Booking of University Venues on the Web
Is it possible to book University venues on the Web? The answer is yes and it can be achieved through the “Venue and Classroom Booking System” under the “Facilities Booking” menu on the CityU Intranet. Through a common Web interface, all CityU staff and student societies can access this system both on- and off-campus easily and quickly.
Figure 1: First Page
The first version of this system was launched in October 2000 for staff to book lecture theatres, tutorial rooms, language laboratories and video laboratories. The current version, which was launched in February 2001, extends the booking facilities to student societies as well. In this new version, other types of venue like special room, common area, meeting room and multi-purpose room are also included for booking.
The system is built on the Location Management Module of the Administrative Information Management System (AIMS). All booking records are stored centrally in the AIMS Database. The system supports both direct booking and submission of booking request. Direct booking is for venues like tutorial rooms, lecture theatres and meeting rooms. Users can make this kind of booking directly through the Web and each successful booking can be confirmed on the spot.
Figure 2: Room Availability List
On the other hand, submission of booking request is for the booking of special venues such as the Covered Terrace. Users are required to book extra hours for the preparation and clearing work before and after a booking session. This kind of booking is in the form of e-mail request being sent to the venue owner for processing. Once the booking request is endorsed, an e-mail confirmation will be sent to the requester.
The system also has a user-friendly function to enable users to check the availability of venues by different criteria such as the venue category, date, time, capacity and room number. In addition, the weekly schedule of a venue can be presented graphically in a timetable format to ensure the ease of use as shown on the next page:
Figure 3: Weekly Schedule for a Room
In summary, the “Venue and Classroom Booking System” has indeed provided a paperless means to streamline the workflow of venue booking in the University. Through this on-line system, the availability of venues is now more transparent to the end users than ever before.