and the generation of the preliminary skeleton schedule.

From go-live to shutdown of the teaching forms – approximately 4 weeks – perform the classes and schedule maintenance tasks.

After online class registration begins, be available to make changes to class information on the website as needed.

Once online registration is complete – approximately 10-12 days after its start -- download class registration information to generate hard-copy schedule and various reports and forms.  Note: These functions may be taken on by the web team – to be determined.


Workflow Details:
The original class information comes in through the convention website and is currently downloaded to an MS Access database for processing and schedule creation.

Teachers enter their classes through convention website forms that capture all class-related information as well as additional teacher requirements such as scheduling limitations or special materials needed.

When the class information is submitted via the online teaching form, several things happen:
1.    A confirmation email is sent to the teacher entering the form and also copied to Convention-Teaching [at] email.
2.    A webform (a viewable and editable entry in a website table) is created with the information.  
3.    The system on our website creates an entry on the Class Preview page based on the webform information.
4.    The entry is added to a downloadable file.

Class information may need to be edited or clarified before it is downloaded to the MS Access database. Communication with the teacher can take place via convention-teaching email (item 1 above) on such matters as missing or incomplete information.  Preliminary editing can be done on the input through the Class Preview page, which provides a link to the webform for the class.  

Then the classes are downloaded to a spreadsheet and, from there, imported into the MS Access database where they are converted to the internal formats used by the program. Further review and editing takes place at that time.

The schedule is created as classes are entered. Careful attention must be paid during this process to honor teacher-specified scheduling restrictions and to achieve a good balance of classes of varying types and levels of difficulty across days. Some scheduling error conditions are detected programmatically; some require detailed and careful visual checks.

Communication with teachers during this process includes generating confirmations for classes and materials requests and ensuring that proper permission has been sought and received from the creators of the models being taught (if not being taught by the creators themselves).

When teaching forms are shut down, a preliminary schedule is uploaded to the website for review by the teachers. Changes may be made during this period. 

Several days later, an upload is generated so the web team can create the final website schedule in order for online class registration to begin.

If changes are made to the schedule after that – primarily because a class is canceled or replaced -- the online schedule entries will need to be modified (and possibly the corresponding entries in the MS Access database).

Once online registration is complete, class registration information is downloaded from the website to generate hard-copy schedules.  Note: This function may be taken on by the web team – to be determined.

Reports and other forms of output are produced by the program in support of convention activities. Note that some or all of these may be taken on by the web team as well – to be determined.

If you have questions: Please contact conv-committee [at]

Convention, PCOC