So I posted on google answers asking if there was a good php web application for modifying databases that might help with this, and someone suggested Moodle.
I'm already using Moodle. Is this sort of bureaucratic scheduling and remote database administration something Moodle is good at that I haven't discovered yet, or did the poster misunderstand my initial question? (my guess.)
Thanks for any insights.
What would be your ideal tool? Can you imagine/design an interface?
The script assumes that you have assigned teachers and students to courses and that these are imported in moodle. The timetabler will then let you assign courses to available slots in rooms. This is probably only a solution for the last part of your problem (assigning courses to rooms).
The approach by Moodle where students and teachers manage their own enrollments seems to work very well. We use a dedicated application package called FirstClass by HumanEdge to do the timetabling but like others, am curious how I could exploit the csv data generated (course codes, names, descriptions and teacher codes) to automate the generation of Moodle courses.
A concern that I have is that teachers may abandon crafting and recycling their moodle classes if they are regularly overwritten. On the other hand, they may throw up their hands in frustration when they keep inheriting a legacy of clutter from past courses taught by previous teachers.
Currently I give our staff a small swag of Moodle courses, ask them to use the standard timetable conventions and course descriptions then let them loose! Course generation and maintenance isn't a barrier for staff wishing to use Moodle. It is just finger-candy for the Moodle administrator.
We just developed a course set up 'wizard'. What it does is gives the teacher the option of setting up a new course from a template or re-using one of their old courses. If they choose to re-use an old course, it does a 'restore wiithout user data' so that they get a new copy of their previously taught course with all their material but without old user data.
They put in a course id number which automatically enrolls current students from our banner database, probably you could do something similar with Firstclass.
We'll put in in contrib/moodle_enterprise next week (the one in there now has a bug if you don't set up course categories).