Making Enrolment Easier with the Visual Schedule Builder

Posted by Deea Deb on June 25, 2020

Academic Success

It’s Fall/Winter 2020-2021 enrolment time, Lions! Time to evaluate your options, choose courses and create a super productive schedule that will help you tackle the new term! If you haven’t checked your enrolment window, you can still Find Out When You Can Enrol.  

Your classes will most likely all be online (with no scheduled class times, also referred to as asynchronous) or remote (with some scheduled class times; also referred to as synchronous). For more information about online and remote classes, visit these FAQs.

Even though you are probably not coming to campus this fall (unless you are in one of the few classes with required in-person components or are living in residence), you will still want to build yourself a good class schedule to help you manage your time and your course load. One of the best ways to plan your course schedule is to use the Visual Schedule Builder (VSB). In this #YUBlog post, we’ll show you some tips for using the VSB that will help you efficiently enrol in classes.

For further information about the VSB, watch the video below.

What is the VSB?

The VSB is an interactive tool that can help you organize your academic schedule. It allows you to choose desired courses, graphically view schedule options and ultimately create a course timetable that works for you. Based on personal timing preferences and other commitments, the VSB allows you to visually map out your lectures, tutorials and other activities into a conflict-free weekly schedule.

Note: The Visual Schedule Builder does NOT register you into courses and it does NOT replace academic advising or a degree audit. You must use the Registration & Enrolment Module (REM) to officially enrol in your courses. Please contact your Academic Advisor if you have any questions.

How to Build a Schedule with the VSB

In order to build your schedule, follow these easy steps:

Step 1: Choose an academic session.

Choose your session

For example, select the “Fall/Winter 2020-2021” academic session.


Step 2: Search for your courses by code or name.

Select Your Course

The VSB uses an autofill search function that can help you to find your courses easily.

If you are unsure of timetable abbreviations, be sure to visit the Course Timetable Abbreviations webpage.

Step 3: Select your course. Once it is selected, it will appear on the grid under “Generated Results.”

Plot your courses

In the scenario above, we have a three-credit (3.00) course that only takes place in the Fall term, a six-credit (6.00) course that spans from the Fall to the Winter term and a three-credit (3.00) course that only occurs during the Winter Term.

“AP” stands for the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, “SC” stands for the Faculty of Science, “WRIT” is the abbreviation of the Writing Department, “CHEM” is for the Department of Chemistry.

“EN” (or English), is the language of instruction and the numbers “1000”, “1003” and “1004,” tell you that these are first-year courses.

Fully online courses

Courses delivered fully online, like the example above, may not be visible on the weekly schedule because they do not have a specified meeting time. However, these courses (where instructional format = ONLN) will appear in the bottom section of the VSB.

The bottom section of the VSB summarizes all the courses that a student selected (online or otherwise). Therefore, don’t forget to manually plot ONLN courses on your calendar to keep track of your lectures.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each of your courses

If you’d like to remove a course, click the “X” on the top right-hand corner of the course box. If you only want to temporarily remove your course, deselect the checkmark next to the course code.

Remove a course

Troubleshooting with the VSB

Problem: Too many possible schedules? You’ll receive a message from the VSB prompting you to reduce or pin some of your courses.

Pinning Courses

Advice: Pinning your major courses will help the VSB narrow down the number of schedules available to you. Once you pin a course, the VSB will acknowledge your preference for that course’s date, time and place. However, you will not be able to see other options for that course unless you unpin the item.

You can pin a course by clicking on the course in the grid. A red thumbtack will appear confirming your choice.

Problem: Do you see “No Results” when building your schedule? That means there’s a schedule conflict.

Advice: Pin down the courses required for your major and slowly add or remove the other courses from your schedule.

Tips for Using the VSB

Here are some tips that will help you seamlessly navigate through the VSB:

Easily browse through your schedules using the arrow keys. Hold down the arrow keys to change through schedules quickly.

Filter your schedule

Filter your course search to find the most suitable schedule for you. Here are the filtering options that you will have when using the VSB:

  • Full Classes
  • Online Classes
  • Most Days Off
  • Morning Classes
  • Mid-Day Classes
  • Evening Classes
  • Most Time Off-Campus
  • Most Time On-Campus

Click and drag times on the schedule where you would not like to have class. This will help narrow down your timetable options!.

Types of courses 

  • Asynchronous or fully online (ONLN) courses do not have designated meeting times. Lectures are recorded and made available through eClass or other platforms. Students are expected to log into the course site regularly to keep up to date on what might be expected regarding readings and other learning activities.
  • Synchronous or remote courses have designated meeting times but meet remotely through Zoom or other platforms. If by the start of the Fall term, you have not received an email or information posted in Moodle, or other university learning management sites (Canvas, etc.), email your course instructor for details.
  • Courses that appear in the lecture schedule as CLIN, LAB, or STDO might be taught remotely, but some will have protocols in place to allow for limited class meets on campus. Students enrolling in a CLIN, LAB, or STDO class are advised to check with the department offering the course to determine if any of the class meets will be held on campus.
  • Other course types (BLEN, LECT, SEMR, TUTR, etc.) will be offered remotely in the Fall term and will have, some scheduled meeting times, depending on how the professor has planned the course. These courses may operate both asynchronously and synchronously. Some courses may have in-person components as well.
  • If you start a class online or remotely in the Fall term and later in the term or the academic year classes move back on-campus, you will still be able to complete your course(s) online or remotely.

For updates on return to campus, it is a good idea to keep a tab on York’s Better Together page and subscribe to the This Week @ York emails.

The VSB is a fantastic tool that can help you find your perfect schedule. Now that you have the #YUBlog’s guide to the VSB, you’re ready to register for the new term!

To stay up to date on campus life and events, connect with York U on social media. You can follow us on Facebook @YorkUStudents, Twitter @YorkUStudents, Instagram @studentlifeyu and with our weekly This Week @ York emails.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or tweet us at @YorkStudents.

Note: This post is an update of a previous post by Sophie Morgan, who based her post on previously published pieces by Garima Jindal and Breanna Marcelo.

Deea Deb
Deea Deb

Deea Deb is a third-year English and Professional Writing major at York University. She loves reading, travelling, being organized, and writing. She hopes to help York students succeed at university.

See other posts by Deea Deb