One of the advantages of having an electronic bookings register is that the information it contains can be more easily presented consistently and widely. Being web-based, any user can then log in and check availability of resource items, rather than waiting until they can physically get to a booking sheet to fill in.
Unlike a calendar where time delineations for individual events are not relevant, bookings are made in fixed-time ‘blocks’, which means no overlaps or ambiguity in booking duration. The Bookings module makes this clear by graphically representing each block overlaid above a weekly overview. The weeks can be browsed using the familiar Term Navigator as featured in the Calendar module, so bookings correspond more meaningfully with the school calendar terms and holidays.
Additionally, because the Bookings module is tied to the user accounts in Ultranet, each booking has a defined ‘owner’ and edit permission. So you won’t have users sneakily going in to replace other people’s bookings with their own, whilst higher level controls are reserved for administrators and moderators only.
All bookings need to be tied to a start/end time as a reference, but these are not always fixed. Some items might follow the official school timetable, others might be booked on a half-hourly basis, whilst others might only be block-booked in half-day chunks.
To cater for this, the Booking module supports the creation of custom timetable grids for resources. Using this, schools can easily accommodate the various timing variances between the items they have available to be booked, whilst still maintaing a centralised record for these.
Just like pages and news sections, Booking Categories can be set up to organise groups of resources and their availability. Items can be made only accessible and bookable by particular user types, so levels of access can be established.
Similarly, moderation can be enabled to cater for particular resources that require approval before being booked. Users can still make a reservation for that item, but the block will remain in a ‘pending’ state until the moderator or administrator in charge accepts the booking.