The Teaching Studio Booking System Evolving to Better Serve the Campus Community

by Yeung Man
The CSC Teaching Studio Booking System was originally launched in 2003; this unique booking system was designed to serve the bookings of both the CSC Teaching Studios for staff and individual PC workstations in the Teaching Studio Areas for students. The system can handle multiple week/weekday bookings with searching capability.  Class scheduling data from ARRO can be preloaded into the booking system before opening up for free booking at the start of each semester, email notification and booking history can also be generated. It is integrated with the e-Portal allowing single sign-on and with the smart-lock system for staff members accessing their reserved rooms.
For over 10 years, since the deployment of our booking system, it had undergone several major changes and enhancement to keep abreast with the latest web development technologies & standards, as well as to satisfy the needs of our users.  The following table summarizes its development over the years:
  • A web-based booking system was launched serving both staff and students
  • The Library adopted the booking system in handling the booking requests of their study carrels and PC workstations
  • Single-Sign On through University the e-Portal was added
  • The web page interface was re-written
  • Integrated with the smart-lock system allowing staff and students to access their reserved rooms using their CityU smart cards
  • The Library included the booking of their Group Study Room in the system
  • The Student Development Services (SDS) started to use the booking system for students and student societies to reserve various activity rooms
  • The entire system was reviewed to meet the requirements of University Web Redesign Project and the change of University class hours
  • The Campus Development and Facilities Office (CDFO) adopted the booking system for reserving their meeting rooms and new Group Study Rooms in AC3
  • A new web site for mobile devices was developed

As can be seen, a number of departments including the Library, SDS and CDFO have adopted our Teaching Studio Booking system as their room or workstation booking systems. The interface flexibility provided by the system allows departments to use various booking forms with different menus that conform to the University Web Page design requirements and standards.
To show the popularity of the booking system among our users, below are some of the comments collected from the Library and SDS.
“The Library Study Space & PC Booking System has provided an excellent platform for the CityU students and staff to reserve the Library facilities including Oval & Information Space PCs, HA Group Study Rooms and Study Carrels. The total volume of the booking sessions was quite huge annually and over 300,000 booking requests per year were made in the last three academic years. The booking system is web based and it allows flexibility for users to book the facilities anywhere and anytime. In particular, the booking system for the Humanities Academy Group Study Rooms is integrated with the smart card reader of the access control system, i.e. only the users who have booked the timeslots are eligible to gain access to the room. This saves a lot of time in borrowing and lending keys. Moreover, the booking system also provides statistics which are very useful in the planning of facilities and resources.”
 - From Michael Cheng of Run Run Raw Library  
 “The CSC Teaching Studio Booking System” had been evolved to “SDS Student Activity Venue Booking System” in November 2009. The system was employed for individual students to reserve music rooms, band room and dark rooms. A total of 6 SDS rooms were managed under this system. The utilization of music rooms and band room is around 90% during term time. And this system is an important tool for the venue management of SDS.”
- From Chris Chan of Student Development Services
Thanks to the support of our users, their invaluable input enabled us to strengthen the stability and usability of our system to better serve the campus community on a continuing basis.