LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill
More classrooms in use at KU on Tuesdays and Thursdays; far fewer on Fridays
Not only did KU cancel classes today because of snow for the first time in just more than two years, but it happened on a Thursday. That means more actual classes were canceled than would be if there were a snow day any other day of the week, with the possible exception of Tuesday.
If KU calls off classes tomorrow, though, the loss of actual class time will be far less.
I know this because of this chart that was posted yesterday in several spots at the KU master plan forums I checked out:
In my infinite wisdom I failed to get a shot of the chart that included the times in the far left column, which are half-hour increments. But that point where it switches from AM to PM is noon (yes, yes, I know, you could have figured that out yourself).
But anyway, the chart shows what percentage of classrooms on the Lawrence campus are used at different times of day on different days of the week (from this past fall semester). The cells colored in darker are when the greatest percentage of classrooms are in use.
As you can see (I hope), the Tuesday and Thursday columns are darker in more spots -- that would appear to be when the most students are in class. Every day, the high-traffic periods are roughly between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., though on Tuesdays and Thursdays things stay pretty busy until 4 p.m.
And on Friday, nearly the whole column is white. You'll often hear that the weekend really starts on Thursday night for a lot of students, and this would appear to be literally true for many. Especially by the afternoon, only about two-thirds of classrooms are in use at times when nearly all of them are being used earlier in the week.
All this matters to the KU officials and contractors planning the development of the KU campus over the next 10 years or so, because it has implications for how efficiently classrooms are being used. Does it make sense to add more classrooms on campus when they're only being used at full capacity for a few short periods during the week? Or is it worth having classrooms sit empty a lot of the time if that's ensuring that students are in class at times when they'll learn best? These are the sorts of questions those folks are thinking about, based on my talks with them yesterday.
I'm sure that while you've all been snowed in today, you've been busy composing well-crafted KU news tips to send in. When you're finished, direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org.